ONTARIO, CALIF-Demetrius Hopkins took a unanimous decision over Mike Arnaoutis but fans weren?t in favor of his method in a welterweight fight on Friday.
Still, a win is a win.
Hopkins used his speed and technique to keep his WBC MSNBC title in front of more than 1,800 fans at the Citizens Business Bank Arena. Fans weren?t pleased but the taller fighter dominated methodically at the TKO Boxing Promotions fight card.
Behind a long left jab and some laser straight right crosses Hopkins punched and stayed at a safe distance to win most of the rounds on all of the judge?s cards.
Arnaoutis never could penetrate Hopkins defense but tried repeatedly with single left hand blows. It wasn?t enough to convince the judges but fans were wishfully thinking Arnaoutis could pull it out.
Two judges scored it 99-91 and one judge 100-90 all for Hopkins.
Semi main event
New Jersey?s undefeated Francisco Contreras (15-0, 13 KOs) kept his unblemished record against Puerto Rico?s hard-hitting Eric ?Mr KO? Cruz (7-4-3, 7 KOs) in a lightweight bout.
Cruz started slowly as Contreras poured on the combinations in the first two rounds but a solid right cross from the Boricua opened the eyes of the Dominican. The Puerto Rican fighter?s best rounds were in the fourth and fifth round when he landed some good body shots and rights to the head.
Contreras used his speed to keep out of Cruz?s firing range and stepped around the ring keeping away from the power shots. But in the last round both opened up with big blows then Contreras kept out of range or clinched while in close. Two judges scored it 80-72 for Contreras and one judge 78-74 all for Contreras.
Coachella?s young phenom Randy Caballero (4-0, 4 KOs) connected with a pretty right hand counter that took out Denver?s Jairo Delgado (3-8). Down he went, but he instinctively grabbed Caballero?s leg as he hit the floor. Delgado got up before the count of eight but was unable to stand. Referee Wayne Hedgepeth called the fight over to the consternation of Delgado who tried to break free from his handlers and referee to continue. The fight was officially stopped at 2:00 of the first round of the junior featherweight contest.
Indio?s Gabino Saenz (1-0) got his first taste of professional boxing against Colorado?s hard charging Brandon Sanchez (1-3). After several wild swings by Sanchez, a perfectly placed double left hook to the body then head floored Sanchez for the count in 34 seconds of the first round of the featherweight clash.
In a battle between welterweight southpaws it was Florida?s Joseph Elegele (9-0, 7 KOs) who worked the body and swarmed punches on Utah?s Will Walton (4-2, 3 KOs) and forced referee Wayne Hedgepeth to halt the fight at 1:37 of the third round for a technical knockout.
Welterweight Eric Mendez (1-0) of Hawaiian Gardens finally got into the ring. A prior fight a few months ago was scrapped but this time his opponent Jose Evangelista (0-1) showed. After 2:51 and two knockdowns it was over. Mendez dropped Evangelista with a right hand, right uppercut combination for the first knockdown. Then a right hand left hook finished the job for a knockout win for Mendez in his pro debut.
In a junior featherweight contest Perris?s Alex ?Lil Kaboom? Jimenez (2-0) won every round against Mexico?s durable Edgar Flores (0-3) to win by unanimous decision 40-36. Jimenez appeared to get stronger in every round and landed numerous right hands.
Alabama?s Michael Finney (4-0, 4 KOs) didn?t waste time in showing off his power against John Dunham (1-7-2). A crackling right hand followed a jab and blasted the Stockton fighter for a knockout at 35 seconds of the first round of a welterweight bout.
Ventura?s Austreberto Juarez (10-0, 2 KOs) won every round of a six round flyweight bout but no round was easy as San Antonio?s Joseph Rios (7-5-1) landed his blows and got in his licks too. A left hook in the sixth round by Rios landed flush but Juarez simply landed more punches throughout the fight.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV