Mike Sloan, ringside – Juan Carlos Sanchez was determined to jam a wrench into the plans of undefeated opponent Roberto Domingo Sosa in the main event of a Top Rank-promoted card inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Saturday night. At the end of the night after the dust settled inside the ring, Sanchez did what he needed to hand the Argentinean fighter his first professional loss.
The bout itself was a heated battle for much of its duration, but it was the Mexican’s swifter footwork and more accurate punching that paved the way toward victory. Sanchez picked his spots when he punched and more often than not he was successful in landing what he threw. Whether it was the effective jab, thudding hooks to the body or slick counters to the face, Sanchez was superb throughout and was awarded a well-deserved unanimous decision.
Sosa was tougher than leather, though, and even though he was rocked in the fourth round and knocked onto the seat of his trunks with 30 seconds left in the fight, he never stopped trying to land something that would change the tide of the fight.
Sosa never could land his power shots clean enough to change Sanchez’s gameplan and when he was the more aggressive of the two, it was the swift movement and elusiveness of the Los Mochis fighter that prevented any real damage from being inflicted. Sanchez brawled when he had to, but more often than not, he simply stuck and moved and slipped out of harm’s way in each round.
The fight wasn’t a wipeout though; Sosa won some of the rounds and never stopped charging forward with a various assortment of attacks. He was just a step behind his foe and wasn’t quick enough to pull the trigger whenever Sanchez was in range of his power.
In the end, Sanchez was too effective and clearly did enough to warrant the decision, which he was given via tallies of 117-110 (twice) and 116-111. SecondsOut also favored Sanchez (16-1-1, 8 KOs) 117-110. Sosa fell to 24-1 with 14 KOs.
Popular local super lightweight prospect Jesus Gutierrez was simply too much to handle for Daniel Calzada as he won a hard-fought, clear-cut unanimous four round decision. “El Hurrican” swarmed his opponent from start to finish and tore into him with his usual Tasmanian devil style of attack. In the end, Gutierrez was awarded the decision with scores of 40-36 on all three scorecards. With the win, Gutierrez rose to 7-0-0-1 with 2 KOs and will next fight on the Top Rank card at the Texas Station July 12. Calzada, from Denver, dropped to 7-8-2 with 1 KO.
Heavyweight contender Andy Ruiz, Jr. made quick work of Chicago’s Carl Davis, knocking him out in spectacular fashion in the first round. After flooring Davis with a left hand, Ruiz finished him off with a devastating right/left, a combo that felled his opponent flat on his back. Referee Jay Nady never bothered to count at that point and immediately waived off the action. The official time of the KO came just 35 seconds into the fight, allowing Ruiz, from Mexicali, Mexico, to remain unbeaten as a pro; he now stands at 19-0 with 13 KOs. Davis fell to 16-6 with 12 KOs.
Lightweight Jose Felix electrified those in attendance with a highlight reel first round knockout over Fernando Garcia. Felix, a product of Los Mochis, took his time to find the right spot to land his shots and when he did, he turned out the lights. A short right hand knocked Garcia off his feet about 90 seconds into the fight, but once Garcia (27-4-2, 18 KOs) climbed to his feet, it was a matter of time before that grenade detonated again.
Sure enough, an even more brutal right hand found a home on Garcia’s jaw 30 seconds later, forcing the Tijuana fighter to crumble onto his knees. Referee Jay Nady eventually counted him out, ending the fight officially at the 2:09 mark. It was a sensational knockout for the unbeaten Felix (24-0-1, 19 KOs), a promising young contender with true knockout power.
Welterweight Egidijus Kavaliauskas, a native of Lithuania now training out of Robert Garcia’s Boxing Academy in Oxnard, tore into Luis Borrego from the start and never relented until the fight was over. He plugged away with vicious hooks to the body and head and eventually the attrition got the best of Borrego. Midway through the third round, Kavaliauskas unloaded a fury of punches to his foe’s body and when Borrego dropped his gloves, he landed several powerful hooks to the head. Borrego crumbled from the bombardment but even though he beat referee Russell Mora’s count, the veteran third man deemed him unfit to continue and waived the contest off. Borrego vehemently protested the stoppage to no avail, officially signaling an end to the battle at 1:41 of the third round. Kavaliauskas rose to 2-0 with his first career knockout while Borrego, from Tucson, AZ, dipped to 3-2 with 1 KO.
Indio, CA’s Gabino Saenz controlled virtually every minute of every round against the tough Giorgi Mtchedishvili and won a unanimous six round decision for his efforts. Saenz used better movement and a much more accurate attack to not only keep the resident of Gurdzhaani, Georgia (Russia) at bay, but also to pick him apart. In the end, featherweight Gabino won via tallies of 58-56, 59-55 and 60-54 to rise to 10-0-1 with 7 KOs. Mtchedishvili fell to 8-6-1 with 1 KO.
In what was the opening bout of the evening, local welterweight prospect Michael Finney dominated opponent Raul Tovar from the start and eventually stopped him in the sixth round. Finney scored a knockdown in the second and continued to assert his gameplan until the end. Tovar, who hails from Mission, TX, hung tough as long as he could, but with less than a minute left in the sixth frame he was dropped again, prompting referee Russell Mora to stop it. The official time of the stoppage came at 2:52 of the round, allowing Finney to improve to 12-0 with 10 KOs.
Photo courtesy of Mary Ann Owen