By Marc Livitz: Antonio Orozco used heavy shots to the body of KeAndre Gibson to set up a right cross knockout punch in a crossroads type of super lightweight contest at the Chelsea Theater located within the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. The two undefeated prospects had their respective moments before a short right hook to the temple closed the show in round four.
The suspense in the venue was apparent and with good reason. The Chelsea is an ideal location for a great fight between two unbeaten contestants and every seat in the house is a good one. Orozco (26-0, 17 KO’s) timed his jabs early and looked to set up shots to the body of his St. Louis, Missouri opponent. Gibson (16-1-1, 7 KOs’) held a tight guard and threw his left hook as he looked to establish his distance. KeAndre’s jab snapped well in the beginning of the second and a few landed which caused Antonio to look up at the ceiling. He scored with a nice left hook to the body midway through the period. "Relentless" Orozco returned the favor with a heavy barrage of body shots with "The Truth" Gibson’s back to the ropes. Antonio focused in on the body of KeAndre after he noticed how he had his elbows tucked inward. Gibson landed a low blow in the closing minute of round three, yet Orozco didn’t care to take a respite from the shot.
KeAndre came out energized to begin the fourth. He threw punches high, which allowed his San Diego opponent to go back to his target of choice, the ribs and the abdomen. A pair of left jabs set up a thunderous right hook to the head which dropped Gibson, who arose from the mat but could not answer referee Russell Mora’s questions as to whether or not he wanted to continue. The bout was waved off at the 1:31
mark of round four to award the TKO victory as well as the vacant WBC USNBC lightweight title to Antonio "Relentless" Orozco.
Co-Main Event Report
"Gesta Gets UD Win over Gonzalez"
In the evening’s co-main event, Mercito "No Mercy" Hesta survived an early knockdown to prevail by unanimous decision over Gilberto "El Flaco" Gonzalez in an entertaining lightweight contest.
Gesta (30-1-2, 16 KO’s) tried from the bout’s onset to negate Gonzalez’s three inch height as well as four inch reach advantage. His southpaw stance left his Mexico City opponent befuddled in the first and he was nimble on his feet as he dodged return shots. Ring rust didn’t show as each man’s time out of the ring would have suggested. Gesta was fighting for the first time since October 2015, while Gonzalez (26-4, 22 KO’s) had last entered the ring exactly one year ago to the day. In the second, Gilberto used his left jab to tag Gesta as he charged inward but as before seemed confused with Mercito’s approach. He found himself on the receiving end of several unanswered head shots, uppercuts and hooks. In the third, Gonzalez came out in a southpaw stance. He encountered some success as blood streamed from his nose. A hard uppercut floored Gesta near the midway point of the round. Mercito moved in a bit too close and paid when he left his elbows too far away from his body, although he did immediately rise from the canvas. He reverted to what had worked for him and continued to bring the punches to his Mexican adversary.
Gonzalez was able to connect on some of his shots, yet Gesta was always there to answer. This would be the story for the remainder of the night. Mercito utilized his right jab to great affect and continued to further bloody the face of "El Flaco". For every right hook Gonzalez threw, Gesta would reply with three to five times as many punches. He seemed to know better than to stay too close to him for too long. A toe to toe battle ensued for much of the sixth. Even after walking into a Gesta straight left, Gilberto kept coming forward. His reddened face didn’t slow him down and though he threw shots, he wasn’t doing enough. The seventh may have been his best round of the contest. His relentless pressure weighed on Gesta as his hard punches forced Mercito into the ropes and subsequently into clinches. He looked to take more chances in the eighth but as he tried to get closer, he was forced to lean inward and leave his head for the taking. Signs of fatigue were beginning to appear just before an impressive flurry from Gesta closed the period.
Throughout the final two rounds, "No Mercy" Gesta used his footwork to move into firing range. He’d throw and connect on a few shots and then move. Gonzalez tagged him across the face for good measure at the bell. Busted nose and all, Gilberto Gonzalez went for broke in the tenth and final round. A knockout was clearly on his mind, which prompted Gesta to hasten his movements around the ring. The effort he gave was commendable but he didn’t appear to do enough. The bell sounded to end the contest and the two men embraced in a show of fine sportsmanship.
The judges scorecards read as follows: 99-91, 98-92 and 96-93, all to "No Mercy" Mercito Gesta.