William Zepeda Wins by KO; Yokasta Valle Wins Too at Commerce Casino


By David A. Avila

COMMERCE, Ca.-Mexico’s William “Camaron” Zepeda unleashed his revved-up style against Mercito Gesta and steamrolled the always tough fighter for a knockout midway through the scheduled 12-round regional lightweight title fight on Saturday.

It was only in doubt for a round.

Zepeda (29-0, 25 KOs) celebrated Mexican Independence Day by unleashing his volume punching style on lightweight contender Gesta (34-4-3, 17 KOs) in front of more than 2,000 fans at Commerce Casino. It was standing room only for the Golden Boy Promotions card.

Gesta never went down but was overwhelmed in this battle of southpaws.

The first round saw Gesta connect early with sharp blows as he moved around on his toes. It was his best round. He was coming off an impressive win against former champion Jojo Diaz but this was a different scenario completely.

Zepeda took over in the second round and never relinquished control back to the Filipino fighter from San Diego. The Mexican fighter targeted the body early and kept pressure on Gesta who tried to fire back and gain respect. Nothing seemed to bother the fighter from San Mateo Atenco.

In the fifth round Zepeda stunned Gesta and then increased his already buzzsaw volume of blows seeking to finish his foe. Somehow Gesta managed to survive the round but sustained a lot of punishment. Zepeda also expended a lot of energy in the round seeking a knockout that didn’t come.

The sixth round saw Zepeda not charge in his usual high-volume manner, but he did put pressure on Gesta. Suddenly he rocketed several right hooks that stunned the San Diego fighter. The Mexican assassin slipped into killing mode and opened up once again sensing the end. Gesta covered up along the ropes with referee Jack Reiss closely watching as Zepeda unleashed 22 unanswered blows. The fight was stopped at 1:31 of the sixth round. Zepeda was declared the winner by knockout for the regional WBA title.

It was a fan pleasing performance.

Yokasta Valle Wins

Costa Rica’s Yokasta Valle (29-2, 9 KOs) ran into a right cross in the opening seconds but roared past former amateur rival Maria Santizo (11-3) to retain the IBF and WBO minimumweight world titles by unanimous decision.


Valle seldom used a jab in powering past Guatemala’s Santizo who she had fought two times as amateurs in Central American tournaments. This was her first meeting with Santizo as a professional.

Known as a speedy and athletic volume puncher, Valle stayed in the pocket and rifled right hands that snapped Santizo’s head back repeatedly throughout the 10-round title match. Santizo had her moments but never enough to offset the combination punches coming from the Costa Rican fighter.

After 10 rounds all three judges saw Valle the winner. The scores were 100-90 and 99-91 twice.

Featherweight clash

Washington’s Victor Morales (19-0-1, 9 KOs) slugged it out with Mexico City’s Edwin Palomares (18-5-2, 9 KOs) and caught fire in the last round to nearly stop the Mexico City fighter. But the closely-matched contest ended up on the score cards with Morales winning by 100-90, 99-91, 96-94. The scores did not reflect the competitiveness in each round.

Palomares was successful with a punishing body attack and Morales had sharp combination punching. The last round saw Morales stagger Palomares who hung on to hear the final bell.

It was a crowd-pleasing fight.

. Other Bouts

El Paso’s Darius Fulghum (7-0, 7 KOs) looked in complete control against Mexico’s Ricardo Luna (25-11-2, 16 KOs) in winning by knockout. The Texas light heavyweight looked skilled and strong in scoring a knockout at 1:30 of the second round. A crisp left hook ended the fight.

Kansas middleweight Eric Priest (11-0, 7 KOs) navigated through Simon Madsen’s (13-2, 10 KOs) head butts to win a close encounter by decision after eight rounds. Thankfully, there were no serious head butts but plenty of head-on-head action.

Denver’s Daniel Garcia (7-0, 5 KOs) figured out Erick Benitez’ (4-5) swinging from the heels style and won by decision after four rounds to win 40-36 on all three cards

Mexicali’s Alejandro Reyes (11-0, 5 KOs) had a tough time with Mexico City’s Roberto Gomez (5-2, 5 KOs) and managed to win by majority decision after six rounds of a super lightweight contest. Scores were 57-57, 58-56, 59-55. Gomez proved very strong.

Southpaw Gael Cabrera (2-0) showed agility and speed in defeating Nicaragua’s tough Juan Centeno (8-10-3) in a four round featherweight match by unanimous decision.

Jordan Cervantes (1-0) showed speed and skill in handling Giovanny Meza (0-5) to win by decision in his pro debut.

Photo credit: Al Applerose