Albert Davila, former WBC bantamweight champion, defeated Edel Geronimo in a 10-round unanimous decision Monday night at the Irvine Marriott in front of a sellout crowd of 1,460.
Davila, who won the title in 1983 but had to give it up after hurting his back in 1984, used a steady left jab and a series of punishing rights to keep Geronimo, the Philippines' bantamweight champion, from landing many punches.
Davila, of Pomona, is 53-8-1 and Geronimo, of Manila, is 16-2.
Davila did suffer cuts over both eyes from head butts. Neither fighter landed a serious blow in the opening round but in the second the action picked up.
They stood, toe-to-toe, in the center of the ring, exchanging punches.
As Geronimo ducked under a right, midway through the round, he butted Davila on the outside of the right eye. The cut bled for the final minute of the round, but Davila went to the left jab the remainder of the fight to keep Geronimo from landing punches to the eye.
The cut was opened twice more--in the 5th and 10th rounds. Davila also suffered a much smaller cut above his left eye, but that was only noticed in the dressing room after the fight.
"I had to go inside and he had to go inside," Davila said. "The guy's style was a little difficult for me. . . . I was a little rusty but I feel good."
Davila established his jab through the middle rounds and was able to score often with his right as he kept Geronimo away by snapping his left quickly into his opponent's head when he tried to move inside.
Davila scored with a series of strong combinations in the sixth and seventh rounds but was close to a knockout only in the seventh. He connected with a series of left jabs followed by two rights to the face that staggered Geronimo, who was able to recover as the round ended.
In other fights:
Jorge Cazares (12-2-1) of Blythe won a unanimous, six-round decision over Geraldo Nava (3-5-2) of Anaheim.
Victor Flores (3-1) of Los Angeles also won a unanimous decision over Noberto Ayala (1-6) of Anaheim.
Collins Crews (1-2) knocked out Frank Charles (0-3) of Pasadena in the third round.
Larry Musgrove (11-5-3) of Los Angeles knocked out Hector Jaiman (8-3-1) in the fourth round.
Greg Puente, the California Super Featherweight champion, has agreed to a title defense against Ramon Marchene April 27 at the Irvine Marriott. Marchene won a 10-round split decision over Puente in February in a non-title fight at the Irvine Marriott. The title fight will be 12 rounds. . . . It was the third consecutive sellout this year at the Marriott.