The best punch trackers on the market
24th March 2023
By: Michael Frank
Long Beach, California: Walter Pyramid at Long Beach State University
The air had been taken out of Golden Boy Promotion’s sails after the announcement Friday afternoon that the main event between Gilberto “Zurdo” Rameriz and Gabriel Rosado had been canceled due to Zurdo coming in 8 pounds overweight. 400 tickets were refunded thanks to Zurdo missing weight and cancelling the matchup against veteran Rosado. GBP, Oscar De La Hoya and Bernard Hopkins still managed to get a respectable crowd of close to 4k for the new main event between Joesph “Jo Jo” Diaz Jr. (32-3-1, 15 KO’s) vs. Mercito Gesta (33-3-3, 15 KO’s).
On the weekend of St. Patrick’s Day the new main event of the night featured Joesph “Jo Jo” Diaz Jr. from Downey, Ca sporting green trunks against Marcito Gesta originally from the Phillippines in a 10-round super lightweight affair. Both fighters were looking to get their career back on track. Diaz Jr. was coming off back-to-back losses against the undefeated talents of Devin Haney and William Zepeda. Gesta earned a victory over Joel Diaz Jr. in 2022, but before then his last two fights were a loss and a draw back in 2019.
First couple of rounds had a decent amount of action, with neither fighter taking full control of the fight early on. Punches in bunches started flowing from Gesta in the 2nd round. Typically, the volume puncher has the advantage when it comes to conditioning. Pair that conditioning with a fighter a who is the more natural light weight, and you have yourself a favorite.
Round of the night goes to round 3!. Diaz had Gesta against the ropes for a full minute, as they both exchanged big blows. Jo Jo seemed to land more power punches, landing his overhand left multiple times. @ringsidemike spoke with Gesta about that 3rd round afterwards. When asked about the toe-toe action, Gesta responded “My dad and Marvin said don’t stay there! Why do you stay there? In boxing sometimes it’s not just being brave, you have to use your brain. You’ve got to move around to stay long”.
Each fighter in round 4 seemed to take a break after the brutal 3rd round. Gesta continued to keep his hands down, while Jo Jo kept his high guard intact. Left hook in the final seconds caught Gesta off guard. Jo Jo kept up the momentum in round 5 wearing down Gesta. From ringside it appeared the fight was closely contested after the fifth round, with Gesta having the slight advantage.
In the second half of the fight Diaz struggled a bit with having to reset his feet after going through his combinations. The endurance of Gesta started to become an advantage over the heavy-legged Diaz. The later rounds had the most entertaining action of the evening. The Long Beach crowd were on their feet for the last few rounds in hopes of a knockdown. The final round continued to impress with the back-and-forth action, but after the warning bell it was apparent the fight would go to the judges.
With the electric crowd on the edge of their seats it was Gesta that ended up earning the split decision victory. The head scratching moment of the night saw the scorecards read (99-1, and 98-92 for Gesta) and (97-93 for Diaz Jr.). Not sure what judge Pam Hayashida saw different than the other two judges, but the difference was significant. The crowd was left a little uneasy, as many thought the scores should have been closer across the board.
The crowd and media section would have loved to see two more rounds of the toe-to-toe battle. Both fighters could have landed that one shot that could have changed the outcome if given two more rounds. The new main event of did not disappoint as we saw back and forth action throughout the bout.
Mercito Gesta now moves to (34-3-3, 15 KO’s) after his 4oth professional career fight. In what was claimed a “win or go home” fight to remain under contract for Golden Boy promotions, the well-conditioned Gesta did more than enough to earn the win. After a terrible 2019 where he lost to Juan Antonio Rodriguez by a 9th round KO and drew against Carlos Morales, Gesta now has back-to-back wins under his belt. With the promotion of Oscar De La Hoya and Golden Boy, Gesta should land a solid fight in his next time out.
Joseph “Jo-Jo” Diaz Jr. was looking to get back on track and work his way back to being a strong force in lightweight division. Diaz is no stranger to tough challenges as he has already faced some of the best fighters such as: Gary Russell Jr, Tevin Farmer, Jesus Rojas, Charles Huerta and Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov.
