Boxing Results: Nery Vs. Saludar Main Card Recap And Breakdown – SolSportHQ
By Ezekiel King:
Luis Rodriguez (9-3, 3KOs) def. Juan Barrientos (5-3, 3KOs)
The first fight of the night got the card off to a bang. These two were very evenly matched, started fast, and never took their feet off the gas pedal. Despite being only 19 and at a physical disadvantage, Juan Barrientos pressed the action from the very start.
He seemed to have reach over Rodriguez but rather than using it, he was constantly pressuring forward and stepping straight into the pocket. Rodriguez found ways to take advantage of this, however.
After some exchanges in the center, he would back himself up against the ropes, and as Barrientos pressured in with limited footwork and angles, Rodriguez landed straights and check hooks essentially for free. Oftentimes it seemed like there was a 2-1 connect advantage for Rodriguez, though Barrientos would find clean shots in the pocket.
By the time the fifth and sixth rounds came, the pace and power punches began to wear heavily on Barrientos. His pressure waned, and Rodriguez was able to take over, pressure consistently for the first time and take the clearest rounds of the fight.
These two are brawlers, and Rodriguez was just a bit more powerful and technical, which paid off in a big way, netting him the decision. I don’t see a ton of upside in either guy, but they showed up and put on a fun fight.
Mauricio Gutierrez (8-1, 5KOs) def. Carlos Diaz (29-3, 14KOs)
There was a time when Carlos Diaz was a legitimate top ten contender for the WBC, but his days against top competition likely ended Saturday night. Coming off a loss against Montana Love and nearly a two-year layoff, Diaz chose to move up in weight, which showed in the worst ways.
The comparatively inexperienced Mauricio Gutierrez had a significant size and reach advantage, while Diaz appeared out of shape compared to his days near the top.
Gutierrez kept a steady pace with jabs at range from both stances, which kept Diaz out of rhythm and seeming a bit confused. Diaz started rounds two and six strong but gassed and let himself get overwhelmed when Gutierrez had big moments.
Both men had moderate success on the inside, and Gutierrez keeps a very wide stance, causing him to slip often in the corners of the ring, but Diaz never capitalized in a big way.
As the sixth round came to a close, Diaz showed a real lack of urgency. Gutierrez took home the decision over the much bigger name. He showed he’s a solid fighter with a long frame he’s sure to fill in as he ages, but the story of this fight was a cautionary tale of ring rust from Diaz.
Ernesto Garcia (11-2, 10KOs) def. Rashib Martinez (20-3-1, 9KOs)
Ernesto Garcia was a true hidden gem on this card for me. He’s only 18 years old, took two losses early in his career, and at a glance, I figured he’d get outworked by the older, more experienced fighter in Rashib Martinez.
I couldn’t have been more wrong. He was physically outsized and outgunned by Martinez. As the commentators pointed out it very much looked like a man fighting a boy, but Garcia fought as if he was twice Martinez’s size. From range, he’d fire a great variety of lead hand punches from either stance to work his way inside, duck the counters of Martinez, and rip the body on the way up.
From the inside, he would land hooks and uppercuts before Martinez would outmuscle him in the clinch to force a break. This continued for two rounds until a clean Garcia uppercut dropped Martinez.
Ernesto continued to land in close at the edge of the ring, no counters came from Martinez anymore, and the referee was forced to stop it. Garcia becomes the first to stop Rashid Martinez, an older, bigger, more experienced fighter.
To his credit, Martinez is a solid fighter. He was strong and technical but too limited and got overwhelmed. The one bit of criticism to be offered up for Ernesto is that he often leads with power as opposed to a jab, and he left a few openings in the clinch for Martinez, but he has all the time in the world to polish up. I’m very excited to see where Garcia ends up if he keeps developing; as he grows and improves I personally think he could make some waves in a division like Bantamweight.
Jorge Garcia (26-4, 22KOs) def. Ricardo Banuelos (18-10-1, 7KOs)
This was perhaps the most pedestrian fight of the card, which speaks highly of the action that took place all night. Jorge Garcia was meant to impress against the older journeyman in Ricky Banuelos, and he did.
Garcia is a long, lanky fighter that moves in behind a high guard and a jab. From the outside, he almost exclusively targets the body with his power shots, throwing straights and hooks to the core of Banuelos. He uses his range in a unique way, landing body shots at atypical ranges and leveraging his hooks up top in a way a shorter fighter couldn’t.
Banuelos fought like an old journeyman, he set traps as he got pressured backwards, and Garcia’s focus on the body gave Banuelos some clean openings. Unfortunately for him, the upset was not to be as the younger fighter ripped to the body and came up with a beautiful lead hook that floored him.
That was all she wrote for the co-main event, as Banuelos beat the count but was mercifully stopped by the referee. Jorge Garcia has a unique build and style that I could see giving a lot of people problems. It should also be noted that three of his four losses were narrow split decisions.
Luis Nery (35-1, 27KOs) def. Froilan Saludar (33-7-1, 23KOs)
Froilan Saludar fought a very good fight for about a round before Luis Nery again proved he is a top contender by finishing it in the second.
The first round was fairly slow; Saludar took control of the center and touched Nery to the head and body with long right hands. A couple of times, he was drawn into a big exchange but avoided the big swings of the former champion. In the second round, Nery seemed to have woken up, perhaps due to the cut opened up above his eye in a head clash.
They again traded in the pocket, and Nery’s power finally came to bear, cleanly dropping the Pinoy boxer. Saludar lost his confidence and speed after feeling Nery’s power, and two more clean knockdowns saw an end to the fight.
Luis Nery continues to prove he is world class after losing his titles to Brandon Figueroa two years ago, and I think anyone would love to see him face the winner of Fulton-Inoue next.