Miguel Cotto (41-5, 33 KOs), the only four-division world champion in Puerto Rico’s rich boxing history, earned his sixth world title with a unanimous decision victory against the Japanese slugger Yoshihiro “El Maestrito” Kamegai (27-4-2, 24 KOs) for the vacant WBO Junior Middleweight World Title in front of a sold-out crowd of 7,689 boxing fans at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. The judges scored the bout 119-109, 118-110, and 120-108 in favor of Cotto.
(Photo Credit: Tom Hogan/Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions)
“I tried to do my best, and I think I did that tonight,” said Miguel Cotto. “I am happy with my performance. Kamegai is a tough fighter and opponent. It was during round five or six that I knew he was going to make it to the 12 rounds. Come December 31, I will retire. I’ve done it all. I’m 36 going on 37, and I think I’ve come to the end of my career. I will fight once more in December. I’ll let Freddie [Roach] tell you who I want.”
“We want the winner of Canelo-GGG,” said Freddie Roach, trainer to Miguel Cotto.
“I felt so much frustration not being able to land any of my punches,” said Yoshihiro Kamegai. “I could not catch him at all. I couldn’t catch him at all. He is such a talented legend, and I am so glad I got the opportunity to fight him.”
Rey Vargas (30-0, 22 KOS) of Mexico City successfully defended his WBC Super Bantamweight title with a 12-round unanimous decision victory against Santa Ana, Calif.’s Ronny Rios (28-2, 13 KOs). Vargas, the student of the Hall of Fame trainer Ignacio “Nacho” Beristain fought intelligently at a distance during the entire fight, while Rios tried to close that distance with hooks to the body. Though the fight was very competitive, Vargas won with scores of 118-110, 118-110 and 115-113.
“We came here to take the belt back home, even if that means that we didn’t get the knockout,” said Rey Vargas. “Rios was definitely an intelligent and skillful fighter. He got me with some head shots that threw me off, and he was of an elite level when it came to his boxing. We definitely need to go back and refine our style.”
“I wasn’t expecting for him to move so much,” said Ronny Rios. “He was running more than I was expecting for him to. We put up a good fight, and my team and I will have to go back to the drawing board.”
Joet Gonzalez (18-0, 9 KOs) of Glendora, Calif. took another decisive step towards the top of the featherweight division with an impressive fifth-round technical knockout victory over Deivis Julio (19-3, 11 KOs) of Monteria, Colombia. Gonzalez dropped Bassa with a right hand in the fifth round, and after getting back to his feet, Gonzalez landed a flurry of punches that forced the referee to stop the fight at 2:57 of that very same round.
“It feels really good to get the fifth-round stoppage,” said Joet Gonzalez. “My opponent really knew how to box, he was on the Colombian National team so that meant we had to come prepared for battle. I’m ready to fight again real soon. Hopefully by October you’ll see me again.”
Emilio Sanchez (16-0, 11 KOs), the rising super bantamweight prospect of Pacoima, California, scored a dominant fifth-round technical knockout victory against Danny Flores (11-9-1, 11 KOs) of Mexico. Sanchez punished Flores with shots to the body and head in each round before the fight was stopped at 33 seconds of the fifth round.
“I feel satisfied with my win tonight,” said Emilio Sanchez. “I was really working on closing the gap and I want to work on my technique and style and be able to be distinct among all the fighters in my pretty stacked division.”
Los Angeles’ Tenochtitlan “T-Dog” Nava (7-0, 1 KO) scored a four-round unanimous victory against Angel Aguilar (18-14, 1 KO) of Mexico City in a featherweight fight in frond of a wild crowd of his supporters. Nava won the back-and-forth battle with three scores of 39-37.
“I feel great – I made it out of the ring without any significant damage to my body,” said Tenochtitlan Nava. “I tried to close the gap between me and my opponent, and focused on landing my jab throughout the fight. That was one of the next steps to one day becoming a world champion. I feel like I am ready.”
Alexis Rocha (9-0, 6 KOs), the welterweight sensation of Santa Ana, Calif., scored an impressive knockout victory in the very first round against Esau Herrera (19-10-1, 10 KOs) of Tlaquepaque, Mexico .
“I wanted to win, and I wanted it to look easy and intelligent,” said Alexis Rocha. “I feel like I was able to do that with this knockout win. I came in wanting to work the body, and I was able to figure him out quickly.”
Genaro Gamez (6-0, 4 KOs) of San Diego, Calif. scored a six-round unanimous decision victory against Rafael Reyes (7-11, 5 KOs) of Tamaulipas, México in the super lightweight division. Gamez scored a knockdown in the second round and hurt Reyes in each of the following rounds. Although Gamez was deducted a point in the fourth round because of a low blow, Gamez won with scores of 59-53, 58-54 and 59-53.
“I wanted to give my fans a good show, and he was able to soak up a lot of my punches. It’s been a tough couple of weeks, so this win is really sweet. I recognize that this wasn’t my best performance – I am not at my desired weight and I’m still learning as a fighter, but my dream is to fight top names and this was a step towards it.”
Javier Padilla (3-0-1, 3 KOs) of Indio, Calif. and Ricardo Arias (1-1-1) of Mexico City engaged in a four-round war in the super bantamweight division that culminated in a unanimous draw. All three judges scored the fight 38-38.
Janel Rivera (16-2-3, 9 KOS) of Catano, Puerto Rico landed a thunderous left hook on Marco A. Sanchez (12-6-3, 7 KOS) of Mexicali, Mexico to win via first-round knockout in minimumweight division.
In the first bout of the evening, Ruben Rodriguez (1-0, 1 KO) of Indio, Calif. made a successful professional debut with a second-round technical knockout victory against Rolando Padilla (0-3) of Los Angeles in a super lightweight bout.
Cotto vs. Kamegai was a 12-round fight for the vacant WBO World Junior Middleweight Championship, and was presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Miguel Cotto Promotions in association with Teiken Promotions. The event was sponsored by Tecate “BORN BOLD” and Casa Mexico Tequila. Rey Vargas vs. Ronny Rios was a 12-round world championship fight for the WBC Super Bantamweight Title presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Promociones del Pueblo.