LOS ANGELES-Shackled with extra weight Shawn Estrada shed through sluggishness to unleash a torrid assault and beat cruiserweight Felix Piedra (9-1-1, 6 KOs) by knockout and three fights ended in a draw on Saturday night at the Sportsman's Lodge.
"I'll be dropping down to super middleweight in my next fight," said Estrada.
A rather fleshy Estrada (15-0, 13 KOs) proved that he carries a punch even at cruiserweight before a standing room crowd at the Sportsman's Lodge. Goossen-Tutor
Promotions staged the event that also featured two St. Louis prizefighters.
Once the bell began Estrada took control with some combinations but lacked the speed he exhibited in the past. But two minutes into the first round the rust seemed to evaporate and the East Los Angeles prizefighter began to connect with counters, combinations and a few overhand rights.
Piedra kept his hands tucked to his chin but was unable to counter Estrada's combinations. Despite the slowness of the incoming punches in the opening round, it was apparently too fast for what he was accustomed to experiencing.
The second round saw Estrada's foot movement begin to smooth out as he evaded blows then countered perfectly. The East L.A. fighter caught Piedra with a six-punch combination and capped it with a right cross that sent the Texan to the floor tangled with the ropes. He tried to get up but his legs were like limp noodles and referee Jack Reiss wisely stopped the bout at 1:23 of round two.
"He wanted to fight," said Estrada about Piedra. "I capitalized on his mistakes."
Estrada will continue to train though he sustained a slight cut above his right eye from an accidental butt.
"There was no way the fight was going to go eight rounds," Estrada, 27, said. "He felt my power."
It was Piedra's first pro loss.
Ukrainian light heavyweight Anatoliy Dudchenko (15-2, 10 KOs) dominated each round point-wise against Mexico's Alfredo Contreras (11-14-3, 4 KOs) but never could put the final touches.
Dudchenko was faster, more nimble and hit a lot harder than Contreras, but the one thing the Mexican had in his favor was a solid chin. Nothing seemed to stagger the tall Mexican throughout the fight.
Contreras mugged and smiled, but seldom threw anything but a tepid jab. His right hand is one of the worst in the boxing business and the left hook is nonexistent. Maybe he's not Mexican?
Worst is Contreras is from Los Mochis. Most of the fighters from that area have great chins, but what this fighter did not have was any kind of punching power. He also does not know how to throw a power punch. All three judges gave Dudchenko the fight 80-72.
Palmdale's Jesse Villanueva (5-0, 3 KOs) was surprised by Northern California's pro debuting Benjamin Briceno in the first round but made adjustments.
Briceno, who is trained by Nonito Donaire Sr., attacked from the opening bell with some nifty combinations and overhand rights. But after the first round Villanueva began to sharp-shoot his way with well-timed counters and uppercuts that turned things around. Briceno battled every round but was unable to match the accuracy he enjoyed in the first round. All three judges scored it 39-37 for Villanueva.
It was a night of draws as three fights ended in majority draws.
First there was St. Louis Stephon Young (3-0-1) and Fontana's Sammy Yniguez (3-4-4) who fought four rounds back and forth.
Then, there was another St. Louis boxer Leon Spinks III (2-0-1) who entered the arena dancing like Cory Spinks. After four rounds with Bakersfield's Eduardo Melendrez (0-3-2) it ended in a majority draw.
Finally, heavyweight's Sergio Pogosyan of Glendale and Avery Gibson of Lancaster will have to wait before hearing the song of victory. Their fight also ended in a majority draw.
Junior middleweight John Hays (2-0) floored Tijuana's Eduardo Hernandez (0-4-1) in the first round or else that fight would have ended in a draw too.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV