Manzanarez defeats Diaz on US debut; Gamez remain unbeaten
In his United States debut, Roberto “Tito” Manzanarez (34-1, 28 KOs) of Phoenix, AZ conquered opponent Gamaliel “El Plátano” Diaz (40-16-3, 19 KOs) in true Mexican fighting style in the main event at LA FIGHT CLUB from the Belasco Theater and live on Estrella TV’s Boxeo Estelar.
With abundant speed and skill, Manzanarez dominated Diaz who struggled to keep pace. Attempting to find ground and block Manzanarez’s punches, Diaz lost his balance and fell to the mat in the first and third rounds. By round four at the 2:23 mark, Manzanarez had shut out Diaz with a left body shot earning himself a knockout victory to the delight of fans at the Belasco Theater.
“I am very happy with this win, and I’m glad I stopped him early,” said Manzanarez. “I know I have to go back into the gym to work on everything, and I need to be in better form physically and mentally. There’s a big difference between fighting in the U.S. and in Mexico, fighting here was a dream come true of mine, and I hope I get more opportunities to do so.”
Showing their support for Golden Boy Promotions’ fighters, the VIPs for the night included Joseph “Jojo” Diaz, Jr., Carlos “The Solution” Morales, Jonathan “Thunder” Navarro, Hector “El Finito” Tanajara, Jr., Joet Gonzalez and Emilio Sanchez.
Fighting as the co-main event, San Diego, CA’s Genaro “El Conde” Gamez (4-0, 3 KOs) dominated via unanimous decision Alejandro Ochoa (7-13-2, 1 KO) of Bell Gardens, CA landing fiery blows to the face and body for all to witness. In the first round, Gamez aggressively knocked his opponent down with his signature heavy-handed hits. As the fight progressed, Gamez’s strength and stamina persisted as he threw his opponent to the floor in the third round. Meanwhile, Ochoa’s defense continued to waver, and in the fifth round he fell to his knees while head-butting Gamez. In the end, the judges all awarded the undefeated Gamez the unanimous decision victory.
“This was the first time going all six rounds, which was a great experience for me,” said Gamez. “He took a lot of hard punches from me and I took a lot from him. I wanted another knock out, but considering that this is my first fight in a couple of months, I’ll take this win. I am ready for another fight soon, so you will certainly see me back in action.”
Kicking off the televised Boxeo Estelar portion of the night, Luis Feliciano (1-0) of Milwaukee, WI earned his first career win by defeating Houston, TX fighter Angel “El Picosito” Rodriguez (5-8-3, 4 KOs). In round two, Rodriguez suffered a cut above his eye from Feliciano’s power punches, yet kept trudging along. With the pressure intensifying, Feliciano tripped, but sprang back in to action in the fourth round. At the end of the fight, both fighters shook hands in a great display of sportsmanship as the unanimous decision victory was awarded to Feliciano.
“It was a great first fight, and I was excited to get back into the ring after not fighting competitively for more than a year and a half,” said Feliciano. “It’s a transition you have to go through when you switch from amateur to pro, and there are always a pair of nerves when you make the switch and you make the stylistic adjustments. The win was what we planned for, and bigger things are coming from me, just watch as I represent Puerto Rico.”
Los Angeles, CA local Tenochtitlan “T-Dog” Nava (5-0, 1 KO) labored through four rounds against rugged fighter Thomas Smith (3-4-1, 2 KOs) from New Orleans, LA in this fight. Exchanging hits and jabs, both fighters relentlessly went at each other for four rounds. Eventually, Nava out boxed his opponent, and with scores of 40-36, 40-36 and 39-37, “T-Dog” took home another victory.
“I started out slow in this fight, I felt the need to be cautious with him but he definitely woke me up,” said Nava. “I knew he was going to move around, and he would block my blows with his counter. I want to thank all the Marching Skulls from Westside Boxing who came to support me and this win.”
Newly signed standout Javier Martinez (1-0) of Dallas, TX was put to the test in the beginning rounds of his first professional fight against Guadalajara, Mexico’s Miguel A. Barajas (2-2, 1 KO). In the first rounds the two fighters brawled, resulting in Barajas knocking down Martinez in the second round. Quick to his feet, Martinez rebounded and went at Barajas with aggressive speed and power, sending his opponent to the mat in the fifth round at 2:44.
“It was a defining debut fight, and I wasn’t going to let anyone take away what I had worked so hard for,” said Martinez. “I saw the bruise I left under his eye during the first round, and that’s when I knew he was a tough fighter, and was going to brawl with me. I learned a lot, and I am looking forward to maturing as a fighter, becoming smarter, and using my talent more.”
Earning his fourth consecutive knockout at the Belasco Theater, Glendora, CA’s Jousce Gonzalez (4-0, 4 KOs) opened tonight’s LA FIGHT CLUB with an action-packed bout against Emmanuel “Pollo” Valadez (3-2, 3 KOs) of Agua Prieta, Mexico. With a series of blistering body shots, Gonzalez dropped his opponent in the first few seconds of the fight. Showing no signs of slowing down, the referee ended the fight at the 2:42 mark of the first round, thereby awarding Gonzalez a victory knockout over Valadez.
“This is my fourth straight, first round knockout win, and that means a lot to me,” said Gonzalez. “This win is a thank you to my team that has sacrificed so much to get me to this level. I train for 15 rounds so that I am ready for anything and anyone.”