LOS ANGELES-Without the use of his right hand the last two rounds, Northern California’s Manuel Avila jabbed his way to victory over Oxnard’s Erik Ruiz (13-3, 6 Kos) in their super bantamweight showdown on Thursday.
“I stuck to my game plan and relied on my best punch, the left jab,” said Avila.
Avila (17-0, 7 Kos) showed the fans at Belasco Theater on LA Fight Club that a stinging left jab is enough of a weapon as he won by unanimous decision over Ruiz after 10 rounds on the Golden Boy Promotions card.
Both are tall super bantamweights but Avila has Erik Morales-like height and used a rapier jab to keep Ruiz from walking through him. Each fighter was quick but Avila’s longer arms were able to catch Ruiz whenever he tried to charge.
From round nine until the 10th and final round, Fairfield, California’s Avila never used the right hand and fired stiff left jabs in rapid-fire to keep Ruiz from taking advantage. All three judges scored it 100-90 for Avila.
“Ultimately, he had a strong jab. I tried to neutralize it but just couldn’t,” said Ruiz.
It was a rugged and sometimes ugly fight between Diego De La Hoya (10-0, 6 Kos) and Ramiro Robles (12-3-1, 6 Kos), with both fighters struggling to make space for their punches. De La Hoya unloaded 30 consecutive blows without a hiccup in the first round but still had plenty left.
“It was very exciting to give the fans a good fight,” said Diego De La Hoya. “I came up against a tough opponent. It was a hard fight but I think it will be the fight of the night.”
Robles, a southpaw from Guanajuato, Mexico, tried to pressure Mexicali’s De La Hoya through the rest of the fight but was unable to fire many clean shots. De La Hoya turned him and fired rights as Robles tried to keep up. Through most of the fight Robles bored in as De La Hoya moved side to side. It was the theme of the fight until the final round when De La Hoya stood his ground and pounded away at the slower Robles.
“De La Hoya is very intelligent,” said Ramiro “Zurdo” Robles. “He knows how to move around the ring.”
All three judges scored it 80-72 for De La Hoya.
On paper, it looked like in a super bantamweight contest, Colombia’s Oscar Negrete (9-0, 3 Kos) was about to experience his toughest test against former contender Luis Maldonado Jr. (38-14-1) of Mexico. But the man who fought Vic Darchinyan was nowhere to be found in this fight. Negrete punished Maldonado every round with uppercuts and rights. Maldonado used his experience to keep from toppling but accidental head clashes caused two cuts that led to the fight being stopped at 22 seconds into round five. The judges scored it 50-46 and 50-45 twice for Negrete, whose youth and speed kept Maldonado from showing any of his early form.
“Family was watching on television from Colombia,” said Negrete. “My going against an experienced opponent shows I can compete against champions and I can reach my goals.”
Jesus Delgado (5-0-1, 2 Kos) battered Arizona’s Benjamin Vinson (1-3) until referee David Mendoza stopped the fight at 2:34 of round three in their lightweight bout. Delgado was too quick and hit too hard but Vinson refused to stop punching despite the stoppage. Delgado attacked the body throughout the fight with thudding left hooks. “I had to be calm and feel him out,” said Delgado. “Once I did, I started to capitalize on his mistakes.”
L.A. super bantamweight Emilio Sanchez (8-0, 6 Kos) started out hot against Puerto Rico’s Elziezer Agosto (2-5, 2 Kos) but flamed out a little after scoring a knockdown with a right uppercut-right cross combo in the second round. Agosto survived and rallied a bit as Sanchez’s attack withered a bit from throwing too many punches the previous round. One judge scored it 40-35, the other two saw it 39-36 for Sanchez. “I’m feeling good about my victory and staying undefeated,” said Sanchez. “I think I’m ready for a six rounder next time.”
Welterweight Diego Padilla of L.A. made a big bang in his pro debut by handing Seattle’s Zachary Cooper (2-1) his first pro loss with a dominating performance after four rounds. Padilla was successful repeatedly with overhand rights that connected almost every round. When he switched southpaw Padilla was hit hard but returned to an orthodox stance and won the fight. In round three he floored Cooper with a right uppercut-left hook-right hand. All three judges scored it 40-35 for Padilla. “It felt good to win at Fight Club in my pro debut,” said Padilla.
West L.A.’s popular Nick Arce (3-0, 2 Kos) stopped Dallas fighter Marco Alcaraz (0-6) at 2:04 of round two of a featherweight face off. Arce floored Alcaraz four times before referee Jack Reiss stopped the one-sided scrap.