INDIO-America finally knows who is the better heavyweight as Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola pummeled Seth “Mayhem” Mitchell to win by technical knockout in the first round on Saturday. It was one of several lightning knockout wins on the night.
Riverside’s Arreola (35-3, 31 Kos) needed a win to convince the country that he was indeed worthy of recognition and Mitchell (26-2-1, 19 Kos) needed the same thing. Before more than 2,500 fans at the Fantasy Springs Casino, it was the Mexican-American heavyweight who prevailed.
“I made it look so easy,” said Arreola. “That’s exactly what I wanted to do, make it look easy.”
Arreola paced around the ring anxiously for the fight to begin as Mitchell looked pensive as if thinking what approach the Riverside fighter would take. When the bell rang to open the fight it was apparent that Arreola wanted to exchange quickly.
Mitchell landed a quick one-two that connected and showed that the former football player had good speed in his punches. Arreola seemed to shrug it off and resume moving forward.
“I love getting hit,” said Arreola. “I got hit with the one-two and thought this guy is strong. I knew I had to get him out of there.”
Arreola walked through some more blows by Mitchell and during an exchange landed a right cross and right hand. Mitchell held on as Arreola rained down blows while being held. He flung Mitchell to the ground.
The fight resumed and Mitchell tried to move and fire but Arreola would not allow him space. Another combination by Arreola saw a right hand hurt Mitchell. More blows came and down he went. This time the referee Jack Reiss ruled it a knockdown. Mitchell beat the count and was allowed to continue.
Arreola moved in aggressively and fired more blows with the entire crowd knowing that the Riverside fighter was looking for a knockout. Another barrage after an Arreola right cross saw Mitchell hurt and looking for cover. He fell partly through the ropes and held the ropes to keep himself from falling. The referee embraced him and called the fight over at 2:26 of round one. Arreola was victorious by technical knockout.
“I want to thank Phoenix for this fight,” said Arreola, who trained in Phoenix to focus on training. “I’m looking for a world title.”
Mitchell was crushed emotionally by the loss. He entered the fight knowing that only a win could give him a world title opportunity.
“I got caught. I’m very disappointed,” said Mitchell, who lives in Maryland. “I didn’t think the fight should have been stopped.”
Arreola seeks a rematch with Bermane Stiverne, who defeated him this past April in Ontario, California.
“I’m looking for a world title. Vitali Klitschko is not coming back. And this time I’m going to get my win,” said Arreola, adding that both he and Stiverne are ranked number one and two and should fight for the vacant WBC heavyweight world title. “All my losses should not be losses except for Bermane Stiverne. He should give me a rematch.”
Esquivias Kos Rafa Marquez
Carson’s Efrain Esquivias (17-2-1, 10 Kos) surprisingly knocked out former world champion Rafael Marquez (41-9, 37 Kos) in battle of featherweight contenders in an action-packed fight.
Marquez had Nacho Beristain back in his corner but even the great trainer couldn’t give him back his speed. He seemed slow in round one against Esquivias, who bounced a counter right off Marquez’s head in round one.
A three-punch combination by Marquez let the crowd know he still packed some power. Though it didn’t hurt Esquivias it did move him backwards in round two.
“After I landed three punches I thought I was going to knock him out,” said Marquez.
Marquez landed a lead right that Esquivias rolled with, but a cut surfaced on the left eye of the Carson fighter. Some counter rights by Esquivias landed but Marquez connected too in round three.
Esquivias rallied and found his tempo in rounds four and five. Marquez couldn’t seem to handle the high energy output of Carson’s Esquivias who landed some overhand rights and left uppercuts. From that point on, Esquivias gained control of the fight.
“I always start slow,” Esquivias said.
Marquez finally connected with a combination and followed up with a flurry of punches in round seven. But it wasn’t enough to hurt Esquivias, who rolled with the blows until the bell rang ending the round.
Marquez rallied in round eight after falling behind in the fight. The younger brother of Juan Manuel Marquez caught Esquivias.
Esquivias opened up round nine with a three-punch combo that staggered Marquez. He poured on the punches and would not allow Marquez to stand his ground. At the end of the round a right cross staggered Marquez, who kept his balance and touched the canvas with his left glove. It should have been ruled a knockdown but the referee did not see it.
The final round saw Esquivias leave no doubt as he caught Marquez with a lead right to the chin and knocked out the great champion from Mexico City. Marquez tried to get up but staggered around the ring as referee Raul Caiz Jr. stopped the fight at 19 seconds of round 10.
“I respect him and I’m still a big fan,” said Esquivias after the win.
Marquez was sullen, especially at the prospect that it could be his last fight.
“Nobody has ever knocked me out, even the best fighters ever,” said Marquez. “I’m going to really think about continuing or retiring.”
“I’m so happy,” said Esquivias. “I just want a chance at a world title. I don’t care who.”
Undefeated Ronny Rios (22-0, 10 Kos) out-classed Mexican veteran Jose Beranza (36-28-2) after eight rounds to win by unanimous decision in a featherweight fight. Rios was hard to hit and had no problems hitting Beranza. Two judges scored it 80-72 and another 78-74 for Rios.
Once again former world champion Rico Ramos (22-3, 12 Kos) dug up a punch from nowhere and knocked out Puerto Rico’s Carlos Velasquez (15-1, 11 Kos) in the very last round to salvage a win in a featherweight fight. A counter left hook knocked out cold Velasquez at 1:36 of round 10 for the Ramos win. The former champion had been knocked down earlier in the fight and looked to be the loser. But just like in his world title winning fight when Ramos manufactured a left hook to Akifumi Shimoda in 2011, the fighter known as “Suavecito” found a sweet spot for the punch again. Velasquez was winning the fight.
Coachella’s Ryan Caballero (2-0) was a little busier and needed to be to defeat Compton’s Lyonell Kelly (0-2) in a evenly matched junior featherweight bout. Caballero started quickly but Kelly found his groove in round three. All three judges scored it 40-36 for Caballero.
Maurice Lee (3-0) defeated Mexico City’s Juan Sanchez (1-2) by unanimous decision after four lightweight rounds. All three judges scored it 40-36 for Lee.
Joet Gonzalez (5-0) used his height and reach to defeat Montebello’s David Reyes (2-5-1) in a four round junior featherweight match. Reyes started quickly but soon ran out of gas. Gonzalez kept the pressure on to win by scores 40-36 twice and 39-37.
Georgia’s Justin Deloach (4-0, 2 Kos) knocked down Compton’s Carl Hill (1-7) twice including some thudding body shots in round three to win by knockout in a junior middleweight contest. Referee Jack Reiss stopped the fight at 2:50 of round three.
Oxnard’s Ricky Lopez (10-2, 4 Kos) survived a shaky first round including a knockdown to rally behind combination punching and defeat Mexico’s Pablo Batres (3-8-1) after four rounds. A counter right by Batres sent Lopez to the canvas in round one. But Lopez used movement and combos to win by unanimous decision 39-37, 38-37 twice.