ONTARIO-A night of great fights ended with junior welterweight contender Mauricio “El Maestro” Herrera showing off his superior boxing skills against Mexican veteran Cristian Favela in a near whitewash on Friday.
Two out of three isn’t bad when it comes to a boxing card and that’s what the crowd at the Doubletree Hotel received from Thompson Boxing Promotions as two fights were easily contenders for the Fight of the Year category in eight round fights. However, the main event wasn’t one of them.
Junior welterweight contender Herrera (17-1, 7 KOs) used his jabs and lightning combinations to soundly beat Mexico’s Favela (28-33-7) by unanimous decision in front of nearly 2,000 fans. It was more a sparring session than spirited fight.
Coming off a nationally televised win that saw him win a regional title against Russia’s Ruslan Provodnikov in a brutal affair, Herrera deserved an easier opponent and got one in Favela. There was little danger as the Riverside prizefighter seemed to know everything Favela wanted to throw before he fired.
Behind a rocket jab and blistering combinations Herrera won nearly every round against Favela who waited until the final 30 seconds to retaliate. Nobody was fooled. Two judges scored it 80-72 and one had it 79-73 for Herrera.
The other two eight-rounders proved much more interesting.
Featherweight prospects Abraham Lopez (14-0, 10 KOs) and San Diego’s Aaron Garcia (10-2-2, 2 KOs) had little separating each other talent-wise, but after eight rounds of back and forth fighting, two judges felt Lopez’s ability to fight outside and inside impressed and gave him a win by majority decision.
“My corner told me I was behind so I pressed forward,” said Lopez, who is promoted by Thompson Boxing Promotions and managed by Frank Espinoza. “I came forward with a lot of heart.”
It paid off. One judge Vince Delgado saw it even 76-76 while judge Danny Sandoval saw it 78-74 for Lopez and judge Pat Connolly saw it 77-75 for Lopez, who lives in La Puente and is trained by Joel Diaz.
In a savage welterweight bout East L.A.’s Aron “Asesino” Martinez (14-1-1, 3 KOs) pulled out a split decision win over Riverside’s Albert “Baby Dynamite” Herrera (7-3-1, 5 KOs) after eight rounds. It was difficult to surmise who won each round in the beginning as both boxers literally tore into each other with reckless abandon. Herrera suffered a cut in the second round from an accidental clash of heads but fought on. Martinez slowed a bit in the last two rounds but apparently convince two judges, Daniel Sandoval and Pat Connolly, that he was the victor 77-75, 77-74 while judge Vince Delgado saw it 77-75 for Herrera.
Ontario’s Jonathan Arellano (8-0-1) used good defense and a pinpoint left hook to score a unanimous decision over Denver’s Shawn Nichol (5-4, 5 KOs) in a six round bantamweight bout. Nichol had his moments with some good combinations including several uppercuts but allowed Arellano to take back the rounds with body shots mixed with head shots via the left hook. All three judges scored it 58-56 for Arellano.
Venezuela’s Jhon Ortega (4-0, 4 KOs) knocked out southpaw Hector Garza (3-2, 2 KOs) of Texas with a right hand to the body at 2:35 of the first round. It was his fourth consecutive pro victory and fourth by knockout. But his real victory took place a day earlier; while lounging at the hotel pool he noticed a nine-year-old boy had not emerged for air so he immediately jumped in the pool, clothes and all, and saved the youngster.
In attendance was a slim Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola, Josesito Lopez, Alfonso Gomez, Gato Gonzalez, Bobby Chacon, Efrain Esquivias, cut man Joe Chavez, and author Araceli Martinez-Rose.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV