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


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.

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:

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.


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.