Saturday night’s final round of the 2016 “Knockout Night at the D” series ended in typical style as “Mighty” Aston Palicte won a 10-round split decision over previously undefeated “Lil'” Oscar Cantu in a terrific super flyweight match from start to finish inside the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center indoor facility.
The “Knockout Night at the D” series, presented by the D Las Vegasand Down town Las Vegas Events Center, was promoted by Roy Jones Jr. (RJJ) Boxing Promotions. This evening’s seventh and final “Knockout at the D” event in 2016 aired live on CBS Sports Network and streamed worldwide on FloBoxing.tv
The Palicte vs. Cantu main event, as expected, was a classic match-up of contrasting styles between a dangerous puncher (Palicte) and consummate boxer (Cantu). There was surprising non-stop action from the opening bell. Power punching Palicte (22-2, 18 KOs) pressed the action as the clear aggressor, but Cantu stood in the pocket, too, as the technician used his defensive skills to make things difficult for his world rated Filipino opponent.
Ultimately, it all came down to the 10th round, which Palicte swept on all three judges’ scorecards for a hard-fought split decision victory by scores of 98-92, 96-94, 94-96. Palicte, rated No. 11 by the International Boxing Federation (IBF) and No. 15 by the World Boxing Organization (WBO), took Cantu’s North American Boxing Federation (NABF) title belt in addition to capturing the vacant WBO Inter-Continental strap.
Cantu, who is rated No. 4 as a flyweight by the World Boxing Council (WBC), showed tremendous heart, granite chin and the ability to move extremely well, throwing punches from every conceivable angle. The difference, however, proved to be Palicte’s slugging ability in this classic confrontation in which the puncher barely prevailed against the boxer.
In the co-feature, Jamaican junior middleweight Nathaniel “No Problem” Gallimore (16-1-1, 13 KOs) scored a spectacular first-round knockout of previously unbeaten Angelo “Bombardero” Baez (15-1-1, 11 KOs), the Chilean junior middleweight champion.
Gallimore hurt Baez midway through the opening round and then closed the show with vicious left to the liver that dropped Baez to his knees. In obvious pain, he was unable to get to his feet before the 10 count.
Galiimore (pictured above in green), who fights out of Chicago, dedicated the fight to his stablemate, the late Ed Brown (20-0), who was murdered earlier this month. “I saw a tape of him (Baez) and knew he backed up to the ropes,” Gallimore explained the finish. “I practiced that shot in the gym and I’m very happy with the outcome. I told all my teammates back in Chicago that I was dedicating this fight to Ed Brown.”
Los Angeles junior middleweight Flavio Rodriguez (6-0, 5 KOs) kept his undefeated record intact against previously unbeaten Mexican fighter Dilan “El Tremendo” Loza (5-1, 3 KOs) in the television opener. Rodriguez, who one point during his 4 1/2-year hiatus from the ring weighed 90 pounds more than he entered the ring tonight, won by way of a third-round technical knockout. Loza was hurt by an accidental shot to the base of his head in the third and he was later dropped in the same round by the heavy-handed Rodriguez. Referee Jay Nady halted the bout after the third round.
“For the most part,” Rodriguez said, “he didn’t do anything different. I thought I controlled the fight with my jab. My boy, Leo (Santa Cruz, friends from LA), was a world champion and I want to get to his level.”
In a battle of unbeaten welterweight prospects, hometown favorite Jeremy “J-Flash” Nichols (7-0-1, 2 KOs) and San Diego’s Kevin “KO” Ottley (3-0-1) fought to a 6-round draw.
RJJ-promoted fighters, junior lightweight Randy “El Matador” Moreno (8-0, 7 KOs) and bantamweight Max “The Baby-Faced Assassin” Ornelas (7-0, 3 KOs), were both successfully showcased on the undercard.
Fast moving Moreno won his eighth fight in nine months, stopping “Money” Mike Fowler (5-4, 2 KOs) in the fourth round. Moreno improves each fight, showing incredible poise for a 21-year old boxer, and he legitimately rates as a national prospect to watch.
Ornelas dropped Jorge Perez (6-5-1, 3 KOs) in the second round on his way to a shutout decision over four rounds. The 18-year-old Ornelas recorded the seventh win of his 6-month pro career.
Also fighting on the undercard, Texas junior featherweight Jessie “The One” Hernandez improved to 8-1 (6 KOs) with a 6-round unanimous decision over Sharone “Smoke” Carter (6-2, 2 KOs).