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  Santa Cruz Defeats Lopez;
Ramos, Caballero & Loya Also Remain Unbeaten

By Barbara Pinnella
Photo: William Trillo


Golden Boy Promotions put on their card for TeleFutura’s “Solo Boxeo Tecate” at the Fantasy Springs Resort and Casino this past Friday night. Before the event took place, 2004 U.S. Olympian Vicente Escobedo and Former World Champion Daniel Ponce De Leon held a meet and greet. This was a big success and well-received.

In the televised main event we saw the unbeaten Leo Santa Cruz (16-0-1, 8 KO’s) going up against a former World Champion in 39-year-old Jose Lopez (39-10-2, 32 KO’s). This fight was for a scheduled eight rounds in the Bantamweight division.

A fairly active first round, with Santa Cruz, not surprisingly, was being more the aggressor. In round two the right hand of Leo found its target almost every time thrown and at almost every part of the body. Lopez kept trying to find an answer for it, but he wasn’t too successful.

Santa Cruz’ right hand continued to be effective in the third. Lopez did get in some shots but they did little damage to Leo. The fourth round saw much of the same. Jose is tough, as he kept taking the shots of Santa Cruz, but the much younger Leo was far out-punching his opponent.

In the fifth the onslaught of punches from Santa Cruz intensified. Finally, after a barrage of lefts and rights, the fight was waved off by Tony Crebs at 2:35 of the fifth round. Lopez was a war horse, I’ll give him that, but he was no match for all that Santa Cruz offered up on this night.

After the fight Santa Cruz had this to say. “I was going to the body at first, but got frustrated. I felt his power in the third round and just kept working, and knocked him out. This was my first fight after signing with Golden Boy Promotions and I wanted to impress them.”

The co-main event, which was also televised and was the second fight on the card, saw another unbeaten fighter, Luis Ramos, Jr. (19-0, 8 KO’s) pitted against Francisco Lorenzo (39-10, 16 KO’s). This fight was also scheduled for eight, but in the Light Welterweight division this time. While this has absolutely nothing to do with the fight itself, Ramos had awesome purple and silver robe and trunks.

A give and take first round, with both fighters testing the range and power. Ramos was the more active of the pair and connected the most, albeit Lorenzo tried for a flurry at the end. The second round saw Lorenzo on the attack. He chased Ramos around the ring the entire time. Because of that, his punches lacked power, as he was always on the move when he made contact. Still, a good round for Francisco.

The same course of action for Lorenzo in the third, but it seemed as if Ramos was ready for the chase this time. Even so, he did get caught a few times. But a combination of Lorenzo being a bit wild and Ramos dodging the throws made for an interesting round. The fourth found Ramos connecting a lot more, but Lorenzo refused to give in and kept coming back with more.

Francisco was warned a second time for low blows at the beginning of the fifth. Not hard to see why that kept happening, as his wild style just wanted to hit anything. The punches by Ramos that collided with Lorenzo, while they were less in numbers, were delivered with more power. Much was the same in the sixth, except for the fact that Lorenzo was now looking a bit tired – not a surprise.

OK, so scratch the tired part. Francisco started right off in the seventh as if he’d had an hours’ rest. He was back to pressuring Ramos, who was still laying those punches on Lorenzo. The eighth and final saw both fighters trying to end it all, but neither would give up. A really exciting fight here that went to the scorecards. 79-73, 77-75, 77-75, all for Luis Ramos, Jr. With that win Luis extends his undefeated streak to an impressive 19 victories

Junior Featherweights took to the ring as Randy Caballero (11-0, 7 KO’s) looked to keep that win streak alive as he faced off with Sergio Cristobal (3-2). This bout was scheduled for six. What a visual contrast in fighters here; the baby-faced Caballero and the rather tough looking Cristobal complete with Mohawk.

The first round was a bit of a wild one. As if on cue, right after one of the fans yelled for Randy to knock out his opponent – well, with a bit different language than that – a straight right did put Cristobal on the canvas. Sergio came back though, and his wild and scrappy style seemed hard for Randy to deal with.

The beginning of round two saw Cristobal pounding Caballero in the corner, and the two exchanged solid blows for most of the round, making it a very physical one. The third round was another very active one, but Randy was more in control this time. He was able to land more punches than he was in the second.

All of the punches thrown by Sergio ended up being meaningless after a well-placed right hand by Caballero dropped Cristobal and referee Jerry Cantu quickly waved off the fight before Sergio could stand at 2:06 of round four. Another win streak remained intact.

“He came forward at the beginning, but I was patient and was wearing him down,” Randy told me after his fight. “I knew I could wear him down and then knock him out. I had to change my plan a little bit. He was in my face hitting me but he didn’t hit hard, so I just let him punch himself out.

“I want to thank everyone for their support. I’m going to make it to the top. I can’t wait to fight again here in front of my fans.”

Two undefeated fighters stood across from each other in a Junior Welterweight fight scheduled for six rounds. Jose Vargas (5-0-2) was to face off opposite Javier Loya (4-0, 3 KO’s). Vargas, from Coachella, got almost as big a reception from the fans as Caballero did. But the fight did not last as long or go as well. It was Loya who threw the combination that ended the night for Vargas at 2:53 of the very first round.

There were a lot of unbeaten men on the card, but one fight saw both fighters making their professional debut. Jose Gonzales faced Drew Alexander in a scheduled four round fight in the Super Middleweight division.

So, both men looked as if it was indeed their first fight, as they appeared a little anxious and over-excited. Both a bit wild, and yet some contact as well. Round two, and Alexander came out looking for the knockout. But when that didn’t happen he appeared to lose all his steam. He regrouped in the closing seconds and almost put Gonzales down, but couldn’t finish it off.

A slow and more plodding round three, as both men did a lot of holding and then tried to do some damage. But for the most part this round was illustrating just how tired the fighters were. The fourth and final round seemed to go on forever. As in round two, Drew came out for the knockout, but once again, that failed and we had to go to the scorecards. They came back 39-37 for Davis, and 38-38 and 38-38 making the fight a majority draw.

The fight that started off the night was a four round bout that saw Junior Lightweights going at it, as Juan Sandoval (4-6-1, 3 KO’s) faced off with Rene Torres (0-5-1). Sandoval got the best of round one, as his right-handed uppercuts hit their target on more than one occasion. In round two Juan hit Torres with two hard rights to the body that sent Rene down as all the air whooshed out of him. He got back up, but shortly thereafter another hard right to the head put Torres down and out at 2:27 of that second round.

Once again an enjoyable evening with good fights. Other than the 40 minute wait that we had after the first fight, things ran smoothly. Ah, the joys of television and the waiting involved in that industry.

Congratulations to all those who were successful!

Be safe and God Bless,
Viva La Raza,


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