Gutierrez Holds the Gate Closed


Carson, July 13th, 2019- One year and 364 days ago I sat amazed in the Belasco Theater media row at the grit of Rene Alvarado.

Brought in as an opponent for an up and coming hard charger from Venezuela with aspirations to become the next superstar. Alvarado didn’t read the script saying he was supposed to lose that night.

Gutierrez’s team, who’d travelled all the way from Venezuela in their shiny matching team suits sat dejected and shocked that their national superstar had been beaten badly and knocked out in the seventh round.

Fast forward two years, I sat amazed in the Dignity Health Sports Park media row at the grit of Roger Gutierrez.

Eduardo “Rocky” Hernandez 28-1 25KOs was a hard charging prospect from Mexico with the hype and aspirations of becoming the next Mexican superstar in boxing. Roger Gutierrez 22-3-1 19KOs was the sacrificial lamb to add a knockout on the padded record of KO victims from south of the border. Gutierrez had already lost to Golden Boy prospects Hector Tanajara and Oscar Duarte, he seemed the perfect foil for Hernandez to shine against.

Gutierrez didn’t read the script.

In the opening seconds Hernandez came out ferociously, attacking Gutierrez. Not succumbing to the pressure Gutierrez fired a straight one two down the pipe rocking the charging Mexican. A one two again, then a right hand and Hernandez was down on his back. Beating the count, the Mexican was on shaky legs and stumbled across the ring to his knees in a highlight moment just before the referee waived the fight.

In what can only be described as a self vindicating moment, Gutierrez celebrated his victory. During the post fight interview Gutierrez said “Yes, of course I felt I could win. I always had the mentality that I would be able to win and that’s why I did. I want to take the opportunity to greet everyone here in Los Angeles and let them know that the era of Roger Gutierrez has begun.”

No story is completed until the pen leaves the page. One day shy of two years ago the plot for Gutierrez’s career and life changed as a venerable veteran of the sport held the gate closed on him. Saturday at Dignity Health Sports Park Gutierrez channeled his experience and emotion into one short roller coaster that left Hernandez standing wobbled, dejected, and amazed that everything he’d known to be true about himself just changed.

About Albert Baker

Writer/Producer/Director of the Under the Hand Wraps documentary series and owner of Albert Baker is currently based in Fresno, California and has been covering boxing since 2014.

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