Charles Huerta has been on the wrong end of close decisions in recent fights. Rather than leave it to chance Friday night against a house fighter, Huerta decided to take matters into his own hands. Literally.
Huerta dropped Ivan Delgado twice in the third round en route to a knockout victory before a sold-out crowd at the Belasco Theater in Los Angeles.
With the win, Huerta improves to 19-5 (12 knockouts), while Delgado falls to 11-1-1 (4 KOs).
Friday night marked a crossroads bout between the two Southern California junior lightweights. Delgado, who hails from the South Central area of Los Angeles, had built an unbeaten record fighting modest opposition.
Huerta, who resides in nearby Paramount, was coming off a close, 10-round split decision loss to Carlos Morales (another Golden Boy Promotions prospect) on Dec. 17 in Inglewood, California. In his career, the 30-year-old Huerta has dropped a total of three bouts by split or majority decision.
After a close opening round, both fighters let their hands go during the second, with Huerta pressing the action. Delgado was willing to work off the ropes as both fighters threw and connected uppercuts on the inside.
Moments into the third round, a right hand from Huerta dropped Delgado flat onto his back. Delgado stood up on wobbly legs, but was met with a barrage of punches, prompting referee Thomas Taylor to stop the bout at 36 seconds.
“He was a tough fighter, but I knew I had to stick to the jab,” said Huerta after the fight. “As the fight went on, I was seeing everything he was giving me. After the second round, when I went back to my corner, I told my Dad, ‘I got him.'”
“Coming into this fight, I knew my experience was key and that is what I was able to show.”
The Delgado loss comes five weeks after another Golden Boy fighter lost his unbeaten record, also at the Belasco, when Cristian “Chimpa” Gonzalez was knocked out in the second round by Romero Duno on March 10.
In the co-feature bout of the “LA Fight Club” card, East Los Angeles’ Jonathan Navarro stopped Joan Jose Valenzuela at 2:21 of the fifth round.
Navarro, who is trained by Robert Garcia, improves to 9-0 (6 KOs). Valenzuela falls to 4-8-1 (4 KOs).
“It’s been a while since I’ve had a knockout, so it feels great to end on that note,” said Navarro after the fight.
In junior lightweight action, Manny Robles Jr., who recently signed a promotional contract with Golden Boy Promotions, won a one-sided six-round decision over Jose Antonio Martinez (7-9, 5 KOs). Scores were 60-54, 60-54, and 59-55 for Robles, who improves to 12-0 (4 KOs).
Featherweight Pablo Rubio (9-0, 3 KOs) won a six-round unanimous decision over Angel Aguilar (8-12, 1 KO). All three judges scored the bout 59-55 in favor of Rubio, who is managed by NBA star Metta World Peace.
Featherweight Edgar Valerio (10-0, 6 KOs) stopped Francisco Dominguez (7-10, 1 KO) at the end of the second round.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene.com since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper, RingTV.com, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing
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