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  Gomez Crushes Proctor, Caballero Wins Title

By Barbara Pinnella


This past Friday night Golden Boy Promotions Solo Boxeo once again originated from the Fantasy Springs Hotel and Casino in Indio, California, and was televised on TeleFutura. There was a sold-out crowd of 1500 people in attendance. It was on this card that home town hero Randy “El Matador” Caballero (12-0, 7 KO’s) went for his first title belt, facing off against Alexis Santiago (7-1-1, 2 KO’s) for the vacant WBC Youth Intercontinental Super Bantamweight title.

But more about that a bit later. First there was the main event of the evening. This was a fight between East L.A.’s Frankie Gomez (10-0, 8 KO’s) and Kadaphi Proctor (7-6-1), and was scheduled for eight rounds in the Junior Welterweight division.

This was a rather interesting first round, but not necessarily in a good way. Gomez was doing a lot of the hitting and Proctor doing more pushing. A rather lack-luster second round. In the third Proctor slipped and was hit on the way down. It was scored as a knockdown. I was almost feeling sorry for Gomez at this point, as Proctor was making it a very difficult and ugly fight.

The fourth round proved to be the last. After taking many shots from really good right hands by Gomez, the fight was waved off at 2:25. Put another win on the record of Frankie. Hindsight is wonderful, but since I have some of that right now, it’s too bad that another fight was not the main event. That is taking nothing away from Gomez. He is so much sharper than we got to see here. But there were a couple of fights which would have been much more entertaining for the television audience.

Now, that co-main event between Caballero and Santiago. Randy has a huge following down here in the desert, and the crowd was large, as his fans did not want to miss out on his possible title victory. But make no mistake, Santiago had his group of fans in attendance, and they were loud as well. This fight was to go a scheduled eight rounds, and not only was one of these men going to walk out wearing a belt, the other was going to suffer his first professional loss. (An interesting little side note here on these two 20-year-olds; Santiago is older than Randy – by one day!)

The first round saw both fighters trying to land some punches, but it was Caballero who scored the most. Second round saw Alexis connecting a bit, while Randy was able to dodge and block several of the punches. Caballero also made contact as well.

A good third for Santiago, as he was able to penetrate Caballero’s defense for most of the round. Randy made corrections in the next round, and seemed to be back on track. In the fifth and sixth we saw more back and forth action. But make no mistake, Randy was the one scoring the most points.

Randy was still in the groove, and got in some really good punches in the seventh round. But we were looking at two very different styles, the slick and more polished Caballero, against the strong and sometimes bullish Santiago. In the eighth and final Caballero was the again the aggressor.

We went to the scorecards. With scores of 80-72 twice and a 79-73, the NEW WBC Youth Intercontinental Super Bantamweight Champion is Randy Caballero!!

Caballero had been a bit overweight at the weigh-in and when he met me at the media table a bit later, he commented on that. “My scale said I was on weight, so I came in thinking I was on weight, but no excuses. I just went and sat in my car and the heat just sweat it all off!”

He then spoke a bit about his fight. “I knew he would come to fight. In the beginning he was trying to come in strong and push me back but then I figured him out. I knew I had the clear victory.”

When asked how it felt to have a belt, he replied with a smile, “It feels really good. I know this was a big step for me, and whatever they have next for me, I’m ready. I’ll fight short fights or long ones, whatever, I don’t care.”

The TV swing bout was a scheduled six rounder in the Junior Welterweight division between Antonio Orozco (11-0, 8 KO’s) and Joshua Beeman (4-10-2, 2 KO’s). In the opening round hard lefts and rights to the body dropped Beeman. But just as one might think that the fight would be over quickly, with Orozco on the winning end, Joshua sent Antonio to the canvas right at the bell. Hmm.

The second was back to business for Antonio. He is a skilled fighter with good technique and power. In the third a quick right by Orozco put Beeman down for the second time in the fight. Several seconds later a left put him down again, where he stayed until the count of ten. The fight ended at 2:03 of the third round.

A Junior Welterweight bout scheduled for four rounds was between Guadalupe Salcido, who was making his professional debut, going up against Stephen Rubalcava (0-5).

This was a very one-sided fight all the way through. Rubalcava, while not a small man, showed no power whatsoever, and Salcido, while in his first pro fight, was showing he was the better fighter. To be honest, the only surprise was that the fight went all four rounds, so we had to go to those judges’ scorecards. All of the judges saw the fight the same way, 40-36 all for Salcido, who made his first pro fight a winning one.

A fight scheduled for four rounds was in the Flyweight division between Seniesa Estrada (2-0) facing off against Blanca Raymundo (0-4). Estrada is a scrappy little fighter, but both women showed a lot of grit. As the rounds went on, Raymundo was getting stronger and really connecting with her punches. This ended up being a good fight with bright spots for both women. Again to the scorecards. The judges saw it 40-36 twice and 39-37 all for Estrada. I think that Raymundo made a better showing than that, but that’s why I’m sitting here at a computer.

The fight that opened the evening was a very competitive fight, and a great one to start off the evening with. It was between a local favorite – from right here in Indio – Eduardo Vasquez (4-1, 2 KO’s), who looked across the ring at Juan Sandoval (5-6-1, 3 KO’s) in a Featherweight fight scheduled for six rounds.

On paper it should have been all Vasquez, but nobody told that to Sandoval, or if they did he did not care. He landed some great shots on Eduardo, and pressured him the entire first round. A hard fought second round, as both men stood toe to toe and slugged it out for most of the three minutes. At one time it did appear as if Sandoval hurt Vasquez.

The third was a better round for Vasquez, but Sandoval still had some fight in him and continued to land punches. The fourth found Vasquez in trouble again, and Juan almost put him down.

Sandoval had been using body shots and really punishing Vasquez, but it was a barrage of punches that finally put Vasquez on the canvas in round five. The sixth and final saw Sandoval still in control. Odd that Eduardo would want to hold throughout the fight, since each time he did so, he got brutalized by those body shots of Juan’s.

We had to go to the scorecards, and they read 59-54, and 58-55 twice, all for Juan Sandoval. Again, a really exciting first fight.

The best quote of the night came from ring announcer Joe Martinez. After only three bouts had been fought, there had already been several fights that broke out in the crowd. Martinez was quick to say, “We have three more fights left, and hopefully they’ll be in the ring!”

So the strong performances were quite good on this night. The Caballero/Santiago contest was a good one, with the intensity of the fans adding a bit more excitement. And the Sandoval/Vasquez match was really, really good. Too bad this one did not make TV, for it was a really fun fight. Finally, Orozco and Gomez each gave a strong accounting of themselves, and while it was good he won so quickly, it would have been nice to see each of them fight a bit more.


Be safe and God Bless,
Viva La Raza,
Barb.



 

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