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  Gesta Gifted Split Decision Victory Over Diaz

By William Trillo
Photos: Marlene Marquez


Stepping in to headline the Main Event, lightweights Joseph Diaz (32-4-1, 15 KOs) and Mercito Gesta (34-3-3, 17 KOs) did their very best to give the California fans a good show, and that they did. With both fighters possessing rapid punching speed but lacking true KO power, this was a pillar to post war of attrition that went the ten-round distance.

Throughout the fight Diaz was coming forward, in fact I do not recall him taking a backward step. Gesta was content to be fighting off his back foot and at times was languishing on the ropes as Diaz was throwing punches.

If effective aggressiveness means anything it appeared Diaz was doing enough to get himself ahead on the scorecards after ten rounds. Apparently, that only impressed one of the judges who scored the fight 97-93 for Diaz. On the other hand the other two judges saw this fight from different point of view as they scored the fight conclusively for Gesta with scores of 99-91 and 98-92 respectively.

The Diaz hometown crowd was less than pleased with the decision rendered. To be honest, the wide difference in scoring from the judges caught this reporter by surprise as well. All in all, the fight filled the main event void very well and both men can be proud of their performances.

I feel great about the outcome, said Mercito Gesta. We had our game plan and I listened to my corner. It was a close fight. With Coach Marvin Somodio, I have learned that I can move around a lot more and I am excited to have another full training camp with him. If I were to choose my next opponent, I want William El Camarn Zepeda next.

Lightweight Alex Martin (18-5, 6 KOs) had never been stopped in 22 fights. Enter Oscar Duarte (25-1-1, 20 KOs), who brought an end to that streak. For seven rounds Martin used a silk southpaw style to make most of Duartes shots ineffective.

But a relentless attack by Oscar paid dividends in round eight as a straight right hand buckled a dazed Martin. Upon rising to his feet Martin was met by another Duarte right hand. Wobbling on the ropes the ref brought this one to a halt at the 1:14 mark of round 8. Duarte is one of the shining stars in The Golden Boy stable. Hopefully we will be seeing a lot more of him in 2023.

I feel very happy about this victory, said Oscar Duarte. This is for Parral, Chihuahua and for all the fans that came out today. We had a great rival in front of us who had tremendous experience. Being the first fighter to knock Alex Martin out gives me confirmation about my abilities and confidence in being able to one day fight for a world title. This victory tells me that I have fire in my fists and that I have the power bank to win a championship.

A clash of heads in round four turned an already rugged battle of undefeated prospects into a slugfest. With blood now streaming down his face Super Welterweight Eric Tudor (8-0, 6 KOs) kicked it into high gear and started to lump up the face of his opponent Damoni Cato-Cain (7-1-1, 6 KOs). Rounds five through eight were a slugfest and testament of wills as neither man was willing to fall under the power of his adversaries power shots. After eight brutal rounds judges tallies read 80-72 and 78-74 twice all in favor of Eric Tudor.

Featherweight Patricio Manuel (2-0) dropped Hien Huynh (1-2) in round one and then after an accidental headbutt the fight was stopped. Going to the scorecards Manuel took a unanimous decision 40-34 on all cards.

Featherweight Dalis Kaleiopu (4-0, 3 KOs) took a hard fought decision over Jonathan Perez (40-35, 32 KOs) in this six round affair. Along the way Perez was deducted two points for rabbit punches, which led to very lopsided scores from the judges.

Featherweight Jorge Chavez (5-0, 4 KOs) uncorked a wicked four punch combination on Bryan Perez (12-17-1, 11 KOs) early in round one and that was all she wrote. End of story.


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