Rene Alvarado stops Roger Gutierrez in seven at LA Fight Club
LOS ANGELES – Rene Alvarado was considered a test for Roger Gutierrez in his U.S. debut Friday night.
Unfortunately, Gutierrez did not get a passing grade.
Alvarado schooled Gutierrez for most of the fight, eventually earning a technical knockout victory in Round 7, shocking the Belasco Theater crowd.
With the win, Alvarado improves to 26-8 (18 knockouts). Gutierrez falls to 15-1-1 (12 KOs).
Gutierrez may have entered the Alvarado fight unbeaten, but had faced inferior opposition in his native Venezuela. Prior to his clash with Alvarado, only four of Gutierrez’s 16 opponents had a winning record.
Alvarado was a featherweight contender up until a few years ago, but suffered losses to the likes of Rocky Juarez, Joseph Diaz, and Eric Hunter. Now campaigning as a junior lightweight, Alvarado had won two of his previous three fights.
After an even opening round, Alvarado’s experience came into play. Despite the height advantage he gave up to Gutierrez, Alvarado was able to get on the inside, ripping punches to the head and body.
By the midway point of the scheduled eight-round bout, Alvarado’s punches began to take their toll on Gutierrez, whose own punch output dropped. Gutierrez’s face was reddening with each passing round.
Alvarado kept applying pressure, finally hitting pay-dirt in the seventh round. A series of combinations to the head stunned Gutierrez, prompting his corner to throw in the towel, which prompted referee David Mendoza to stop the fight at 1:34.
In the co-feature bout, featherweight Edgar Valerio survived a second-round knockdown to win an eight-round unanimous decision over Jairo Ochoa.
Ochoa, who has faced a number of contenders and unbeaten prospects, was a significant step-up in opposition for Valerio, who is managed by Joel De La Hoya.
Valerio dropped Ochoa at the end of the opening round. Valerio went in for the kill in the opening moments of the second, but was dropped by a left hook from Ochoa. Valerio was not visibly hurt, fighting back and scoring another knockdown moments later, again with a left hook.
The shorter Ochoa looked to land one punch at a time, particularly left hooks to the head. For every punch Ochoa would land, Valerio connected with two or three punches at a time, especially in the second half of the fight.
Scores were 80-71, 80-71, and 79-72 in favor of Valerio.
Bantamweight Joshua Franco had to grind out a six-round unanimous decision over Antonio Rodriguez.
Franco last fought on June 17, winning an eight-round unanimous decision over Oscar Mojica to capture a regional title belt.
Rodriguez had a height and reach advantage over Franco, but chose to fight on the inside. Rodriguez was effective with initiating exchanges, but Franco countered with straight right hands to the head. Franco’s punches were shorter and compact, allowing him to beat Rodriguez to the punch during numerous exchanges.
All three judges scored the bout 60-54 in favor of Franco, who is trained by Robert Garcia.
Middleweight prospect Meiirim Nursultanov of Kazakhstan knocked out Lanny Dardar at 1:47 of the first round.
In junior welterweight action, Cristobal Ortiz knocked out Ronald Rodriguez at 1:46 of the second round.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for RingTV.com since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper, Boxingscene.com, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing.