Rios stops Esquivias in 2
The Belasco Theatre in downtown Los Angeles hosted once again a sold out show as Golden Boy Promotions LA Fight Club series touched down with a fight card televised live on Estrella TV.
The main event saw Ronny Rios stop Efrain Esquivias inside two rounds in a successful defense of his WBC Silver featherweight title.
Rios, (26-1, 11KO) started early with solid punches to the head and body of Esquivias and notched a knockdown at the end of the round. Esquivias beat the count and got to his feet yet continued to be dominated in the early moments of the second, which lead to a stoppage by referee Raul Caiz, Jr. at :37 of round two.
“I knew Esquivias from my amateur days, and I remember him being a tough fighter,” said Rios.
“I know that I trained harder, and prepared for this fight as if I would have prepared for a champion fight. This is just another step in the ladder to get my shot at a world title.”
In the TV opener, East Los Angeles native Seniesa Estrada had to get off the canvas and battle with her opponent, Christina Fuentes in what was the fight of the night. Estrada, (7-0, 1KO) did well once the knockdown occurred in the third and fought well enough to earn a unanimous decision in an entertaining scrap. The fight was the first ever female match on an LA Fight Club Card.
The first frame saw Estrada effective with combination punching that backed up Fuentes into the ropes and corner, with the second looking much of the same as Estrada was able to land what she wanted, when she wanted.
Things changed in the third as Fuentes landed a big right hand that sent Estrada to the canvas. Estrada got up and was able to fend off Fuentes long enough to make the rest of the round. Estrada lost a point as a punch landed after Estrada was already down.
In the fourth, a damn fight broke out! It was now fought on even terms, with both fighters confident in their combination punching. Some fatigue set in yet both fighters still kept their guard up and mixed up their punches. The fifth round saw Estrada throwing feints and the straight one-two, with some success.
Estrada took the bold move of switching back and forth from righty to lefty in the final round and found some success in doing so. She pressed Fuentes and was the aggressor for the last scheduled three minutes of the fight. Judges’ scorecards read 59-54, 59-54, and 58-54.
“Honestly, despite the outcome, I came to show that women can perform in this sport, and even do it better. Estrada and I came out to make a statement, and I feel like we did that as the Belasco’s first female fight. When I knocked her down for a brief second, I knew that I was holding my own, and could possibly win. Although she was throwing more punches, I felt like I was hurting her more at some points. I’m confident I’ll be back in the ring because I am a strong, woman fighter,” said Fuentes following the fight.
Estrada spoke on the knockdown, her time spent in the sport and was grateful to GBP for the opportunity.
“I came determined to win. Being in the sport since I was eight, I have the boxing skills to take on anyone. I wasn’t hurt at all in the fight, not even when I tripped up, and like the true fighter I am–I got back up. We both put in the work to be able to get on live television, and as female boxers, that’s no small feat. I am so thankful to Golden Boy for recognizing the value in us female fighters, and look forward to more fights like these.”
In the night’s co-main event, Zachary Ochoa took a while to find his groove against opponent Luis Joel Gonzalez, yet once he did, the Brooklyn native viciously knocked out Gonzalez via right hand in what is a Knockout of the Year candidate for 2016.
The end came in the eighth and final frame of a fight that was not aesthetically appealing for a majority of the fight, yet that was made up by the one punch KO that Ochoa will be known for in the foreseeable future.
“In this fight, I proved that I could make it all eight rounds, while maintaining all my power. The endurance in my legs kept me steady throughout the fight. I saw the opportunity, and in the moment that I threw my right overhand punch, I knew he wasn’t going to get back up. This victory is just another win to get me closer to my dreams.”
Bantamweight Pablo Rubio Jr. was walked in by Metta World Peace for his fight against Jorge Perez in what was a one-sided, yet still entertaining throw down that saw Rubio as the better of the two fighters, but Perez not letting up throughout the contest and giving a good show of himself.
“I loved the fact that we fought hard continuously through the fight… Not only did we give the fans a show, but we were both able to sharpen our skills in the ring,” Rubio said of the six round contest. Scores were 60-53, 59-54, and 59-5.
Los Angeles native Rafael Gramajo went six rounds with Puerto Rican Harold Reyes in an off-TV bout.
Gramajo, (8-1-1, 2KO) was the aggressor throughout and found success in certain pockets of the fight.
“I knew entering the ring that I was the bigger fighter. Our game plan was perfect, and we knew in order to win the fight I had to out-box him and walk him down. I’m so thankful for my boxing family, because without them, this wouldn’t mean anything. I expect my future fights to look bright as I build my reputation as a notable fighter.”
Reyes had Puerto Rican great Ivan Calderon in his corner.
The opening fight of the night saw super featherweight Tenochtitlan “T-Dog” Nava (2-0) notch a 40-36 unanimous decision win over David Montes in an entertaining bout to kick off the nights action.
“I felt very confident about my fight today. I train for every fight like I am the underdog because I feel like I have something to prove, and that I am a great fighter… I want to thank Golden Boy Promotions and the Saucedo Brothers for this opportunity, all my supporters and the Marching Skulls from West Side Boxing Club.”
Shortly after the close of the June 2016 installment of the LA Fight Club show, news broke that boxing icon Muhammad Ali had died at age 74.
About Raymundo Dioses
A life-long fan with a former boxer's namesake. Professional boxing writer on the beat since 2007.
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