With a lot on the line for everyone, promoter Abel Gomez Cano served a treat for local boxing fans on Friday August 29 at the Gimnasio Oscar ‘Tigre’ García in Ensenada, Mexico, putting on a pair of World Boxing Federation (WBF) championship fights, featuring two of the city’s best boxers.
Two undefeated prospects against two seasoned veterans. One prospect came unstuck, while the other took his career to the next level. One veteran resurrected his career, and one was pushed back in the queue. It was a night of mixed fortunes, but a great night for professional boxing in Ensenada.
With the show labeled “Batalla Regional”, hard-nosed veteran and local favorite, Sergio Lopez pulled off something of an upset when he beat previously undefeated prospect Victor Betancourt for the vacant WBF Intercontinental Featherweight title.
“Mickey” Lopez had too many tricks in the bag for the untested Betancourt, and steadily took control of the fight by working well to body and head. In round five Lopez hurt and floored his opponent, and the fight was correctly stopped as a visibly hurt Betancourt was unable to continue.
Lopez, now 19-8 (13), was by many considered to be a real challenge, but never the less a steppingstone, for the up-and-coming Victor Betancourt, who goes back to Mexicali with his first blemish on an otherwise impressive 16-1 (6) record.
The new Intercontinental Champion publicly announced after his big victory that he is now aiming for a shot at Ukrainian WBF World Champion Timur Akhundov (15-2-1, 5 KOs) in the near future.
In the co-main event, Ensenada´s undefeated Carlos “Chema” Ocampo secured the vacant WBF Latin Welterweight title, passing his biggest test to date by defeating former WBF North American titlist Javier Carrera in emphatic fashion.
Dominant from the start, Ocampo never let Carrera get into the fight and boxed aggressively while punching in combinations. Carrera was not able to cope with the pressure and power of Ocampo, and in round five it was all over when Ocampo floored “El Rebelde” for the third time in the bout
Ocampo improved his spotless ledger to 12-0 (9), while Carrera must go back to the drawing board, and his hometown of Puerto Penasco, with a 13-4 (10) record.
On the same evening, at the Parrow High School in Cape Town, South Africa, George Mdluli became the new World Boxing Federation (WBF) All Africa Super Welterweight Champion when he defeated Johannes Salie in a very exciting fight.
Promoted by Sam Moni, this was a rematch of a close first fight between the pair in July 2013, won by Mdluli on points, and in the second go-around it was again neck-and-neck and with Mduli coming out on top, this time by split decision.
Now 7-1-1 (2), George Mdluli will be looking to advance his career further, while Johannes Salie, dropping to 12-6-1 (10), could find it hard to rebound at almost 37 years of age.