LA FIGHT CLUB KICKS OFF FOURTH OF JULY WEEKENED WITH NIGHT OF EXPLOSIVE FIGHTS AT THE BELASCO THEATER
GONZALEZ STOPS HERRERA IN THRILLING MAIN EVENT FIGHT
LOS ANGELES (July 2) – There were fireworks in the ring at the July 2 edition of LA FIGHT CLUB at the historic Belasco Theater in downtown Los Angeles, kicking off the long Fourth of July holiday weekend early with a live telecast of great boxing on FOX Deportes. Once again, LA FIGHT CLUB proved itself as a hot destination for entertainment with fans, celebrities and notable figures packing the venue including Mario Lopez, Kate Del Castillo, George Lopez, System of a Down’s Daron Malakian, City of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, Mexican singer Lupillo Rivera, and radio personality RaqC (MEGA 96.3 FM).
Opening up the night in an evenly matched fight, Emilio Sanchez (9-0, 6 KOs) of Los Angeles and Jose Cen-Torres (13-8, 1 KO) of Merida, Mexico were both on the attack with fierce offenses in the first round of their six-round, non-televised featherweight bout. The bout featured a steady flow of rapid exchanges between the two hungry fighters. Emilio Sanchez ultimately proved victorious with a unanimous decision win after dictating the pace and landing repeated heavy shots throughout the fight.
Sanchez was pleased with his win saying, “I knew I landed the harder shots and even though it went the distance, it was great experience.”
“I thought I won,” said Jose Cen Torres. “I know I frustrated him but that’s how it goes. I’m pleased to have put on a show that the fans enjoyed.
Next up was an eight-round featherweight bout between Oscar “Jaguar” Negrete (11-0, 3 KOs) and Ramiro Robles (12-4-1, 6 KOs), which continued the action. The aggressive-minded Negrete started out strong, hurting Robles early on. Robles weathered the storm and kept throwing punches, leading to vicious exchanges between both fighters. The stronger and faster Negrete was ultimately awarded a hard-fought but well-deserved unanimous decision.
“His style didn’t surprise me,” said Negrete of Robles. “My team and I were well prepared but he (Robles) has a great chin. My team and I are working towards a world title so fights like these show I’m here to not only win but give the fans a great show.”
“He’s a strong fighter and he hurt me early on to the body, but I did feel a second wind as the fight went on and so I kept punching,” said Robles of his fight against Negrete.
In the co-main event of the night, Diego De La Hoya (11-0, 7 KOs) kept his unfefeated status with a knockout win over Jose “Hollywood” Estrella (14-6-1, 10 KOs) of Tijuana, Mexico. De La Hoya showcased his exceptional speed, power and timing, stopping the tough Jose Estrella in the fourth-round. The first knockdown came off of De La Hoya’s right hand that nearly sent Estrella through the ropes.
“There is a lot of pressure on me with my family name and it really motivates my opponents to come out strong to try and beat me,” said De La Hoya. “My team and I worked hard and were well prepared and it feels great to win by knockout and live up to the De La Hoya name.”
The night neared a close with an action-packed crescendo as main event fighters Gilberto “El Flaco” Gonzalez (26-3, 21 KOs) and Hevinson Herrera (17-11-1, 11 KOs) battled viciously, forcing the referee to step in in the third-round. The bout featured fierce exchanges and some moments of danger as both were hurt but strove to keep fighting. Ultimately, Gonzalez was awarded victory in the third-round when the referee stepped in to end the bout following a series of unanswered blows, leaving Herrera unhappy with the stoppage.
“The ref shouldn’t have stopped it, plain and simple,” said Herrera. “I knew I had him hurt, and my biggest mistake was that I wore myself out trying to finish him because I knew I could end it.”
“He landed some good shots, and he’s a tough guy,” Gonzalez said following the fight. “In the end, I think the referee made the right choice. I was hitting him a lot, and the referee made a good choice. I’m glad I was able to put on a great show and come away with such a decisive win.”
Ending the night in a four-round welterweight swing bout that didn’t make airtime, Melsik Baghdasaryan (2-0, 1 KO) of Glendale, Calif. secured the second win of his professional career after dominating opponent Abraham Calderon (0-2) of Los Angeles.