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Posted on 12/15/2017

By: Ken Hissner

At the Fanasty Resorts Casino in Indio, CA, Thursday night over ESPN due to Diego De La Hoya’s inability to make weight for his fight against Jose Salgado it’s been replaced by Morales vs Zenunaj on a Golden Boy Promotions.

Photo Credit: Golden Boy Boxing

In the Main Event Super featherweight Carlos “The Solution” Morales, 17-2-3 (6), of Los Angeles, CA, defeated by technical decision over Dardan Zenunaj, 14-4 (11), of Pec, Kosovo but residing in Los Angeles, CA, for the vacant NABA title, after the fifth round.

The first round Zenunaj was the aggressor. A left hook from Morales to the chin of Zenunaj rocked him. Both boxers scored with right hands. A left hook from Zenunaj caused a cut above the left eye of Morales. In the second round Morales comes out throwing punches in bunches. Three jabs from Morales followed by a right to the head of Zenunaj. Zenunaj landed his best punch so far a lead right to the chin of Morales. Zenunaj finished well with a hard left hook having Morales off balance.

In the third round Morales used a countering jab keeping Zenunaj at bay. Morales landed a good combination to the head of Zenunaj. Morales countered Zenunaj who was walking into his punches.

Morales landed a hard chopping right to the head of an aggressive Zenunaj. Morales landed a solid left hook to the head of Zenunaj just prior to the bell.

In the fourth round Zenunaj landed a good right to the neck of Morales. Zenunaj landed a good left uppercut to the chin of Morales. Another head clash caused a cut over the right eye of Morales.

Zenunaj landed a solid left hook to the head of Morales. A 3-punch combination from Morales to the head of Zenunaj got the latter’s attention. Zenunaj ended the round with a 3-punch combation to the head of Morales.

In the fifth round Zenunaj chased and caught Morales with a good right to the head. Morales landed a solid left hook to the head of Zenunaj. A hard left hook to the body from Zenunaj had Morales hurt. Morales ended the round with solid head shots but too little too late. Morales also had a cut on the bridge of his nose.

Before the sixth round started the referee brought in the ring physician to check the cuts on Morales. Morales informed the ring physician he couldn’t see out of his right eye due to a head butt so they went to the scorecards.

Judge’s all have it 49-46 as did this writer. Unfortunately for Zenunaj he had a big fifth round. Zenunaj called Morales a quitter and Zenunaj said he saw double out of his right eye.

In the Co-Main Event 2016 Mexican Olympian Welterweight Raul “Cougar” Curiel, 2-0 (1), of Tamaulipas, MEX, stopped Israel Villela, 6-8 (2), of Cancun, MEX, at 2:31 of the fourth and final round.

In the first round Curiel was the aggressor working his jab followed by left hooks and uppercuts to the body and head of Villela. Villela countered with rights to the head. In the second round a solid right to the head from Villela got Curiel’s attention. Curiel’s body attack with hard left hooks made Villela clinch. Curiel landed a solid 3-punch combination to the body and head of Villela. Curiel landed a 3-punch left hook to the body of Villela. Curiel drew blood from the nose of Villela with solid left hooks to the face of Villela.

In the third round Curiel landed solid combinations to the chin of Villela drawing blood from the mouth. A 3-punch combination from Curiel with the final punch a left hook to the head of Villela hurt him. A double left hook to the body by Curiel dropped Villela. It looked like a kidney punch. In the fourth and final round a right, left from Curiel to the head rocked Villela. Villela showed plenty of heart countering Curiel but taking a body beating. Curiel landed a solid left hook and right to the chin dropping Villela with and a left while Villela was on a knee. The corner of Villela ended it to the disgust of Villela.

Curiel had a total of eighteen bouts in the World Series of Boxing that without head gear was good preparation for the professional ranks. At the Olympics food poisoning robbed him of his first round bout losing as a walk over.

Opening bout 2012 Olympic Bronze Medalist Super flyweight Marlen Esparza, 4-0 (0), of Houston, TX, shut out Karla Valenzuela, 3-17-3 (1), of Palacio, MEX, over six rounds.

In the first round Esparza stalked Valenzuela with a solid jab. Showed a good left hook and landed a solid one to the chin prior to the bell rocking Valenzuela. In the second round looking for her first knockout Esparza finally had Valenzuela opening up offensively until a clash of heads. Valenzuela was holding her left eye. She walked into the head of Esparza. Esparza ended the round with a solid combination to the head of Valenzuela. Both boxers landed left hooks at the same time. Another head butt warning from the referee.

In the third round Esparza rocked Valenzuela who looked to the canvas as it was the cause of her slipping. Esparza lands several good left hooks going to the body and head of Valenzuela. In the fourth round Esparza continued to outwork Valenzuela.

In the fifth round a good right hand off of a left hook by Esparza landed on the chin of Valenzuela. She was still looking for that first knockout over Valenzuela.

At the bell both boxers landed right hands with Valenzuela getting stunned by Esparza. In the sixth and final round Esparza landed a double left hook to the head of Valenzuela closing the bout winning all six rounds. The referee was Raul Caiz, Jr.

All three judges and this writer had it 60-54 for the winner.

In a swing bout Featherweight 18 year-old southpaw Ryan Caballero, 4-0 (2), of Coachella, CA, stopped Franco Gutierrez, 1-1 (0), of Agua Prieta, MEX, at 0:34 of the first of a scheduled four.

In the first round Caballero drove Gutierrez into the ropes with a possible shoulder injury from a Caballero flurry. Referee Raul Caiz, Jr. stopped the bout.

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