Hot Prospects Light Up WFC Card in Rancho Mirage, Calif.

RANCHO MIRAGE, CALIF.-A night of prizefighting turned into an evening of tribute to a fallen cut man on Saturday night as a few Riverside-based boxers saluted the late Willie Schunke.

Schunke was a cut man to many of those that fought on the World Fighting Championship card. He passed away nearly three years ago but was remembered by the Riverside-based boxers.

“Rest in peace Willie, I got this win for you too,” said heavyweight Oscar Torrez after winning his pro debut at the Agua Caliente Resort Spa in Rancho Mirage.

Schunke, who worked closely with veteran trainer Henry Ramirez, had built a gym in his hillside backyard. For many years leading contenders and champions such as Chris Arreola, Mikey Garcia, Josesito Lopez and others prepared daily at Schunke’s gym.

Another who thanked Schunke was super welterweight Louie Lopez (3-0) who floored his opponent Brandon Harder (2-1) three times before stopping the southpaw out of Mississippi at 1:30 of the first round. Left hooks did the job for the Riverside prizefighter and forced referee Krysti Rosario to halt the action.

In the opening bout Riverside’s Jonah Flores (5-0) struggled a bit at first against Cathedral City’s Angelo Rampolla (0-4-2) whose record does not reflect his ability. Flores turned things around by unleashing speedy and effective combinations. In the third round Rampolla worked counter punches effectively and convinced one judge on the score cards. But after four bantamweight rounds, two judges scored it 40-36 for Flores and a third had it 39-37.

Another bantamweight contest saw Anthony Reyes (2-0) stop Tiy Marbel (0-1) at 1:58 of the first round. Reyes was simply too big and strong for Marbel who allegedly is an MMA fighter. Several other fighters on the boxing card were MMA fighters trying out boxing.

Torrez (1-0), who was making his pro debut as a heavyweight, defeated Ben Beebe (0-1) by unanimous decision after four rounds. A lead right followed quickly by a left hook floored Beebe early in the first round but the MMA fighter with 12 cage fights survived to hear the final bell. All three judges scored it 40-35 for Torrez.

Josesito Sanchez (1-0) of Cathedral City won by knockout against San Diego’s Tyler Marshall (1-6) at 2:00 of the second round of a super featherweight match. A wide left hook by Sanchez delivered Marshall to the floor and referee Raul Caiz Jr. ended the match.

Riverside’s Izaac Colunga (1-0) used his effective jab to win his pro debut by decision over Maclovia Salas (0-2) of Mission Hills in a super featherweight fight. Colunga is trained by Robert Garcia and was guided by the veteran trainer’s instructions throughout the fight. It took Colunga a few rounds to get comfortable and once his jab and snappy right lead began landing then the Riverside boxer took over the four-round fight to win handily by unanimous decision.

“I got one of the best trainers,” said Colunga after the fight.

A featherweight clash saw Luis Coria (8-1) struggle with getting his feet tangled with southpaw Raymond Chacon (7-30-1). Coria’s speed and use of the jab allowed him to keep control despite the speedy counters by Chacon and win by decision. Coria is also trained by Robert Garcia.

Indio’s Luis Cervantes (10-11-3) floored Tijuana, Mexico’s Mario Aguirre (2-13) in the third round with a left hook and sailed to victory by unanimous decision after four rounds. This was a rematch. Cervantes, who is trained by Joel Diaz, beat Aguirre last September in a much closer fight.

Several hundred fans saw both pro and amateur fights at the Agua Caliente casino. The fight card was promoted by WFC and brought a lively crowd to the theater.

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