LOS ANGELES (May 20, 2016) – Golden Boy Promotions delivered an exciting night of fights on May 20 at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, Calif. as Eddie “E-Boy” Gomez (19-1, 11 KOs) defeated John Karl Sosa (13-2, 6 KOs) via unanimous decision, earning the IBF North American Welterweight Title.
Broadcast live on Estrella TV and streaming live simultaneously on Ring TV, estrellaTV.com and on YouTube via Fenomeno Studios, the pride of the Bronx Gomez started off the fight carefully as he kept his distance using the jab effectively landing punches. By the third round, it was clear that the fight was very equal as both fighters went after each other attacking the body and landing hard shots to the head. Sosa, consistently landed an effective right hook that at times shocked Gomez, while Gomez continued to use his fast hands to throw combinations at Sosa. As the fight went to the cards, the judges awarded the victory to Gomez with scores of 96-94, 98-92, 96-94.
“I have been out of the ring for 13 months and at times I did feel a little ring rust, but I fought my fight,” said Eddie Gomez. “What matters is that I came back a winner with a new title to my name. I want to thank my team for the hard work and I am ready to go back home and get to my family. It was a long training camp, and I am ready for some rest and then back to the drawing board. I know this title is going to take me to the next level.
“I feel disappointed, I have seen a lot of bad things in boxing, but I would have never thought that this would have happened to me,” said John Karl Sosa. “After my last outing I knew I had to come back ready to prove to everyone that I was a force to be reckoned with. I was in the best shape and condition of my career, I felt strong and I knew during the fight that I had it. I was confident and had dominated Gomez, but I was robbed. This loss makes me angry and I am going to come back with a vengeance and prove all those judges wrong.”
The co-main event of the night, featured southpaw fighter Fidel “The Atrisco Kid” Maldonado Jr. (21-3-1, 18 KOs) of Albuquerque, N.M. going up against Glendale, Calif.’s Art “Lionheart” Hovhannisyan (17-2-3, 9 KOs). The scheduled 10-round lightweight televised bout went the distance in an exciting exchanged that had fight fans cheering on the fighters throughout. Always an exciting fighter, Maldonado Jr. went after Hovhannisyan and relentlessly attacked him. However, Hovhannisyan proved to be a tough opponent fighting back every attack. After suffering a knock down in the eighth round, Hovhannisyan came back with a vengeance winning the ninth and tenth rounds on the cards. In the end the exciting bout of the night was called a split draw with scores of 92-96 for Hovhannisyan, 95-93 for Maldonado Jr., and 94-94.
“I felt confident going into this fight,” said Fidel Maldonado Jr. “I thought that Hovhannisyan would be a harder puncher but when I didn’t feel hurt I decided to work in from the inside. I felt like I was ahead on the cards and did not like the decision from the judges. But it was an exciting fight and I am glad that the crowd enjoyed it.”
“I have been out of the ring for two years and this fight has really given me the confidence to continue fighting,” said Art Hovhannisyan. “The crowd cheering us on really motivated me and although I didn’t win today I know that I can continue fighting and give my fans great fights. I’m looking forward to the next one and I want to thank my team and Golden Boy Promotions for this opportunity.”
In the night’s swing bout, local undefeated prospect, Jesus Sanchez (1-0, 1 KOs) of Indio, Calif. took on fellow undefeated Livan “Machine Gun” Navarro (2-0) of Havana, Cuba in a four-round welterweight swing bout. Early on Navarro displayed his dominance by sending Sanchez to the canvas in the third round winning the fight via knockout.
“I am very happy with the result of this fight,” said Livan Navarro. “I always train 100% for every fight and today the training showed off. I want to thank my team for their continual support and Golden Boy Promotions for this opportunity.”
Cancun, Quintanroo, Mexico’s, Joseph “Diamante” Aguirre (13-0, 8 KOs) now fighting out of Riverside, Calif. participated in a six-round lightweight bout making his U.S debut facing Rony Alvarado (9-8, 5 KOs)of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Both Mexican warriors quickly went after each other during the first round. Aguirre established his dominance early during the second round and third rounds landing effective left hooks and an accidental head-butt opened up a cut on Alvarado’s right eye. In the fourth round, Aguirre tried his best to do dispatch Alvarado as they each erupted in an exciting exchange that had the crowd on its feet. By the fifth the blood coming from Alvarado right eye was too much and the doctor was called in to examine the cut and declared Alvarado unfit to continue. Aguirre was crowned the victor via technical decision with scores of 50-45 by all three judges.
“This is my first time fighting in the U.S. and I feel at home,” said Joseph Aguirre. “The crowd really gave me a warm reception, I guess they liked my style. It feels good to be here, I have been training with Joel Diaz and it showed tonight. I’m looking forward to my next fight in the U.S. and soon enough give all my new fans a new world champion.”
Starting off the night, streaming live on Ring TV, D’Mitirus “Big Meech” Ballard (13-0, 9 KOs) of Washington, D.C. put his undefeated record on the line in a scheduled eight-round super middleweight fight against Tijuana, Mexico’s Victor “Sina” Fonseca (9-7-1, 7 KOs). The fight started off quickly with both fighters letting loose aiming shots at the body. In the second round Ballard began to take the lead in the fight and corned Fonseca on the ropes wearing him down. By the third round “Big Meech” delivered a blow at the body that dropped Fonseca on the 1:42 mark, not being able to recover from the blow, Fonseca’s corner called the fight giving Ballard a victory via TKO.
“I felt good in the ring,” said D’Mitrius Ballard. “I felt confident in the ring and made sure to have patience. It paid off and now I am ready for the next fight. I’m ready to get back into the ring ASAP.”
Eddie Gomez vs. John Karl Sosa was a 10-round welterweight fight for the vacant IBF North American Welterweight Title presented by Golden Boy Promotions and sponsored by Cerveza Tecate, BORN BOLD. The Boxeo Estelar broadcast aired live on Estrella TV at 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT. The card also streamed live on EstrellaTV.com and on YouTube via Fenomeno Studios. The Ring TV live stream began at approximately 5:15 p.m. PT through 7:00 p.m.