Rey Vargas Retains WBC Title in Victory over Tomoki Kameda
July 14, 2019
Anthony Saldana (100 articles)
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Rey Vargas Retains WBC Title in Victory over Tomoki Kameda

By Anthony “Stacks” Saldaña

Saturday night under the stars, and headlining a stacked Golden Boy on DAZN card at Dignity Health Sports Parks in Carson, California, the reigning defending WBC Super Bantamweight Champion Rey Vargas (34-0, 22 KO’s) took on and defeated the WBC No. 1 Contender and former world champion Tomoki “El Mexicanito” Kameda (36-3, 20 KOs) in a highly anticipated super bantamweight showdown. However the fight never lived up to the hype. In an arena that is known for being “Gladiator Grounds” the Vargas vs Kameda fight was ugly and far from exciting. Throughout the fight, Vargas the taller man used his extensive reach and awkward fighting style to keep his Japanese opponent at bay. Kameda came forward and pressed the action the entire fight as Vargas controlled the distance and the pace of the bout and frustrated his opponent while doing so. At times Kameda would bull his way in, throw wild shots but Vargas would simply play role of “El Matador”. Kameda would occasionally have success but it was never enough  to dethrone the champ who after 12 lackluster rounds won by the scores of 117-110 on all three judges scorecards. After the scores were read Loud boos erupted throughout the arena and Vargas stated “I believe that we made this a very smart fight, an intelligent one. This is a boxer’s style, to fight with precision. I believe that he brought a lot of fans from Japan and that’s why they don’t agree with the decision.”

Ronny Rios celebrates his upset win over undefeated prospect Diego De La Hoya
Photo By Cynthia Saldana

In the Co-Main event Diego De La Hoya (21-1, 13 KOs) of Mexicali, Mexico suffered the first loss of his career to hometown favorite Ronny Rios (31-3, 15 KOs) of Santa Ana, California in fight for the vacant WBA Gold Super Bantamweight Title. De La Hoya who is a cousin of Oscar has had number of his last fights at bantamweight canceled due to his failure to make weight, Saturday night however weight wasn’t the problem for De La Hoya, but Rios was. Rios who is a world championship contender used his experience and fought the fight of his life Saturday night. The early rounds seen really good back and fourth action between the two, but it was at the end of the 5th round that Rios caught the attention of De La Hoya with some hard shots. Then In the sixth, Rios landed a devastating two punch combination that put De La Hoya on the canvas. De La Hoya beat the count, but informed the referee he no longer wanted to fight and the fight was waved off. “I feel great. It is an unbelievable feeling. Especially winning in front of my friends and family who came out here to support me” Stated Rios “I want to thank you guys from the bottom of my heart. I did this for me, but I dedicate this victory to you guys. I was in a dark place. It was very hard to come back but thanks to my team, especially Hector Lopez who pushed me. He got me mad, he got me irritated at times. But man, he inspired me to come back and not for anyone else, but for myself. I am proof to fighters all around the world: no matter how many times you lose, you can still come back as long as you believe in yourself.”

In another intriguing match-up undefeated contender Joet Gonzalez (23-0, 11 KOs) of Glendora, California entered the ring against Manuel “Tino” Avila (23-2-1, 8 KOs) of Fairfield, California, for the vacant WBO Global Featherweight Title and WBA Continental Featherweight. On paper Avila, who’s only loss came to Joseph “JoJo” Diaz looked to be Gonzalez’ toughest fight to date. Avila began the fight the better boxer and used his jab to control the distance. Gonzalez however began cutting off the ring and started landing punches with bad intentions in the 4th round. Gonzalez continued to punish Avila dropping him in the 5th round, and by the 6th, the corner of Avila had seen their fighter take enough punishment, jumped on to the mat and waived the fight off. Gonzalez stated after the fight “I hope you enjoyed the fight, I am going to keep working hard. I don’t care if I lose. I am not like these cherry pickers. I will fight the best and beat the best. I just want the champions and I will keep training hard to give you great fights.”


Roger Gutierrez Lands a Solid Right To Stop “Rocky” Hernandez
photo by Cynthia Saldana

Also on the card undefeated Mexican prospect Eduardo “Rocky” Hernandez (28-1, 25 KOs) was knocked out in an absolute stunner when he battled the alway tough Roger “The Kid” Gutierrez  (22-3-1, 18 KOs) from Maracaibo, Venezuela. Hernandez started quick but was caught with a big over hand right to the temple followed by a solid, two punch combination that dropped Hernandez for the first time in his career. Hernandez tried to stand but had shaky legs, lost his balance and hit the canvas again as the referee waived the fight off. After his victory Gutierrez stated I won with my mentality. I came in here to rip his head off and that’s what you saw. It was my mentality that made the difference. Everyone on my team, my family, my parents, my children – they all believed in me. That’s how I did it.”


Alexis Rocha lands a hard body shot in route to his knockout victory
Photo By Cynthia Saldana

Local fan favorite and WBC Continental Americas Champion, Alexis “Lex” Rocha (14-0, 8 KOs) of Santa Ana, California stood toe to toe with Berlin Abreu (14-3, 11 KOs) of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republican. From the opening bell Rocha focused on body of Abreu and quickly turned the fight with his opponent into a phone booth type of brawl. The Dominican Abreu fought tough but the power of the undefeated Rocha proved to be too much as in the 8th round Rocha landed a barrage of punches forcing referee Jack Reiss to step in and call a halt to the bout. After the fight Rocha stated “I feel good. He was way tougher than I expected. Kudos to him. But I’m hard on myself. I’m my biggest critic. I think I should have gotten him out quicker. That’s the way I look at it. I want to get back in there with some big names.”

In other bouts

Middleweight prospect Jonathan Esquivel (11-0, 10 KOs) of Anaheim, California remained undefeated with his first round KO of Gregory Clark (4-4-1, 1 KO) “It feels great to have fought here at the Dignity Health Sports Park. This is a place where many legends have fought.” Stated Esquivel after his victory.

Undefeated lightweight Jousce “Tito” Gonzalez (9-0-1, 9 KOs) of Glendora, California defeated Jorge Pardon (3-4, 3 KO’s) of Sonora, Mexico, by second round knockout. After the fight Gonzalez stated “I’m my toughest critic. I give myself a 5 out of 10. There are a lot of things I could have done to get him out earlier, so that’s why I give myself a 5 out of 10. I feel good to be back in action. I want to be busy. I didn’t take many shots today, so I’m ready to come back soon.”

Ruslan Madiyev (13-1, 5 KOs) defeated veteran Ricky Sismundo (35-14-3, 17 KOs) by in  unanimous decision in scheduled 8-round super lightweight contest. 

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Anthony Saldana