Boxing at Santa Ana Stadium : Leon and Aceves Win WBO Titles in Contrasting Style

Times Staff Writer

Genaro Leon worked less than a round Saturday night and Mauricio Aceves had to work 12 rounds, but both came away with the same thing--World Boxing Organization titles.

Leon of Mexico won the vacant WBO welterweight title with a knockout in the first round. Aceves won the vacant WBO lightweight title with a unanimous decision in front of about 3,000 at Santa Ana Stadium.

Leon (27-2) danced with Danny Garcia of Puerto Rico for about the first minute and a half, until he landed a sharp left jab to the chin. Leon then moved inside and trapped Garcia on the ropes, sending him to the floor with a powerful combination two minutes into the round.

Garcia (19-4) regained his feet and tried to counterpunch, but was dropped for good by a solid right with two seconds left in the round and the fight was stopped by the referee.

It was the second time Aceves (32-3-1) of Mexico and Amancio Castro (43-4-1) of Colombia had fought. The pair had battled to a draw in January of this year. Saturday, Aceves dominated the middle rounds and won a decision by scores of 116-113, 116-113 and 116-114.

Both fighters started quickly and it didn't look like the bout would go the distance until the pace started to slow in the eighth round.

Castro threw a series of wild hooks and uppercuts that left him open for some strong rights from Aceves in the first two rounds.

As the two fought close in the second round, Aceves suffered a deep cut over the right eye as a result of a head butt. He bled from the cut the rest of the fight.

"I lost a lot of power because I was bleeding so much from the head butt," Aceves said through an interpreter. "He tried to knock me out but his punches weren't enough."

Castro seemed ready to fall several times between third and the eighth rounds as Aceves scored with a strong left jab and a solid right.

But in the final rounds, Castro switched to a more defensive style, leaving himself less open for Aceves' penetrating jabs. Castro was strong in the ninth and 10th round. In the final two rounds, neither fighter had enough energy to do much damage.

Angel Hernandez of San Diego scored an impressive upset of crowd-favorite Rodolfo Gonzalez, of Mexico, in a middleweight fight on the undercard. Hernandez (14-6) scored a fifth-round knockout of the more-experienced Gonzalez (41-8-1).

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