The future was on display inside Pechanga Entertainment Center in Temecula, California on July 7, 2000, as Carlos Bojorquez faced off against Luther Smith. Two middleweights just at the start of their careers were trying to show the world what they could do.
Coming into the sport around the same time, Bojorquez (26-10-6) and Smith (22-8-2) would end up clashing heads in front of a passionate fanbase. On the latest Throwback Throwdown, FIGHT SPORTS opens the vault to review this World Class Championship Boxing matchup featuring Bojorquez against Smith.
At 28, Bojorquez, fighting out of Los Mochis, Mexico, had a 12-2-4 record at the time of the bout. “El Elegante” had a run in which he earned several wins before either points or split decision draws got in the way. In fact, his first seven fights had three end in a draw. Bojorquez was riding a two-fight win streak heading into the bout, beating Rosember Palacio via knockout.
Known as someone with a good chin, he needed it against someone in Smith who had an 18-0-1 record at the time. Fighting out of Los Angeles, Smith was coming into his own and just beat Javier Francisco Mendez three months before via points. Backed by Sugar Ray Leonard, the sky was the limit for “Sugarman”, who just needed an extra boost in competition.
Who would end up taking home the WBC FECARBOX Middleweight Championship?
The (Literal) Hook
Round one saw Smith start the round with immediate jabs to the body and face of Bojorquez. Smith continued to go for and connect with the jab as Bojorquez would stand his ground. Known as an eloquent fighter, Bojorquez would end up landing a jab and body shots. As time went on in the round Bojorquez would apply pressure to Smith, who would use the entire ring as his canvas. Bojorquez, meanwhile, was able to be efficient in one spot.
Smith looked to use his jabs once again to start round two, but Bojorquez would start to gain momentum. At this time, the broadcast booth brought in Leonard, who discussed how passionate he was about helping his fighters. He wanted Smith to step up and take his time, right as Smith was going for body combinations. Smith would keep holding onto the jab until Bojorquez struck back.
Bojorquez would hit a shot to the face and body of Smith, then landed a big right hand. Leonard noted how Bojorquez was a major step-up in competition for Smith. Smith tried hitting body shots but Bojorquez pushed him away. Bojorquez would hit a few jabs while Smith was reaching, eventually landing an uppercut that could have taken the tired Smith out.
Smith eventually was patient, but was it too late? Bojorquez would hit an underhand left and a left to the temple. While Smith was avoiding key shots, Bojorquez would be overwhelming him by leaving his comfort zone and chasing after Smith. Bojorquez would then hit Smith against the ropes and knocked him down in what could be considered a push. He would then hit more body shots and hit Smith with a shot that tripped and knocked him down. Bojorquez became a shark that smelt blood as he landed huge overhand shots that had Smith reeling by the turnbuckles. Eventually, the referee stopped the fight 2:44 into the round.
The Post-Match Breakdown
Following the bout, Bojorquez would beat Lloyd Weaver via TKO for his third win via some form of knockout. He would end up 13-8-2 in his career, ending his run in 2006-2007 with a 2-3 record. Establishing himself early on, however, the Smith win helped Boroguez eventually win the IBF Super-Welterweight Title, a title he defended twice.
After suffering the first major setback of his career, Smith needed a new game plan. He ended up winning two in a row following the loss, beating both Jasper Goddard and Miguel Rojas. Retiring in 2008, Smith had a 2-7-1 record after those rebound wins, including ending his career on a five-fight losing streak.
In their own way, both fighters battled to prove to fans local and beyond that they can handle the tough competition. For Smith, the first big challenge was the first major hurdle for him. Bojorquez was able to take advantage of his scrappy but calm ability to make an impact.
While both fighter’s careers ended up in different ways, this fight will be a true turning point for both to reflect on.