By Rocky Morales at ringside
Photos: Sumio Yamada
Sullivan Barrera (20-1, 14KO) captured the WBC Intercontinental Light Heavyweight Title with a unanimous decision victory over the dangerous and hard hitting Joe Smith Jr. (23-2, 19KO) on Saturday night at the Forum in Los Angeles.
Barrera tasted the canvas late in round one from a left hook counter but mostly dominated the remainder of the scheduled ten round bout. Smith had his moments and landed occasional hard shots but he also endured a lot of punishment from Barrera along the way. Judges scored the bout 97-92 (twice) and 96-93, all in favor of Barrera.
Fast rising Ryan Garcia (10-0, 9KO) made quick work of veteran Mario Macias (27-22-1, 14KO), knocking him down seconds into the scheduled six round lightweight bout and knocking him out moments later. The 18 year old Garcia, a celebrated amateur with an amateur record of 215-15 and 15 time National Gold Medal Champion, was on a seek and destroy mission and Macias, coming off a 28 month layoff, never had a chance. Macias drops his fourth in a row with the loss. Time of the knockout was 1:18 of the first round.
Mercito “No Mercy” Gesta (31-1-2, 17KO) wore down and stopped two time world title challenger, Martin Honorio (33-11-1, 16KO) at 0:18 of the eighth round. Gesta suffered a cut early in the bout from an accidental head butt but was not deterred, knocking down Honorio in the fourth round and methodically outboxing him the rest of the way. Following a barrage of punches to open the eighth round, the referee had seen enough and mercifully called a stop to the bout. With the victory, Gesta potentially moves back into the top 10 rankings and puts himself back in title contention.
Unheralded Diuhl Olguin (11-7-2, 9KO) scored the biggest win of his career with an upset unanimous decision victory over Horacio Garcia (32-3-1, 22KO) in an eight round featherweight bout. Olguin ended a three fight losing streak and knocked Garcia down in each the second and eighth rounds. Garcia really seemed to struggle with the southpaw stance of Olguin. Judges scored the bout 77-73 (twice) and 76-74, all in favor of Olguin who beats an opponent with a winning record for just the second time in his career but who does so very decisively.
Manny Robles Jr (13-0, 5KO) scored a fifth round stoppage over veteran Christian Esquivel (29-12, 22KO) in a scheduled eight round featherweight bout. Robles was in command of the bout and it came to a surprising and sudden halt when Esquivel walked back to his corner mid-round and chose not to continue. Time of the stoppage was 1:08 of the fifth round.
In opening bout action from The Forum in Inglewood, CA, Recky Dulay (10-2, 7KO) scored a minor upset with a crushing knockout victory over Panamanian fighter, Jaime Arboleda (10-1, 8KO). The two fought evenly up until the point of the knockout when Dulay caught Arboleda perfectly with a hard counter shot that had Arboleda go timber in slow motion. Arboleda tried twice unsuccessfully to get up but his legs did not cooperate as he fell down dramatically to the canvas with each attempt. It was the first time that Arboleda fought outside his native Panama and just the third time Dulay fought outside his native Philippines. Time of the knockout was 2:03 of the third round.