On the eve of the Canelo vs. Khan showdown, Golden Boy Promotions gave back by to boxing fans by offering a day full of excitement free and open to the public.
First, fans onsite were able to witness the final face-off between Canelo Alvarez and Amir Khan at the new Toshiba Plaza in from of the T-Mobile Arena, in Las Vegas. Immediately after, a free three-title fight night was staged featuring Marvin Quintero vs. Petr Petrov for the NABA and NABF Lightweight Titles. Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions’Oscar De La Hoya and future hall of famer and Golden Boy Promotions business partner Bernard Hopkins were in attendance enjoying the action packed fights, along with WBC Lightweight World Champion Jorge “El Nino de Oro” Linares, and Golden Boy Promotions stablemates WBC Silver Featherweight Champion Ronny Rios, NABF Featherweight Champion Joseph “Jojo” Diaz, and Eddie “E-Boy” Gomez.
Headlining the televised main event in a fight for Marvin “Cachorro” Quintero’s (28-7, 6 KOs) NABF Lightweight title, Petr “Zar” Petrov (37-4-2, 17 KOs) put his NABA Lightweight Tile on the line and gave every ounce of his strength and power to defeat his opponent. Quintero battled against Petrov’s jabs and hooks suffering from a dangerously swollen left eye starting in the fourth round. By the end of the sixth round and before the beginning of the seventh round, the doctor stopped the fight from moving forward due to the left eye swelling impairing Quintero’s vision, ultimately awarding Petrov the victory by technical knockout in the sixth round.
“This was a great fight for me, my opponent was a strong fighter and I give my respect to him and his team. I have been off for over a year and half and I did feel sluggish and slow at times, but the win is all that matters,” said Petrov of his NABF/NABA victory. “I feel honored to have fought in Las Vegas on Cinco de Mayo weekend as the first boxing event at the new Toshiba Plaza and I hope this is the first of many more fights in Las Vegas.”
“I am very disappointed with the doctor’s decision, I had been fighting like this for two rounds and physically felt strong to continue, but they made the decision and that is something that I cannot control,” said Marvin Quintero of his technical knockout. “It’s the Mexican blood in me that wills me to continue fighting and never give up. I will not stop fighting for my dream to one day become a world champion.”
In the co-main event, the vacant WBC Continental Americas Welterweight title was on the line as, Pablo Cesar “El Demoledor” Cano (29-5-1, 21 KOs) of Tlanepantla, Mexico went head to head against Fairfield, CA’s Alan Sanchez (18-3-1, 9 KOs) in scheduled 10-round welterweight fight. Going the distance, the exciting match incited cheers from boxing fans in the crowd which heavily favored Cano. The judges awarded the belt to Sanchez, via split decision who proudly displayed his new title in the ring to show off for his newfound fans.
“I’m going home with my belt! This is just the beginning, and I am excited for the doors that will be opened because of this,” said Alan Sanchez of his big victory. “I want the big title and I want to be a world champion one day–this is the first step to achieving that goal.”
“I don’t feel the decision was a good one, because I felt I was ahead in the rounds, landing more of my punches harder and more effectively,” said Pablo Cesar Cano. “I felt that my opponent was running most of the time, and I didn’t get a chance to hurt him the way I wanted to.”
In the televised swing bout of the night, rising southpaw standout star Alexis Rocha (2-0, 2 KOs) of Santa Ana, CA knocked out San Juan, Puerto Rico’s Abdel Vera (0-3) in the first round showing Rocha’s sheer strength and power punches.
“When the referee made the call, I felt so excited because I knew all of my hard work paid off. I knew I was coming in to the ring with more experience so I was able to dominate the round. I wanted to start the fight with ferocity on my terms to control the fight. Looking forward, I’m very excited for more fights.”
Opening the televised fight night was Guadalajara, Mexico’s Horacio “Violento” Garcia (30-1-1, 21 KOs) facing Erik “El Trompo” Ruiz (15-5-1, 6 KOs) of Oxnard, CA battling it out over the vacant NABF Super Bantamweight title. The crowd couldn’t get enough of the quick exchanges between both fighters eager to take a home a belt during their 10-round scrap. For every punch thrown by “Violento,” “El Trompo” effectively counterpunched. In a shocking split decision draw, the judges gave 92-98 to Ruiz and 97-93 to Garcia and 95-95.
“My opponent started out slow, and my game plan was to build out more momentum in the fight,” said Horacio Garcia of the split decision draw. “I feel that I needed more rounds to get the job done, but I respect the judge’s decision. Next time, I hope to take more chances and throw more punches when I can.”
“After this fight, I want a rematch,” said Erik Ruiz of the decision. “I want to take home my belt because I know I made cleaner and harder punches. I am extremely disappointed with the results of the fight.”
Capturing the opening victory of the night in the first boxing event to ever take place at the newly opened Toshiba Plaza was the always swift Joet Gonzalez (13-0, 6 KOs) of Glendora, CA against Chihuahua, Mexico’s own Ricardo “Cepillo” Proano (11-4, 9 KOs) in an eight round featherweight fight. With his consistent counterpunches against Proano, Gonzalez was able to corner his opponent in almost every round. Never one to back down, Proano came back with his consistent head shots to Joet who used his blocks awarding him the win by unanimous decision.
“During the fight, I was very angry because my opponent kept head-butting me,” said Joet Gonzalez of the bout. “At one point during the fight, I was unable to see from my right eye. However, I could tell he was nervous and he really made me work for the victory so I kept my distance and tried to neutralize his hits.”