Martin Honorio after retaining the belt for the NABO Lightweight Championship.
Linda Peterson photo
What a night of boxing we were treated to at Pechanga Resort
and Casino in Temecula, California by Goossen Tutor Productions. As usual,
everyone was very hospitable, but the fights on this night were particularly
After Leonard Tucker sang a great rendition of our National
Anthem, we were ready to go. Well, almost, as Joe Tessitore was putting on some more
makeup while sitting at the announce table, but I’ll leave that for another day.
The main event found the NABO Lightweight Champion Martin
Honorio (28-4-1, 14 KO’s) defending his title against Wilton Hilario (12-1-1, 9
KO’s). This had to be one of the most ugly fights one could see, but also one
of the most impressive so far as grit and determination are concerned. The
fight got emotional almost from the start when, in the second round, Hilario
got in a hit or two after the referee told them to break, causing Honorio to
answer back…and if looks could kill. In the third, Wilton hit Martin behind the
head, creating a bit more tension between the two. At this point, Hilario did
not have too many fans in the building.
As the fight continued, both men were swinging for the
bleachers, each appearing to be trying for that knockout win. By the end of the
fourth it was beginning to look like more a barroom brawl, as did round five.
Hilario was fighting with everything, and that’s not necessarily a compliment.
He was throwing his head, elbows, and doing everything he could to run down
Wilton was knocked down twice in the sixth, both by strong
right hands, but he was nothing if not resilient. He managed to get by that
round, and the next, and the one after that. The punishment that Martin was
dishing out was brutal, but Wilton would just keep answering back.By the time the ninth round started, Honorio
had to be wondering just what it would take to get Hilario out of there. Both
men slipped and went down together during this round, but no harm, no foul.
Martin started missing a few of his punches a bit in round
10, a blessing for Wilton, who had really taken a beating up until this point.
But in rounds 10 and 11, Hilario kept chasing Honorio, not letting him rest for
Honorio landing just one of many, many punches to the face of Wilton Hilario.
Linda Peterson photo
The same was true for the twelfth, and while Martin won the
fight by a unanimous decision with scores of 120-106, 119-107, 119-107, Wilton
probably won the war. There was no quit in this 26-year-old warrior. While the
fans were solidly behind the Mexican fighter Honorio, Hilario made an
impression. There were many who did not like him in the beginning, only to be
taken in at the end with his aggressive attitude and the way he was determined
to not give in.
Michael Dallas Jr. (12-0-1, 4 KO’s) had a scheduled six
round fight with Fabian Luque (21-10-4, 12 KO’s) shortened to four, apparently
for television time. They need not have bothered, because this Welterweight
fight didn’t even go make it to the end of the first. Dallas kept his loss
record at zero as knocked his opponent out in 2:58 of round one.
The first televised fight saw Rico Ramos (15-0, 9 KO’s)
going up against Cecilio Santos (24-13-3, 14 KO’s) in a fight for the NABO
Youth Super Bantamweight Championship, scheduled for eight rounds. Great
exchanges in the first few rounds, with both fighters getting in some solid
hits. The third round saw some punishing body shots absorbed by each fighter,
and it was a hard body shot that proved to be the undoing for Santos. Ramos
landed a solid hit to the body that collapsed Cecilio at 1:19 of the fourth
Also on the card was a Heavyweight bout between Alvaro
Morales (4-6-5) and Sergey Karpenko, scheduled for four rounds. This was the professional
debut for Sergey who, at 6’4” and 225 pounds, looked like a lightweight when
placed against the huge bulk of the 6’ and 297 pounds that was Morales.
Karpenko suffered his first loss at the hands of Alvaro in a split decision.
Junior Welterweight John Molina, Jr. (19-1, 15 KO’s) went up
against Ricardo Medina (31-36-5, 17 KO’s). Medina was knocked down in the first
round not once, but twice, and the fight was stopped at 1:40 of round one of
what had been scheduled for eight. Molina added another win to his record.
Walter Sarnoi (5-0, 2 KO’s) faced Jerry Mondragon (3-2- 2
KO’s) in a four round Featherweight bout. A fast-paced fight here, that saw
Mondragon knocked down once. Sarnoi was the winner in a unanimous decision,
40-35, 40-35, 39-36.
The final fight of the night had Ephraim Martinez going
against Rufino Serrano in a fight scheduled for four rounds in the
Featherweight division. A pretty close fight here, with the end decided by
split decision, 39-37, 37-39, 39-37, for Martinez.
So I have to close as I opened – a super night of professional
boxing. I’m looking forward to the next one.