Photo by Kaliesha West
Rhonda Luna Wins GBU Junior Lightweight World Title
Posted: Saturday, October 29, 2010
By David A. Avila
HIGHLAND-If you know anything about Rhonda “The Natural” Luna it’s that she never quits.
After three attempts on foreign soil failed to produce a
world title, Luna (16-2-2) fought in front of a mostly hometown crowd at
Luna is now the GBU junior lightweight world champion.
Rhonda “The Natural” Luna tried and tried and finally got her world title with a strong effort after 10 hard rounds against New York’s Ela “Bam Bam” Nunez (9-7-1) on Thursday.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” said Luna, who had world title attempts in 2005, 2007 and 2009. “I could have gone another 10 rounds.”
The world title fight evolved quickly a week ago when promoter Patrick Ortiz of Ringside Ticket Promotions lost several men’s bouts. He decided to bump the female bout to a world title fight if both female prizefighters agreed. They agreed.
Perhaps the quick change hurt Nunez but you couldn’t tell early on.
“The women’s fights and one of the men’s fights turned out to be the best fights of the night,” said Ortiz, one of the few promoters who regularly puts on female prizefights.
Nunez is a former world champion who may have many losses on
her record but they all were against the best female prizefighters in the
world. If you’re not a skilled fighter she will beat you. She proved that in
the fight as her clever movements in the first round caused Luna to observe
more than fire. Left hooks from the
The second round saw Luna firing three –punch combos behind more jabs. Though few punches were fired it was Luna’s punches that were more effective.
Both fighters opened up in the third round and fired combinations at will. A right hand uppercut landed for Luna who was countered by a big right hand from Nunez in a close round.
“I got hit way more than I should have,” said Luna, 32, of
Counter right hands from Luna found the mark in the fourth round. Time after time the counter right hand connected. Toward the end of the round a big right hand landed for Nunez.
Luna was winning the fifth round handily but was caught with a big right hand at the bell that sent her into the ropes.
In the sixth round Nunez enticed Luna to brawl and she obliged and ran into a right hand that connected flush. Luna shook her head to prove it didn’t hurt and both engaged again. The round slowed a bit in the final 30 seconds.
“She hit me with the hardest shot she’s got,” said Luna, who smiled recollecting that moment. “Nothing.”
Nunez decided to get on her toes in the seventh round and it
cost her as Luna scored heavy whenever she caught the
Luna won big in the eighth round as Nunez seemed to tire and fire punches wider than usual. Luna connected often with right hands to the body and head. A right counter at the bell landed flush for Luna as Nunez seemed to tire badly.
The ninth round saw Luna go back to work on the body and head. Nunez couldn’t muster energy though she was never seriously hurt she was absorbing a lot of blows especially on the ropes.
In the final round Nunez seemed to catch a second wind and land some big left hooks and overhand rights. Luna was too strong to be affected by them but Nunez did seem to win the last round convincingly. Some short combos by Luna landed but were offset by Nunez’s bigger shots.
All three judges scored it for Luna 96-94, 97-93, 98-92 for Luna.
Luna opened the double doors of the arena and was greeted
loudly by several hundred fans. She wore a yellow and blue bracelet for a young
“Somebody out there doesn’t want me to have a belt, but that’s alright,” Luna said with a smile.
She’s a world champion at last.
Reyes used a tight defense to move closer while firing shots and blocking most of the returns blows. Vierra was quick on his feet and with his short combinations but Reyes found more openings.
By the third round the relentless body shots by Reyes opened up more holes in Vierra’s defense and also slowed him down. Reyes opened up with combos to the body and head and finally a left hook to the liver dropped Vierra for the count. Referee Jack Reiss counted Vierra out at 2:08 of the fourth round.
Cindy Amador and Blanca Raymundo
A battle between female flyweights proved to be all action
Soloman dropped Smith with a quick one-two combination in the first round. Soloman had the tighter defense and rarely allowed Smith to find an opening. Two judges scored it 40-35, 39-36 for Soloman, judge Vince Delgado scored it 38-37 for Smith.