ONTARIO-Junior welterweight Josesito Lopez and junior featherweight Efrain Esquivias headlined a strong card and both scored knock out wins on Friday at Doubletree Hotel.
Thompson Boxing Promotions has built a reputation for discovering new talent and several showed their ability in front of another packed crowd. Lopez, Esquivias and several other newcomers impressed.
Competition for Riverside’s Lopez has been ramped up and it doesn’t seem to matter to the former junior lightweight who now dwells as a junior welterweight. On Friday he showed he may be even stronger at 140 pounds and it didn’t matter that he was facing a southpaw in Mexico’s Sergio Rivera (25-6-2).
“I’m used to sparring southpaws,” said Lopez (28-3, 16 KOs) who trains in Riverside under Henry Ramirez. “Sometimes I think I fight lefties better than I do right-handers.”
Lopez slowly found his distance in the first round against southpaw Rivera. A three punch combination body to head stunned the Mexican fighter in the first round.
“I didn’t know what to expect,” Lopez said.
Rivera stepped up his punch output in the second round but ran into some hard right hands from Lopez. A combination by Rivera was met by a Lopez combo whose punches were a little stronger.
Lopez primarily worked inside and exchanged combinations with Rivera who ran into a counter right hand and was floored midway through the third round. He beat the count and rushed Lopez looking to avenge the knock down. The taller Riverside boxer dug in with two punches including a shot to the liver that saw Rivera freeze for a second then go down. Referee Pat Russell counted out Rivera at 2:58 of the round.
“That was a terrific liver shot,” said the referee Russell who reached the count of 10.
Lopez said he could have possibly worked a knockout even earlier but used patience.
“There were some openings but I didn’t want to get careless,” said Lopez. “I feel great I’m in shape. I’m here to stay for a long time.”
Undefeated junior featherweights Efrain Esquivias (11-0, 7 KOs) and Minnesota’s Vicente Alfaro started their fight slowly, but midway through the second round the California fighter began stepping up his punch output.
Alfaro (4-1) had a sturdy chin and good power in his punches but Esquivias pinpoint shots and defensive skill overwhelmed the gritty Minnesota boxer.
In the third and fourth round Esquivias was landing almost every shot he fired and Alfaro couldn’t seem to contend with the volume. Despite a bad bloody nose, Alfaro tried to battle his way out of the onslaught and ran into a counter right uppercut and down he went. Though it looked like a finishing shot, Alfaro got up. Esquivias poured on the punches but referee Tom Taylor correctly stopped the fight at 1:38 of the fifth round.
Artemio Reyes Jr. of Colton won a rock em sock em one round fight against Montana’s Jesus Vallejo (3-3, 3 KOs) in a welterweight contest. Reyes (9-1, 8 KOs) survived a knockdown from a right hand in the opening minute then proceeded to batter Vallejo. A big Reyes right hand floored Vallejo for a knockout at 2:16 of the first round. Referee Pat Russell waved the fight over.
Allentown’s Miguel Diaz (3-0, 2 KOs) made his second trip across country and scored another knockout this time against Bell’s Abel Gomez (3-5) at 2:15 of the second round. Both were trading blows freely in the first round with Gomez landing wide right hands that puffed up Diaz. In the second round the Allentown junior bantamweight adjusted and began countering. A four punch combination by Diaz caught Gomez and down he went in sections. Referee Tom Taylor stopped the fight.
Colombia’s talented Jhon Ortega (2-0-1, 2 KOs) and Riverside’s Anthony Reyes (0-1-1) fought to a draw after a skillful four round junior welterweight fight. Ortega was the aggressor throughout the fight but was unable to catch Reyes very often with head shots. Reyes was landing left hooks during exchanges and slipping the head shots. When Ortega attacked the body he was very successful but still absorbed counter left hooks from the Riverside boxer. All three judges Fritz Werner, Tony Crebs and David Mendoza scored it 38-38 a draw.
Two debuting bantamweights fought well with Indio’s Alfredo Madrigal (1-0) scoring his first win by unanimous decision over Bakersfield’s Cain Garcia (0-1) after four rounds 40-36, 39-37 twice. Madrigal was the more accurate puncher in the first three rounds but Garcia found the range in the last round.
Manuel Roman (3-0) enjoyed a four-inch height advantage over Santa Rosa’s Jovanni Rubio (6-13) but wasn’t able to use it. Rubio kept the fight in tight like a boa constrictor. Still, Roman landed more effective blows including a few uppercuts in the four round middleweight fight. All three judges scored it 40-36 for Roman.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV