Rafael Guzman and David Moreno battle to a draw Wednesday night
Junior welterweights Rafael Guzman and David Moreno fought to an action-filled draw Wednesday night, at La Casa de Los Zonkeys, in Moreno’s hometown of Tijuana, Mexico.
One judge scored the bout 96-94 for Guzman; the second judge scored the bout 97-93 for Moreno, while the third judge scored the bout 95-95.
Guzman worked mostly from the center of the ring from the opening bell, taking the initiative as both traded combinations. The shorter Moreno (11-0-1, 7 knockouts) attempted to get on the inside to throw uppercuts but found success by repeatedly landing lead and counter left hands upstairs. Undaunted, Guzman landed two and three-punch combinations to Moreno’s head and body.
The taller Guzman (26-2-2, 16 KOs), who resides in nearby Ensenada, stunned Moreno with a two-punch combination to the head in Round 5. The southpaw Moreno weathered the storm and fought back to end the round. Guzman again stunned Moreno, this time in Round 7, after Moreno was the aggressor over the last couple of rounds.
Both fighters had their moments over the last couple of rounds. Moreno unleashed left crosses to Guzman’s head, stunning the taller fighter on two occasions in Round 9. Guzman maintained his composure, fighting back and connecting with combinations.
The two fighters let it all out during the final round. Guzman looked more exhausted but hung in the pocket with Moreno as both fighters threw combinations until the final bell sounded.
In the co-feature bout, middleweight prospect Endry Saavedra remained unbeaten by stopping Carlos Gallego in Round 7.
Saavedra, who is originally from Ciudad Bolivar, Venezuela, and now lives and trains in Tijuana, improves to 13-0, 9 KOs.
The 30-year-old Saavedra worked behind a consistent jab, connecting with hooks and uppercuts to Gallego’s head. As the bout progressed to the middle rounds, Saavedra’s punches began breaking Gallego down, as Saavedra began to focus his attack to the body.
In Round 4, Gallego dropped to the canvas complaining of a low blow from Saavedra. Replays showed the punch landed slightly below the beltline but Gallego was given time to recover before the action continued.
Saavedra was in control and continued to land punches. In Round 6, Gallego was deducted a point for intentionally headbutting Saavedra. Fortunately neither fighter suffered a cut but it was a matter of time before Saavedra would end matters, which he did the following round. Saavedra backed Gallego in a corner, where he unleashed a barrage of punches, prompting the referee to step in and stop the fight.
Gallego, who resides in Magdalena, Mexico, drops to 8-3, 6 KOs.
Junior middleweight Ruben Aguilar improved to 18-0, 14 KOs by knocking out Victor Gonzalez Rodriguez in Round 2.
Aguilar hurt Gonzalez early in Round 1, which set the tone for the duration of the fight. About 40 seconds into Round 2, a hard right hand upstairs dropped Gonzalez to the canvas. Gonzalez struggled to get up but could not beat the referee’s 10-count.
Gonzalez, who resides in Ciudad Acuna, Mexico, falls to 23-7, 12 KOs.
In an upset on paper, junior bantamweight Sebastian Gomez (14-7, 10 KOs) of Teopisca, Mexico, stopped previously-unbeaten George Navarro in the final moments of the eighth and final round.
After controlling the action early on, Gomez hurt Navarro in Round 4. Another barrage of punches connected for Gomez, dropping Navarro to the canvas. Navarro beat the count but did not seem to have his legs under him for the rest of the fight.
Navarro (8-1-1, 4 KOs), who resides in Los Angeles, was game but Gomez got on the inside, connecting almost at will. Navarro looked worse for wear with each passing round. The end came late in Round 8 as Gomez continued punishing Navarro. A vicious right hand hurt Navarro, prompting the referee to step in and stop the fight.
Wednesday night’s card was promoted by Zanfer Boxing and streamed live on ESPN Knockout.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @FSalazarBoxing.