ANAHEIM, CALIF.-With all the advantages of being a natural super lightweight Ismail Muwendo defeated the much shorter but more skillful Efrain Esquivias by decision on Friday.
Long Beach’s Muwendo (19-0) continued his undefeated streak by using his height and natural strength to overpower Esquivias (17-7-1) at the M-3 Anaheim Events Center before a crowd of more than 500.
Muwendo had at least a six-inch height advantage that at times seemed like more than a foot against the short Esquivias. He was unable to fully use that advantage over the course of eight rounds.
Years ago Esquivias was one of the top super bantamweights in the area and at his height was among the dozen best in the world. But now, 20 pounds heavier but still around 5’4” in height, the boxer from Carson, Calif. relies on his superior boxing skills to survive against the monstrously taller junior welterweights that roam the division.
Esquivias knocked out Rafael Marquez several years ago in 2013. That remains the pinnacle of his career.
Against the taller Muwendo the shorter Esquivias used his ability to slip and deflect punches to maximum effort, but twice punches pierced his defense and down he went. Still he was slippery enough to hear the final bell.
All three judges scored it 80-70 for Muwendo.
“Superbad” Wins Co-main
Most of the crowd was at the Anaheim theatre to see East L.A’s talented Seniesa “Superbad” Estrada (10-0) face Mexico’s Aracely Palacios (8-7). Unlike the last time when Estrada was in the boxing ring against a beginner, this time she was fighting a skilled warrior.
It was Estrada’s toughest fight in years but from the start the speedy light flyweight unloaded combination after combination then scooted out of range. Palacios, who has a win over IBF super bantamweight titlist Yuliana Luna Avila, was unable to get within range for the first two rounds.
Slowly Palacios closed the distance, but instead of being out-pitched eight to one, the difference was four to one. In the fourth round the Mexican fighter from Durango began to attack the body and that changed things. But it wasn’t enough to offset the blistering array of punches coming through her peek-a-boo defensive stance.
In the fifth round Palacio’s concentrated body attack closed the gap and perhaps gave her the best round. But toward the last minute Estrada countered her body attack with one of her own and that seemed to freeze Palacios.
In the final round it was all Estrada who took full control of the round with her distance and combinations. Though neither fighter was severely hurt they each received some penetrating blows. Palacios received more of them and all three judges scored it 60-54 for Estrada.
It was a purposeful fight that allowed Estrada to gain more experience and allowed her to see what works and doesn’t work against a more skilled opponent. She won impressively in perhaps her best performance yet.
Humberto Rubalcava (7-0) defeated Ray Chacon (7-24-1) by majority decision in a deliberate but closely matched six round featherweight fight.
Ricky Frausto (2-0) won by knockout in the second round over Jimmy Gomez (0-2) in a middleweight fight. Gomez showed “Gumby” like resilience but the fight was stopped after repeated blows by Frausto.
Lorraine Villalobos (1-0) won her pro debut via unanimous decision versus Mexico’s Elvia Trevino (2-2) in a four round light flyweight fight. Villalobos showed speed and skills like a seasoned pro.
Arthur Saakyan (1-0) won his pro debut with an emphatic knockout over Mexico’s Cesar Hernandez (0-4) in the first round of a welterweight fight. A double right cross sent Hernandez down for good after a four-punch combination sent the Mexican fighter down early in the round. Saakyan is trained by Dean Campos who trains Seniesa Estrada and Sergio Mora.
Jarret Jeter (7-1-1) knocked out Alberto Serna in the first round of a super featherweight bout.
San Bernardino’s Anthony Chavez (3-0) knocked down Anaheim’s Carlos Gonzalez (1-2) several times in winning by knockout in the second round of their featherweight clash. Counter rights by Chavez were the weapon of choice.
Photo credit: Al Applerose
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