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BOXING / IRVINE MARRIOTT : La Puente’s Baltazar Wins With Knockout in Fifth

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Tony Baltazar’s accidental punches might have done as much damage as his on-target ones Thursday when he scored a fifth-round knockout in the main event of a boxing card at the Irvine Marriott.

Fighting before a crowd of 872, Baltazar, a junior-welterweight from La Puente, did plenty of damage to Mexico’s Alberto Castro with a powerful left uppercut. But a few of the punches were low, and they clearly hurt--and slowed--Castro.

Baltazar (37-4-1) ended the scheduled 10-round bout with a strong left to Castro’s ribs at 2:40 in the fifth round. It was Baltazar’s 31st knockout.

Baltazar had knocked Castro (28-11) down earlier in the round. Castro was slow getting up because he thought the blow was low, but referee Lou Moret figured otherwise and started the count.

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Baltazar lost a point for a low blow in the third round; Castro had to take about a three-minute break--the first minute on the floor--before fighting again.

“I did get him low once,” Baltazar said. “But it’s not like that’s what I’m trying to do. I just want to throw that left hook to the body so hard that sometimes I drop my hand a little to low to start it. It’s not the first time it has happened. The ref gave me a pretty good lecture about it out there.”

Baltazar looked strong from the outset, and a left uppercut that managed to find Castro’s chin knocked him down in the second round.

On the undercard:

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Mike Semaza, a featherweight from Orange, continues to look like a fighter with a future.

He scored a fourth-round knockout of Juan Carlos Lopez of Los Angeles in the semi-main event, which was scheduled for six rounds.

Semaza improved to 7-0-1.

After a passive opening round, Semaza took control with a sharp left jab and stinging right. He stunned Lopez (2-3) with two lefts and then a crisp right to the nose that drew blood in the middle of the third round.

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Semaza continued his punishment through the rest of the third round and the beginning of the fourth. The bout was stopped at 1:40 of the fourth after Semaza scored again with a three-punch burst.


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