By Joseph Herron – On Saturday night, October 6th, at the classic Memorial Auditorium in Sacramento, California, Don Chargin Productions & Paco Presents Boxing staged a memorable eight bout fight card, which was headlined by the return of two division world champion Jorge Linares (32-3, 20 KOs) and the Japanese KO artist, Welterweight Yoshihiro Kamegai (21-0-1, 18 KOs).
In the co-main event of the evening and the first bout on the Fox Sports televised portion of the fight card, Jorge Linares was tested by rugged Lightweight gatekeeper Hector Velazquez (52-18-3, 35 KOs) for ten action filled rounds.
The featured bout marked Linares’ first contest since being stopped on cuts in the 2nd round by hard punching Sergio Thompson of Cancun, Mexico on March 31st of this year.
Although the hard-nosed Velazquez pressed the talented young fighter from start to finish, “El Nino de Oro” showed flashes of brilliance throughout the entire contest.
Despite getting cut over his left eye in the fourth round and being hammered occasionally by the Velazquez right hand, the gifted Venezuelan sharpshooter scored often with clean, effective punching and crisp, precise counters to the body and head of the 37 year old Mexican fight veteran.
After the ten rounds of competition concluded, the judges at ringside scored the bout 100-89, 99-91, and 97-91, all in favor of the winner by unanimous decision, Jorge Linares.
Golden Boy Promotions and CEO of Teiken Boxing, Mr. Akihiko Honda, were both pleased with Jorge’s performance on Saturday night, and feel that Linares showed a lot of poise against a very tough ring veteran like Hector Velazquez.
Special adviser to Golden Boy Promotions and Hall of Fame matchmaker and promoter, Don Chargin, gave his thoughts on Linares’s performance.
“Jorge told me after the fight that he wants to get back in the ring as soon as possible. Mr. Honda was very happy that we paired him with a very tough gatekeeper like Hector who was going to either bring out the best or the worst in Linares. That’s what they wanted. GBP and Mr. Honda feel that Linares will be ready for another title opportunity after maybe one or two more bouts.”
In the main event of the evening, Yoshihiro Kamegai of Japan took on 20 year old prospect from Tijuana, Mexico, Jorge Silva (19-2-2, 15 KOs) in a ten round special feature.
Despite being the B-side pugilist on the bout sheet, the Erik Morales promoted fighter showed up to win on Saturday night and put forth a very inspired and entertaining effort.
In the first round, Silva earned the respect of the favored Japanese fighter by staggering him with short compact hooks and uppercuts underneath the lazy Kamegai defense. The Tijuana resident continued to hammer away at the body and head while taking the fight to the undefeated veteran from Tokyo, Japan during the first three rounds of the contest.
But the Japanese marquee fighter showed his mettle, by answering with a heavy attack of his own during the third, fourth and fifth rounds of the bout. Kamegai threw punishing left hooks to the body that consistently backed up his much younger opponent and began to find a home for his combinations in close quarters.
While trying to completely take over the action in the sixth round, Kamegai was caught and staggered with a brutal right hand from Silva that almost floored the undefeated veteran fighter. Luckily for the Japanese contender, the crisp right hand landed at the closing moments of the sixth stanza. Although Yoshihiro was seriously hurt, the bell sounded and Kamegai was given a full minute to recover.
The fight continued to go back and forth with brutal exchanges that wowed the fight fans in attendance throughout the remainder of the contest. Both men fought like they really wanted to make a statement on Saturday night in the talent enriched Welterweight division. While most in attendance showed up to see the Japanese tsunami, most fans appreciated the efforts of both hungry 147 pound fighters.
After the final bell sounded, the judges at ringside scored the fight 96-94, and 95-95 twice, creating a majority draw. In what proved to be a very entertaining and evenly matched contest, most in attendance welcomed the knotted verdict and saw no folly with the rendered decision.
In undercard action, Joel De La Hoya managed Junior Middleweight Hugo Centeno Jr. (16-0, 8 KOs) remained undefeated and earned a hard fought six round unanimous decision against underrated, right hand bomber Justin Williams (4-6-2, 2 KOs).
Also, 23 year old Featherweight prospect Guy Robb (10-1, 4 KOs) won a six round unanimous decision over Mexican fight veteran Adolfo Landeros (22-28-2, 10 KOs) in a very entertaining and spirited match.