ONTARIO-Chris Arreola got the victory after pounding out 12 gritty rounds against the sturdy and determined Manuel Quezada on Friday.

It wasn’t a huge crowd but it was very vocal at the Citizens Business Bank Arena as fans arrived to see which Mexican-American heavyweight would move forward in a pivotal fight to determine who remained a contender.

The answer was Arreola.

Immediately it was evident that the fighter from Bakersfield knew what to expect from Arreola. Both had sparred several times a couple of years ago. Quezada came with a solid game plan to make Arreola expend a lot of energy. It didn’t work.

After eight rounds of Arreola firing combinations and Quezada pecking away the Riverside heavyweight finally found the range for his power shots in the ninth round.

After Quezada landed two left hooks Arreola returned with two stiff jabs and a left uppercut the seemed to change the look of Quezada’s common demeanor. That sparked Arreola to come charging with the artillery that ended with a right and left that took the legs out of Quezada and down he went for the first knock down. He got up and was met with three left hooks in succession and down he went again. It looked like the end but he survived.

“Manny can take a great punch. I was surprised he survived the round, said Arreola who hurt his right hand after knocking down Quezada the second time. “It’s a constant battle, eventually if something doesn’t catch him I’m going to keep on battling.

After two rounds spent with Arreola recovering from expending so much energy, Quezada was able to mount a small rally in the 10th round. But it wouldn’t be enough.

Arreola closed out the fight with another knock down in the 12th and final round that began with one of the Riverside fighter’s favorite uppercuts that wobbled Quezada. That was followed with another barrage and down went the Bakersfield fighter for a third time. But he did get up and exchanged big punches with Arreola until the final bell. Both hugged after the furious finish.

The judges scored it 118-107 twice and 117-108 for Arreola who remains a heavyweight contender after the solid performance. Arreola was not satisfied.

“There were a few minor things I could have done a lot better, said Arreola. “He gave me a run for my money.

Dan Goossen, president of Goossen Promotions, said both heavyweights proved worthy of staying in the heavyweight rankings. Arreola agreed.

“It was very important that I put on a great performance. I wanted to put on a great fight, Arreola said. “But I got caught with stupid punches. I know better than that.

Other bouts

Josesito Lopez (27-3, 15 KOs) of Riverside finally entered the ring after nearly a year and found Marvin Cordova (21-2-1, 11 KOs) not an easy task after eight rounds of a welterweight bout.

Lopez was the busier fighter as Las Vegas based Cordova sought to pick his spots and counter attack every round. It was not a good tactic but effective. Often he was caught in the corner and allowed Lopez to tee of with shots to the body and head.

In the fourth round and fifth round Cordova rallied with some precise combinations including several uppercuts. In the sixth round a left hook to the body nearly dropped Lopez who held on to survive.

But the Riverside prizefighter rallied in the final two rounds with some bristling combinations. In the eighth round Cordova countered with a left hook that landed below the belt line. Referee Pat Russell ruled it a low blow and deducted a point from Cordova.

It was the second time the Las Vegas fighter had committed a low blow.

“He’s tough and he took some good punches and did what he had to do to stay in the fight, said Lopez.

All three judges scored it for Lopez 77-74, 78-73 twice.

Cordova was gracious in defeat.

“He’s a strong fighter a good fighter and he worked hard, Cordova said.

Former U.S. Olympian Shawn Estrada (8-0, 8 KOs) brutally knocked out Alex Armenta (7-2, 6 KOs) of Los Angeles in 57 seconds.

Fresno’s Michael Ruiz Jr. (5-0, 2 KOs) battered Matt Salazar (1-2-1) in the second round of a bantamweight fight forcing referee Jerry Cantu to stop the fight at 2:18 of the round as he leaned against the ropes.

Australia’s Chad Bennett pounded and pounded Louisiana’s Gary Bergeron but couldn’t seem to put the sturdy fighter away. After eight rounds of the welterweight fight it was clear that Bennett was the superior boxer, but Bergeron’s chin was world class. The judges scored it 80-71 for Bennett. There was one knockdown scored by Bennett.