Randy Caballero and Frankie Gomez got their 2016s off on the right foot last night in Indio, California, winning fights on Golden Boy's Estrella TV card from the Fantasy Springs Casino.
It was the first fight since October 2014 for Caballero, a former bantamweight titleholder who went through injuries early last year, and missed weight for a scheduled November return, where he lost his belt on the scales before the fight was canceled. Now fighting at 122 pounds, Caballero stopped Ruben Garcia after seven rounds in the main event.
"It feels so great to be back," said Caballero (23-0, 14 KO). "I felt strong and in control the whole time and glad I was able to shake off some of the ring rust. I am glad I was able to share this victory with my hometown and have them witness my return to the ring. I know I delievered a great fight, and I am ready for the next challenge. I want to become a world champion again, and I know the opportunity is coming soon."
Garcia (15-2-1, 6 KO) was pretty much an unknown foe coming into the fight. He was dropped two times in the seventh round, but fought bravely and made no excuses.
"I was excited about the opportunity to fight Randy," he said. "I knew that a victory against a former world champion like Randy could elevate my profile in the division and lead to more opportunities for me. But, unfortunately I couldn't excute the plan. I couldn't find him in the ring and sadly the result was not what I was hoping or expecting. This loss does not discourage me. I will rest and get back in the gym and wait for the next opportunity."
Gomez (20-0, 13 KO) scored a shutout decision win in the co-feature, beating veteran Silverio Ortiz on scores of 100-90 across the board. It's the third straight 10-round decision win for Gomez, and in each fight he's officially won every round on the judges' scorecards.
"I felt very strong in the ring and felt in complete control throughout the fight," said Gomez, who turned 24 on Thursday. "I am glad with the decision, it's another victory on my record. Ortiz was a tough guy, he was taking a lot of hits and didn't go down until the ninth round. He definitely earned my respect, but I am here to win and become a world champion."
Gomez is reportedly headed to the Philippines to work with Manny Pacquiao next, or at least that's the plan his trainer Freddie Roach has.