Mexico's Robert Manzanarez shines in U.S Debut

Mexico's Robert Manzanarez shines in U.S Debut


LOS ANGELES - This past Friday night, former WBC International Youth Lightweight Champion and Mexican Superstar, Robert “Tito” Manzanarez (34-1, 28 KO’s), made his United States and Golden Boy debut at the "LA Fight Club" in downtown Los Angeles. Manzanarez entered the ring in the main event against Mexican veteran Gamaliel Diaz (40-16-3, 19 KO’s).

Manzanarez, who is an unknown fighter to many boxing fans in the United States, is a 22-year-old knockout artist who had won twelve fights in a row, including nine by KO. Friday, Manzanarez kept his winning streak alive with a stellar performance against Diaz. From the opening bell Manzanarez showed great boxing skills as he used his reach, as he popped his jab at will, keeping the shorter Diaz at bay. As the fight continued, the young southpaw Manzanarez began going to the body and subsequently hurting Diaz. The accumulation of those shots and a solid left hook by Manzanarez in the fourth put Diaz on the canvas for good as referee Raul Caiz reached the ten count at the 2:23 mark of the fourth. 

I am very happy with this win, and I’m glad I stopped him early. I know I have to go back into the gym to work on everything, and I need to be in better form physically and mentally. There’s a big difference between fighting in the US and in Mexico, and fighting here was a dream come true of mine, and I hope I get more opportunities to do so.
— Robert Manzanarez
Genaro Gamez exerts enough force to inflict damage with his left hand. Photo: Cynthia Saldaña/Frontproof Media. 

Genaro Gamez exerts enough force to inflict damage with his left hand. Photo: Cynthia Saldaña/Frontproof Media. 

In the co-main event undefeated super featherweight Golden Boy prospect, Genaro “El Conde” Gamez (3-0, 3 KO’s) from San Diego, California, looked to keep his winning streak alive against the always tough Alejandro Ochoa (7-12-2, 1 KO) from Bell Gardens, California. In what was the fight of the night, Gamez stood his ground and went toe-to-toe with Ochoa. As the fight started, Ochoa made it clear he was going to be the aggressor and came forward, landing big shots on Gamez. In the second, Gamez hit Ochoa with a solid shot “south of the border,” sending Ochoa to the canvas. Referee Zachary Young quickly warned Gamez about the low blow and allowed Ochoa the time to recover. The middle rounds continued to bring heavy action, but it was Gamez who stayed one step ahead of his opponent. In the final round, Gamez caught Ochoa with a solid overhand right sending Ochoa into the ropes and after six, all three judges were in agreement with the scores of 60-54. With the win Gamez moves to 4-0, with 3 KO’s

This was the first time going all six rounds, which was a great experience for me. He took a lot of hard punches from me and I took a lot from him. I wanted another knock out, but considering that this is my first fight in a couple of months, I’ll take this win. I am ready for another fight soon, so you will certainly see me back in action.
— Genaro Gamez
Luis Feliciano, a Marquette University graduate, connects with an overhand right. Photo: Cynthia Saldaña/Frontproof Media

Luis Feliciano, a Marquette University graduate, connects with an overhand right. Photo: Cynthia Saldaña/Frontproof Media

Also on the card and making his professional debut was 5x National Champion and Marquette University graduate, Luis Feliciano, as he battled with Angel Rodriguez (5-7-3, 4 KO’s) from Houston, Texas. Feliciano, who was recently signed by Golden Boy, displayed good ring generalship as he stood tall and outboxed the rugged Rodriguez. Feliciano controlled the pace and countered the attacking on Rodriguez, but in the second, a clash of heads opened up a gash over the eye of Rodriguez. Feliciano stuck to the game plan using his reach, jab, occasional power shots and overall boxing skill to come away with unanimous decision victory in his debut. “It was a great first fight – I was excited to get back into the ring after not fighting competitively for more than a year and a half,” said Feliciano. With the victory Feliciano moves to 1-0.

It was a great first fight – I was excited to get back into the ring after not fighting competitively for more than a year and a half. It’s a transition you have to go through when you switch from amateur to pro, and there are always a pair of nerves when you make the switch and you make the stylistic adjustments. The win was what we planned for, and bigger things are coming from me, just watch as I represent Puerto Rico.
— Luis Feliciano
Javier Martinez lands a straight right on his opponent. Photo: Cynthia Saldaña/Frontproof Media

Javier Martinez lands a straight right on his opponent. Photo: Cynthia Saldaña/Frontproof Media

Another Golden boy prospect making his professional debut Friday night was Javier Martinez as he took on Miguel Angel Barajas (2-1, 1 KO) from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. Barajas came out firing on on cylinders as Martinez looked like a deer in the headlights, taking shot after shot from Barajas. At the end of the second, Barajas caught Martinez with a solid jab sending him to the canvas, Martinez beat the count and walked back to his corner in complete shock. To start the third round, Martinez seemed to find another gear as he began to land big four and five punch combinations hurting Barajas, and in the fourth, his continued barrage of unanswered punches forced referee Zachary Young to step in and call a halt to the bout at 2:44 mark of the fourth. “It was a defining debut fight, and I wasn’t going to let anyone take away what I had worked so hard for,” said Javier Martinez. Martinez moves to 1-0.

It was a defining debut fight, and I wasn’t going to let anyone take away what I had worked so hard for. I saw the bruise I left under his eye during the first round, and that’s when I knew he was a tough fighter, and was going to brawl with me. I learned a lot, and I am looking forward to maturing as a fighter, becoming smarter, and using my talent more.
— Javier Martinez

Other fights on the card Friday include Tenochititlan “T-Dog” Nava (5-0, 1 KO) from Los Angeles, California, as he came away with a unanimous decision victory over Thomas Smith (3-4, 2 KO’s) from Dallas, Texas in a four-round super featherweight bout. And super featherweight Jousce Gonzalez (4-0, 4 KO’s) from Glendora, California made quick work of Emmanuel Valadez, (3-3, 3 KO’s) from Sonora, Mexico as Gonzalez came away with a first round knockout victory. 


Anthony "Stacks" Saldaña is a contributing writer for FrontProofMedia.com. You can follow him on Twitter @StacksRingside 

(Feature photo: Cynthia Saldaña/Frontproof Media)

Video: Keith Thurman says Danny Garcia is not a real welterweight "We are going to touch that chin"

Video: Keith Thurman says Danny Garcia is not a real welterweight "We are going to touch that chin"

Roy Jones Jr. stops Bobby Gunn in dominating fashion.

Roy Jones Jr. stops Bobby Gunn in dominating fashion.