Ronny Rios, Zach Ochoa, Seniesa Estrada – It was a night to kick off a two-day affair in the city of the Angels and Santa Ana’s Ronny Rios stormed out of his corner like a high powered locomotive and ran over former contender Efrain Esquivias to win by knockout on Friday.
The featherweight match was expected to be a tense affair but Rios (26-1, 11 KOs) had felonious intentions before a sold out crowd at Belasco Theater. Those intentions became immediately known as Rios connected with a thunderous overhand right to the head and a punishing left hook to the body.
Esquivias (17-5-1, 10 KOs) and the crowd seemed surprised by the immediately eruption of punches from Rios.
The blows never stopped coming and always with powerful impact. Esquivias was moving away along the ropes when Rios fired another right cross that blasted the smaller opponent to the floor. He beat the count and made it to the end of the first round.
The second round was worst.
Rios continued the battering of Esquivias whose legs looked unsteady. And when Rios trapped Esquivias in the corner to launch another barrage of blows, referee Raul Caiz Jr. stopped the fight at 37 seconds into the second round.
“I knew Esquivias from my amateur days, and I remember him being a tough fighter. I know that I trained harder, and prepared for this fight as if I would have prepared for a champion fight. This is just another step in the ladder to get my shot at a world title,” said Rios.
Brooklyn’s Zachary Ochoa (15-0, 7 KOs) struggled early against Puerto Rico’s Luis Gonzalez (11-4-1) but then found a formula that worked for him, but bored the crowd in hitting and holding for seven straight rounds against the southpaw Gonzalez. It worked well but people were bored to death especially after the female bout that had the crowd pumped with its back and forth action. Finally, in the eighth and final round, Ochoa busted a right cross right through Gonzalez’s guard and down he went from a punch that was as loud as it was powerful. The end came at 41 seconds into the eighth round.
“In this fight, I proved that I could make it all eight rounds, while maintaining all my power. The endurance in my legs kept me steady throughout the fight,” said Ochoa. “I saw the opportunity, and in the moment that I threw my right overhand punch, I knew he wasn’t going to get back up. This victory is just another win to get me closer to my dreams.”
In the first female fight by Golden Boy Promotions in four years, East L.A.’s Seniesa “Super Bad” Estrada (7-0) survived a third round knockdown to win a unanimous decision over Laredo’s Christina Fuentes (4-8-5) in a six round super flyweight bout.
Estrada was cruising along the first two rounds using speedy combinations but in the third round she opted to slug it out with veteran Fuentes who connected with a right cross during the exchange and down went Estrada. The East L.A. boxer was also hit while she was down so referee Raul Caiz Jr. deducted a point from the Texan.
It didn’t make a difference in the fight.
Estrada began firing quick combinations and getting out of harm’s way before Fuentes could deliver a counter. It was the right recipe for Estrada who was not hurt again the rest of the fight.
Two judges scored it 59-54 and a third 58-54 for Estrada.
“I came determined to win. Being in the sport since I was eight, I have the boxing skills to take on anyone,” said Estrada.
Rafael Gramajo (8-1-1, 2 KOs) pulled out a win over Puerto Rico’s Harold Reyes (2-6-1) in a very close struggle after six rounds. Reyes scored heavy in the third, fourth and fifth rounds but the judges favored Gramajo who closed the fight with a body pounding in the last round of their featherweight match. Two judges scored it 58-56 and one 59-55 all for Gramajo of Los Angeles.
L.A. based Pablo “The Shark” Rubio (6-0, 3 KOs) out-fought Riverside’s Jorge Perez (2-3) and won a unanimous decision in their super bantamweight match. Rubio continually landed left and right uppercuts that proved the difference in the six round slugging contest. Perez lost his mouth guard several times during the fight.
Tenochtitlan Nava (2-0) out-hustled El Paso’s David Montes (0-3) over four rounds in a super featherweight contest. Nava simply had fresher legs after the first round and landed the harder shots from the second to the last round. All three judges scored it 40-36 for Nava of Los Angeles.