CORONA, Ca.-Two Southern Californians won titles as Efrain Esquivias and Artemio Reyes Jr. blasted their way to victory on Friday.
Thompson Boxing Promotions staged their annual summer outdoor event and saw Esquivias (14-0, 9 KOs) win the NABF featherweight title and Reyes win the WBC Latino welterweight belt before a large crowd numbering over 1,500 fans at Omega Products International.
With the featherweight regional title on the line Esquivias faced extremely rugged Juan Ruiz of Santa Clarita, Ca. in a 10 round fight. Both needed all 10 rounds to determine the winner.
Ruiz (23-7) is known to some as being the last fighter to beat the great Wayne McCullough several years back in the Cayman Islands. Despite three years, he was still tough as ever with his in-your-face style that bothered Esquivias at times.
The bob and weave style of Ruiz didn’t allow much for the counter-punching Esquivias to choose and both often missed their targets. By round eight, Esquivias began using uppercuts to the body to score and that changed the color of the fight for good.
All three judges gave Esquivias the decision 97-93, and 99-91 twice.
In the welterweight title fight it was San Bernardino’s heavy-hitting Artemio “King” Reyes (13-1, 11 KOs) who knocked out former contender Miguel Munguia (21-21-1) in the second round with a riveting two-punch combination.
But the first round showed why Munguia was a contender as he slipped through the pressure attack style of Reyes in the first round by swaying to his left and right. A body shot seemed to shake up the Mexico City fighter but nothing else.
“He was awkward so we made adjustments,” said Reyes. “I had to hit him on the way up.”
The adjustment worked and Reyes caught Munguia with a left hook and right hand combination that sent the veteran Mexican boxer down for the count at 2:58 of round two.
After the fight Munguia told Reyes that he was too big and hit too hard. The lanky welterweight bomber picked up the title for his win.
“This is the first of what I hope are many,” Reyes said. “I want to escalate.”
Riverside’s Richard “The Terminator” Contreras (6-0, 5 KOs) bludgeoned Mexico’s Manuel Sarabia (16-32-10) for a technical knockout win in 48 seconds of round five of a lightweight match. Contreras was too strong for the veteran and had no problems. Though Sarabia never went down he took a lot of heavy blows until referee Zac Young wisely stopped the fight.
Another Riverside boxer Daniel Franco (3-0) out-boxed Highland’s Mauro Brenes in a four round featherweight match. Franco had a seven-inch height advantage and used it wisely with sharp combinations and good footwork. Brenes was making his pro debut and absorbed some heavy blows but kept on punching against the talented Franco. All three judges scored it in favor of Franco.
Allentown’s Miguel Diaz (6-0, 3 KOs) made yet another trip to California from Pennsylvania and out-scored Mexico’s Sammy Gutierrez (5-9-1) after four rounds of a flyweight clash. Diaz was busier and sharper in out-hustling Gutierrez.
Another Allentown boxer Angel Aponte won his pro debut by decision over Bakersfield’s Cain Garcia (0-4) in a junior featherweight showdown.
Riverside’s Roberto Crespo (2-0) beat North Hollywood’s Javier Albonica (1-1) after four rounds of a welterweight collision.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV