Southern California’s Inland Empire or the IE (if you’re from here) is quickly becoming a hotbed for the up and coming generation of boxer’s. Located to the east of Los Angeles it plays home to some of boxing’s big name attractions; as well as some really action packed fight cards. Nearby Los Angeles and Orange County provide fighters that the IE is quick to identify with in hopes they advance to become stars such as IE Riverside heroes Josesito Lopez, Mauricio Herrera, and Chris Arreola.
Last night Jose “Gato” Roman 18-1-1 12KO’s took a big step up in competition to face the crafty and vastly experienced veteran Hector Velazquez 56-23-3 38KO’s. In a fight that featured some pretty good infighting, Roman showed the ability to adapt to what his opponent was doing.
After looking a little tense in the first round Roman started to settle in during the second and started flashing the left hook trainer Joel Diaz mentioned they were working on in the gym. Velasquez was working well on the inside using his experience but failed to get off first for most of the fight.
In the fourth round Roman was cut from a punch but said it was an elbow “he caught me with a punch and then swung his elbow around and hit me with it I could tell he was trying to frustrate me”.
During the fifth the two stood in the center of the ring and traded with Roman getting the better of it; however Velazquez kept getting in that sneaky left hook to keep the crowd oohing and aahing.
Roman took the decision with his higher work rate and said “Velasquez was a strong guy and difficult he knows how to fight” “my coach said my left hook was working well so we used it and it worked through the fight”.
The Co-main event was a fight between Action fighter Danny Roman 11-2-1 5KO’s against Jonathan Alcantara 7-11-2 1KO. Roman who calls himself the “Baby Faced Assassin” dominated the fight and landed thudding blows to the body all night. The fact Alcantara lasted the distance is a testament to what he was supposed to do, go rounds.
2012 Olympic Bronze medalist Taras Shelestyuk 9-0 6KO’s took a split decision over Patrick Boozer 6-3 2KO’s with scores of 76-75 twice for Shelestyuk and 76-75 for Boozer. Boozer who is managed by James Toney opened a nasty cut over Shelestyuk’s eye in the fourth round with an accidental head butt that bled profusely throughout the rest of the fight. It was a good action fight and Selestyuk who comes from the Ukraine is a good fighter to keep an eye on.
Cesar Villarraga 5-0 2KO’s earned a sixth round KO over Oscar Santana 4-2-1 2KO’s with a left right combination to the body. Santana started very strong and had a good sized following at the fight but the harder punching Villarraga was a bit more polished to earn the stoppage.
Erick Ituarte 8-1-1 1KO won a unanimous four round decision over Jesus Aguinaga 1-3 with all 3 scores coming in at 39-37.
In an exciting heavyweight fight newly signed prospect LaRon Mitchell 5-0 5KO’s stopped Eduardo Ramirez 1-1 in the second round. A rare occurrence of a double knockdown occurred during the first; when both fighters simultaneously landed right hooks that sent each other to the canvas a la Rocky II, referee Raul Caiz Sr. properly called it a double knockdown and counted both fighters. Ramirez was a little worse for wear after the knockdown and Mitchell got his legs back to start the second and was pummeling Ramirez in the corner when the referee jumped in for a good stoppage.
Andres Figueroa 5-0 3KO’s defeated Carlos Zatarin 3-2-1 1KO with scores of 39-37(twice) and 40-36.