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Headliner suffers TKO in opening round

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Muñoz is KO’d by Guereca again

Bernardo Guereca’s record suggests — no, shouts — that he would have trouble breaking the proverbial egg.

Yet, Saturday night, for the second time, he shattered Hector Muñoz’s hopes, plans and dreams.

Guereca, a light-hitting professional boxer from El Paso, dropped Muñoz with a left uppercut and stopped the Albuquerquean by shocking, first-round TKO in the main event of a four-bout card at the Crowne Plaza.

It was Guereca’s second first-round TKO of Muñoz, the first coming almost nine years ago.

Guereca (17-17-1) has only four knockouts in 35 professional fights — two of those coming at Muñoz’s expense.

Muñoz (21-10-1, 14 KOs) appeared to be winning the first round when Guereca caught and dropped him with a left uppercut. Muñoz got to his feet but was unsteady, and referee Rocky Burke stopped the fight with just one second left in the round.

Afterward, Muñoz struggled to make sense of the outcome.

“I didn’t feel dazed, but they said I was,” he said. “I wanted to keep going.

“The first round, me, getting stopped by that guy, again? … It’s just embarrassing.”

Muñoz said he had a fight lined up on the undercard of an upcoming HBO fight. That probably is gone now, he said.

Guereca, a southpaw, said it also was a left hand that put Muñoz on the canvas nine years ago.

“He was giving me a hard time, because he was coming towards me,” Guereca said. “He was pressuring me a lot. But I was able to catch him with that uppercut.”

Guereca weighed 152.8 pounds, Muñoz 147.6.

In the semi-main event, Cristian Cabral (5-0-1, three KOs), 143.8 pounds, scored a convincing victory by six-round unanimous decision over fellow Albuquerquean Donald Sanchez (2-1, one KO), 147.

Sanchez, a veteran mixed-martial arts fighter, seemed content to box a boxer for most of the bout. That played into the faster hands of Cabral, who landed more sharply and more often through the first five rounds.

In the sixth, Sanchez finally applied some pressure and won the round on the Journal’s card. But, whether the official judges agreed or not, it was too little, too late. The official scorecards read 59-55, 59-55 and 58-56 for Cabral.

In undercard bouts:

Paul Castillo (3-0, one KOs) of Santa Fe, 134 pounds, pounded out a victory by unanimous, four-round decision over Albuquerque’s Diego Bautista (0-2), 134.8.

Adrian Lopez (4-1-1, one KO) of Socorro, 174.8 pounds, scored a win by unanimous four-round decision over Albuquerque’s Ricky Villafuerte (0-2), 172.4.

In a wildly entertaining fight, Castillo floored Bautista in the first with a right hand. Bautista returned the favor in the second with a right of his own.

Castillo slowed the pace, to his advantage, in the third, then blasted away with little response from a tiring Batista in the fourth. All three judges scored it 38-36 for Castillo.
— This article appeared on page D7 of the Albuquerque Journal

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