Live by the sword, die by the body shot. Fans at the Fantasy Springs Resort & Casino enjoyed knockout action courtesy of colleague Marquis Johns’ favorite punch. Make it two. Call it the Liver Shiver, the Liver Quiver, or the one-hitter quitter. Nothing beats a wicked body shot.
In the main event, super lightweight Jousce Gonzalez of Covina (13-0-1, 12 KOs) gave the Gonzalez family a reason to smile again, winning with a third-round body shot knockout over Joses Angulo of Ecuador (14-23, 7 KOs). Gonzalez’s older brother Joet, who lost a razor-thin decision to Isaac Dogboe last week, told Jousce not to let the fight go to the judges. Good advice.
Gonzalez took his time through the first two rounds, then went to work. “I saw a lot of things in the opening round. I knew he was going to box me from the beginning,” he explained after the win. “That was his game plan, not to let me get inside. I saw him pull up his guard too high, and that’s all I needed to get the body shot.” Angulo couldn't spit his mouthpiece out fast enough, sitting down on the canvas in pain as referee Eddy Hernandez Sr. waived it off at 2:29 of the round.
“I knew he was going to touch, touch, touch, and stay comfortable. It’s my job to make him uncomfortable. I proved a lot to myself. He’s 14-2, he’s solid. He’s never been knocked out, and I was the first to do it,” said Gonzalez.
Double Knockouts For Joel Diaz Fighters Flores and Abduraimov
Super bantamweight prospect Manual Flores of Coachella (13-0, 10 KOs) gave the Fantasy Springs crowd a show with an impressive knockout win for Indio-based trainer Joel Diaz. Flores tagged Daniel Moncada of Mexico City (15-7-2, 5 KOs) midway through round three. He let go a multi-punch flurry, ending with a pinpoint perfect left hook to the chin. Moncada was out before he hit the canvas.
“It’s a blessing. I do it for the Coachella Valley. Let’s make some noise out here,” said Flores to his fans. “I’d seen I hurt him with the body shot. We’ve been working on that. I tried to go for the kill. But you gotta be smart with it.”
Stablemate Elnur Abduraimov of Indio (10-0, 9 KOs) made it dos for Diaz. He was in the ring for just 74 seconds of action, but fans will forgive him this time. The Uzbek junior lightweight set up a single perfect body shot to drop and stop Leonel Moreno of Guadalajara (11-2-1, 9 KOs). Moreno came in as a last-minute replacement for the southpaw, and he crumpled to the ground when the shot landed.
“I am happy I was able to end the fight early,” said Abduraimov. “I am looking forward to continuing my journey in the division, reach the elite, and fight a world championship. I am grateful to my team for all their support.”
Abduraimov is among a group of Uzbek fighters in the Indio stable of Joel Diaz. He wins a minor IBF title, and everyone watching will look forward to seeing him back against more formidable opposition – if anyone’s brave enough.
Gabriela Fundora Pleases Hometown Fans
Local Coachella Valley favorite Gabriela Fundora (8-0, 4 KOs) had more fans in the seats than anyone else in the arena, and she didn’t let them down. Police officer Lucia Nunez of Mexico City (7-13) proved too tough to stop, but she took plenty of heat from Fundora during eight rounds of battering. Fundora gets the shutout decision by scores of 80-72 on all cards.
Fundora landed 189 of 564 punches thrown (34%) to 59 of 246 for Nunez (24%). Fundora landed 167 power shots and just 22 jabs but credited the jab making the difference. “I was able to use it to land uppercuts that I feel started to wear her down,” said Fundora. “I want to get to the belts as soon as possible, if staying active is the way to get it, I want to continue fighting at the same pace that I have this year.”
Trained by father Freddy and with her brother Sebastian “Towering Inferno” Fundora assisting. Fundora fought for the first time as a pro at home. Freddy Fundora told his daughter to “get mean,” but she didn’t need much of a push. Fundora gave Nunez credit for being durable. Nunez was brave but outgunned and no threat to Fundora’s offense.
Tudor, Artiga Take Wins Back to Florida
Middleweight prospect Eric Tudor of Fort Lauderdale has been turning heads in Derik Santos’ gym, and it’s easy to see why. Tudor (5-0, 4 KOs) blitzed right through Edgar Valenzuela of Douglas, Arizona (7-1,6 KOs) for a second-round knockout win. Tudor delivers his punches with serious intentions. His first knockdown came from a right hook to the temple and the second from a nasty right hook to the body. Valenzuela spits out the mouthpiece, and the contest was done.
“I didn’t expect for the fight to end early. We always train to go the distance,” said Tudor. “When I landed that body shot, and he took a knee, I knew that it was only a matter of time. I am grateful for all the support this year from my team, Golden Boy, and my fans. I am looking to stay active and maybe add two more fights to my record this year.”
In the televised opener, super flyweight Jasmine Artiga of Tampa (9-0-1, 5 KOs) won a split decision over crowd favorite Amy Salinas of Las Cruces, New Mexico (4-2). Scores were 60-54 and 58-55 for Artiga, 58-66 for Salinas. Salinas put up a relentless work rate, but Artiga was the cleaner, more skilled, and took the win. But a shutout didn’t do justice to Salinas’ effort.
“I feel very excited to have won this fight after only ten amateur fights,” said Artiga. “I feel I had the better game plan and cleaner landing shots. We knew the kind of fighter she was. She is a decorated amateur with a come-forward style, and I felt we were ready for her. This is a big win for me and a big steppingstone for bigger fighters to come in the future.”