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Gesta, Benavidez Notch Wins on Saturday Night

(Photo © German Villasenor)
(Photo © German Villasenor)

By German Villasenor

It was an explosive night of action at the BlueWater Resort and Casino in Parker, Arizona, as a pair of super lightweights remained undefeated at the end of Fox Sports Net’s “Top Rank Live” telecast, promoted by Ray Alcorta Boxing and Showdown Promotions on Saturday night.
Filipino southpaw whirlwind Mercito Gesta would cruise for the first half of his fight against a very game and busy Manny Perez, 16-7-1 (4), landing the sharper, harder shots in the form of right crosses and uppercuts. Perez returned fire with multiple shots which kept Gesta at a distance and defensive posture the majority of the time.

Gesta began picking up the pace after suffering a small cut above his left eye in the fifth round. Although the cut seemed to be caused by a clean punch, it was never noted one way or another by the referee Wes Melton.
Perez’s face, clean entering the eighth round, would finally get worked over by Gesta who opened up for the whole round. Gesta pounded his foe with shots from all angles and left the courageous and determined Perez sporting several small cuts and bruises by the end of the stanza.
Both men traded in the final two rounds, with Gesta coming away with a unanimous decision via scores of 98-92 (twice) and 99-91 at the end of ten heated rounds.
With the win, Gesta is now 23-0-1 (12).
In the co-feature, Phoenix, Arizona’s Jose Benavidez, 13-0 (12), dropped Dedrick Bell, 6-10 (4), twice in the first round en route to a KO win in the same frame.
Bell would be on the receiving end of a hard, head shot sending him down early on in the round. On unsteady legs, Bell would get trapped in a neutral corner and pounded by Benavidez. Once more, Bell would hit the ground, with referee Nico Perez halting the bout at 1:29 of the round.
In other results, quick-fisted heavyweight Andy Ruiz, 12-0 (8), dropped Ken Frank at the end of the first round with the knockdown not being officially recognized as the shots came a fraction of a second after the bell rang.
A still dizzy Frank, 6-4-1 (2), would get badly wobbled and nearly dropped again. Frank was clearly in no shape to continue and referee Richard Soto wisely stepped in and stopped the battering at 1:53 of the second frame.
In a scheduled six-round lightweight bout, Jose Roman, 12-0 (10), blasted out durable Baudel Cardenas, 18-23-4 (7), dropping him three times, twice with shots to the body and one to the head. The stoppage came at 2:44 into the first round.
Super welterweight Juanito Gonzalez, 3-0 (2), stopped Wendell Bates, 1-2 (1), with a head shot at 2:59 of the second round.
Super flyweight Hanzel Martinez, 14-0 (12), punished a game but terribly underpowered Lorenzo Trejo, 30-24-1 (17), sending him down to the canvas twice in the fight with the stoppage coming at 53 seconds into the second round.
In the first fight of the evening, featherweight Gabino Saenz, 5-0 (5), knocked out Esteban Nichol, 3-3 (1), at 1:49 of the second round of a scheduled four-rounder.


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