By John Unland
Alcaraz Jr. Promotions hosted an eight bout card at the Cruz Lopez Baseball Stadium in Matamoros, Mexico this past Friday. This one had a little bit of everything. Knockouts, debuts, upsets, local fighters and fan favorites highlighted a fun night of boxing in this town on the Texas border.
The opening bout of the evening saw heavyweight Rolando Soto of Brownsville, TX make his pro debut against the winless Daniel Hernandez. Hernandez was throwing wild looping shots from the opening bell that rarely found their mark, and Soto was able to counter with power shots of his own. When Hernandez did land his punches had little effect on the much taller Soto who was able to walk through his punches and land combination after combination to the head and body of Hernandez. Hernandez took a knee, and an 8-count, with about a minute left in the round and held on to survive the opening stanza. Soto (1-0) was declared the winner when Hernandez (0-7) didn’t leave his stool for the second round.
Up next was Armando Aguilar making his debut against Abraham Vargas of nearby Reynosa in a 4 rounder. The first round started with both fighters working behind their jabs trying to find an opening, but about halfway through a clash of heads changed the game plan of both fighters. Vargas was missing badly with hooks to the head of Aguilar, and Aguilar for his part started working his combinations and kept Vargas backing up occasionally trapping him against the ropes. The second round was all Aguilar, as Vargas never threw more than two punches at a time, he was able to easily find his timing and land almost at will. Vargas finally went down at the end of the round and the referee waved it off at the bell as he made no attempt to get up. Vargas was game but could match the speed or output of Aguilar and he falls to 0-2. with the stoppage Aguilar, fighting out of Tampico, starts his career 1-0.
Gabriel Ayala of Mercedes, Texas and Angel Gomes of Reynosa, Mexico squared off next in a 4 round middleweight bought. Both fighters came out trying to work behind a jab and set up their combinations early. It was evident fairly quickly that Ayala held the advantage in the power department as the punches of Gomes did little to no damage. Ayala pressed the action and put Gomes down in the corner at the end of the round, but Gomes was able to beat the count and survive until the bell. Things got sloppy in the second as there was a lot of holding and dirty tactics. Gomes was on the attack for most of the round but could not do enough damage to hurt or even slow down Ayala. Gomes was pushed to the canvas twice and Ayala was also warned for a low blow, but to his credit Gomes kept his cool and kept landing combinations before being countered and tied up by Ayala. Ayala took complete control in the third round and Gomes appeared to run out of gas. Gomes got caught on the ropes halfway through the round and an unanswered barrage of body shots from Ayala forced the referee to stop it. Gomes falls to 1-1 and Ayala is now 4-2 with 4 KOs.
Vicente Morales who fights out of Matamoros and Cristian Pinones from Nuevo Laredo mixed it up an exciting super welterweight bout. Morales started off slow and Pinones was working well from the outside, but towards the the end of the first round Morales was able to start getting inside and get the better of the exchanges. The best round was the second which saw both fighters exchange power shots for the entire round, and while Morales got the better of most of the exchanges, Pinones held his own and landed some good shots. Pinones was gassed in the third and the experience of Morales took over. Morales dropped Pinones a minute into the round with a right hook to the temple, and while Pinones was able to beat the count he was down again seconds later from a left hook and his corner wisely threw in the towel. Pinones drops to 0-2 while the local fighter Morales evens his record at 3-3-2 with 2 KOs.
Ivan Najera scored the upset of the night when he scored an eight round decision over Duarn Vue, who now fights out of Texas. Vue just did not look sharp in this one and was simply outworked by Najera. The scores were not announced but it was a close all action fight and even though neither fighter was ever seriously in trouble both fighters had their moments. Najera was able to land some shots from a distance and every time Vue was able to get inside he was able to punch his way out trouble. Vue did most of his damage on the inside, but he was never able to keep sustained pressure on his opponent. Vue will need to figure out what went wrong in this one as he drops his second straight and falls to 14-3-2 while the veteran Najera improves to 3-20.
Roberto Garcia returned to the ring against journeyman Francisco Marquez of Jalisco. Garcia had been out of the ring for more than a year but he had no trouble with Marquez. Marquez had little to offer in the way of offense and was only trying to survive. The end came at 2:18 of the second when Garcia caught Marquez against the ropes and put him down with a combination of hooks. Marquez who turned pro back in 1995 is now 24-40 while Garcia gets back in the win column and is 42-4 with 25 KOs.
Armando Gonzales of Matamoros battled Jonathan Najera to a draw. This four round super bantamweight contest was in the center of the ring as both fighters went toe to toe for all four rounds. Gonzales was definitely the fan favorite but Najera came to fight and while he landed more punches, but he could not match the power Gonzales. Even though neither fighter was in danger of being stopped in this one and there were no knockdowns, Najera looked out of gas at the end and appeared lucky to leave with the draw. Gonzales, now 3-0-1 has some skill, and he definitely has the charisma, but he will need to work on his defense as he continues his career. The 17 year old Najera goes to 2-5-1.
Alex Segovia of Nuevo Laredo and Iram Rodriguez of Matamoros rounded out the night with a 6 rounder. It was a fairly lackluster affair as neither fighter showed much power and both just looked to be in survival mode from the opening bell. The 41 year old Segovia had nothing left for the final two rounds, but Rodriguez was unable to finish it early, and seemed happy to take the decision. Segovia sees his record fall to 9-8-1 while Rodriguez improves to 4-3-3.