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Honorio beats Hilario to keep NABO Lightweight Championship
Mar 6, 2010 - 4:14:31 AM

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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 exciting.


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 Honorio.


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 a second.


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 round.


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.


Be safe and God Bless,

Viva La Raza,




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