After competing in the featherweight and junior lightweight divisions, Diaz made his lightweight debut last year going 1-1. He defeated Javier Fortuna by unanimous decision in July of 2021 after being a replacement for Ryan Garcia. Garcia had pulled out of the Fortuna fight due to mental health issues.
After the win, Diaz faced off with Devin Haney for the WBC Lightweight Title. Diaz would lose the fight to Haney by unanimous decision but fought well and showed his toughness. The lost doesn’t look too bad considering that Haney is now the Undisputed Lightweight Champion. He then suffered his second loss in a row against the undefeated William Zepeda (27-0, 24 KO’s). The days of landing championship fights may be over for Jo Jo Diaz, but he still has plenty left in the tank to entertain the fans. Diaz announced after the fight that his time was up at GBP and he is now a free agent. Boxing Guru looks forward to seeing what the next chapter brings for Jo Jo.
To start off the evening here in Long Beach, Califironia, Patricio Manuel (1-0) earned the technical decision victory over Hien Huynh (1-1). In a bit of a scrap, Manuel was able to land constant shots to both the body and head. Huynh stayed in the pocket, but not to his advantage. The repetition of the left hook to the eye caused a significant cut, and had the ringside doctor eventually called if off after 30 seconds of further review. Manuel scored knockdowns in the 1st and 4th round on the way to the 37-year old’s second career win.
Next up on the undercard was the potential wow moment of the night. Jorge Chavez (4-0) from San Diego knocked out Bryan Perez (12-16-1) in the first 10 seconds of the fight. Chavez landed a shot that had Perez’s legs locked up as he slowly timbered to the canvas. The scary moment had the doctors and officials’ attention, Perez walked out under his own will after a few minutes of uncertainty. The 23-year-old Chavez moves to 5-0 with only one of his fights going the distance. Keep an eye out for the super featherweight prospect originally from Mexico as he climbs the rankings.
To kick off the DAZN broadcast, Dalis Kaleiopu (3-0) from Waianae, Hawaii, took on journeyman Jonathan Perez (40-34) from Colombia. The lean and rangy Kaleioupu started off conservative in the first round, even taking a clean shot at the end of the round. Strange antics from Perez as he dances around and taunts in round 3. He’s then deducted a point for a behind the head shot at the end of the round. Good exchange in round 5, as both fights land clean shots. The younger and undefeated Kaleiopu stated at the weigh-in that he “would run circles” around his opponent. After 5 rounds we still haven’t seen any circles. Left uppercut in the final round by Dalis made some noise, but the relentless Perez seemed unfazed. A few more left-handed shots landed towards the end of the final round. Dalis Kaleiopu earned the UD victory by a wide margin with all three scorecards reading 60-52.
Most competitive flight of the night goes to Eric Tudor (7-0) from Ft. Lauderdale, Fl, vs Damoni Cato Cain (7-0-1) from Oakland, CA. A vicious cut over the left eye of Tudor had blood following down his face. Cain had both eyes swollen by the 4th round. The taller and leaner Tudor jumped out to an early lead while using his distance as an advantage. Cato-Cain stayed active, landing multiple body shots in the 5th round. Both young fighters deserve more opportunities regardless of the outcome. Tudor ended up securing the UD victory handily with the scorecards of (80-72 and 78-74 twice). The Romanian-born 21-year-old moves to (8-0) after signing with Golden Boy at the beginning of 2023.
The co-main event of the evening showcased Alex “Chi-Town” Martin (18-4) against Mexican fan favorite Oscar Duarte (24-1-1-) in a 10-round contest. The loudest cheer (and whistles) of the night went to Duarte as he was introduced. Left hook lands a few times in the first round for Duarte, plenty of movement from Martin. “Mexico” chants start early in the 2nd round as Duarte lands a few shots. Multiple combinations almost sent Martin to the mat, but he was able to withstand the punishment twice in round two.
Martin showed life in the 5th round, causing a mean cut that had blood dripping from Duartes nose and eyebrow. The 6th round was back to the basics as Duarte regained control of the fight.
Two knockdowns in the 8th round finished off the dominant night for Oscar Duarte. The TKO came just seconds after the first knock down, as the referee was forced to wave it off 1 minute 14 seconds in round 8.
Photo by: Golden Boy Promotions