Albert Baker
Photos: Lina Baker, IG @seeyouringside

Puerto Rican Michael “The Artist” Perez 24-1-2 11KO’s won a six round technical decision over Martin Honorio on scores of 60-54 on all three judges’ cards after the fight was stopped on cuts to Perez. A bad clash of heads in the second round opened up a gory gash on the side of Honorio’s head and behind Perez’s ear and above and below his left eye. The cuts sent blood gushing down each fighters bodies in a bloody mess that resembled a stabbing scene in an Alfred Hitchcock movie.17

The fight was a good matchup and Perez came to mix it up, boxing and firing over hand shots. Honorio wasn’t without his moments as he landed a good right hand in the fourth round that sent Perez’s head back but it was Perez who looked the better of the two. At the end of the six the doctor stepped in to call a halt to the action in Perez’s corner from the cuts above and below his left eye.

Big punching Christian “Chimpa” Gonzalez 13-0 12KO’s took a step up in competition as he blasted out David Roldan at 2:16 in the first round with an overhand right that crumpled the experienced journeyman. “I do this for fun, it’s amazing how my career has just taken off.” Said Gonzalez as he hopes to be in ten round bouts before the end of 2016.14

Rodela was to be the stiffest test of Gonzalez’s short career having experience in the ring with the likes of Jorge Linares, Terrance Crawford and other elite level fighters.

In the televised opener Columbian prospect Oscar “El Jaguar” Negrete 13-0 5KO’s dominated previously unbeaten Neftali Campos 11-1 9 KO’s in a superior display of patient stalking and calculated violence. Negrete landed at will with shots down the middle, varying his punches high and low.11

Campos had little to offer in return and referee Jerry Cantu could have stopped the fight earlier but allowed it to go the distance. On scores of 80-72 Negrete takes another step forward in his impressive early career. “I went for the knockout but I’ll take the win. I hope this 2016, I can fight for a world title.” Said Negrete following the fight.

Junior Olympic and six time National Amateur Champion Alexis Rocha 1-0 1KO won his pro debut via second round knockout over Jordan Rosario at 1:43 in the second round. Rocha was a very public signing for promoter Golden Boy, and is the younger (bigger) brother of featherweight contender Ronny Rios.

Fighting out of the TKO Boxing Club in Santa Ana, California Rocha brought a big group that had the small Belasco Theater roaring. Rosario went down the way you’d expect a pro debut opponent would but, Rocha has a good base of fundamentals for trainer Hector Lopez to build on. After the victory was announced Rocha said “At first I was nervous and impatient in the ring because this was my first professional fight, but I came in and got what I wanted. I’m very excited for my next fight because I know That I’ll be calmer.”7

Rafael Gramajo 7-1-1 2KO’s passed the test of Sharone Carter 4-1 2KO’s as he rolled to a unanimous decision victory over the previously unbeaten fighter out of St. Louis. Carter came out boxing and using superior athleticism to avoid Gramajos come forward aggressive style.

Carter started to wear down in the third after a relentless body attack by Gramajo, forcing him to hold. Each time Gramajo would attempt to break the hold Carter would fall to the canvas complaining all the way up. In the sixth, referee Jerry Cantu had enough of the fouling by Carter and deducted a point. Gramajo cruised to victory on scores of 59-54 on all three judges’ cards. After the fight Gramajo said “Every fight is important to me. This fight was nothing less than that. My goal is to develop my patience in the ring and go back to the gym.”6

Opening the night’s action was South Central Los Angeles native Ivan “Striker” Delgado 9-0-1 2KO’s rolling to a competitive unanimous decision victory over Jesus Sandoval 5-9-3 1KO on scores of 60-54 and 59-55 twice. The fight was tougher than expected for the Los Angeles native but Delgado was in control throughout the six round fight with a good lead hooks and body work. Following the fight Delgado said “This was my second time fighting as a southpaw fighter, and it has taken some adjustment to this fighting style.” “I’m excited for a busy 2016.”3