ANAHEIM-Santa Ana’s Ronny Rios faced off against Puerto Rico’s Guillermo Sanchez and managed to figure out the southpaw after eight rounds to win by unanimous decision on Saturday.
Rios (18-0, 8 KOs) fought close to home once again at the Phoenix Club, a tented arena in the shadows of the Honda Center. With a consistent inside attack against the long armed Sanchez (13-6-1, 5 KOs) he bulled his way to victory on the Golden Boy Promotions card.
Sanchez started quickly in the first round using his long right jabs and stiff left counters as Rios took his time figuring out the Boricua. It would be Sanchez’ best round.
Midway through round two Rios stepped into the fire zone and pummeled the inside of Sanchez. Though the referee warned the Santa Ana fighter about low blows he continued to work the body. It turned the fight in his favor.
“About round four or five I knew it was working cause I could hear him grunt,” said Rios. “But he was very strong.”
Several blows to the head didn’t stop Sanchez. He sustained some pinpoint bombs but it never thwarted his own attack. He just didn’t fire enough blows to win rounds against the more aggressive Rios.
Referee Lou Moret did a great job in allowing the two to fight inside. Sanchez attempted many times to contain Rios’ inside attack by lunging forward and entangling Rios arms. Instead of stopping the fight, Moret allowed the fighters to disentangle themselves and this allowed more action inside.
Two judges scored 80-72 and one 79-73 for Rios.
In the co-main event Oxnard’s Hugo Centeno Jr. (13-0, 7 KOs) remained undefeated with a fourth round stoppage of Gerardo Prieto (7-13-1) of Mexico City. The junior middleweight match up was scheduled for eight rounds.
Both fighters featured awkward styles with Centeno often switching to a southpaw stance. Around round two Centeno found his proper distance and from that point on the fight was his.
A pinpoint left hand and right hook follow up by Centeno snapped Prieto’s head and referee Lou Moret jumped in to stop the fight at 1:54 of the round.
Featherweight Julian Ramirez stopped Salvador Sifuentes (1-4) at 1:20 of round one in a bout scheduled for four rounds. Ramirez fights out of East Los Angeles and Cifuentes from Chula Vista.
Xavier Montelongo (2-0), a former amateur star from East Los Angeles, boxed and moved in winning all four rounds against Las Vegas junior lightweight Rocco Espinoza (3-4). A bad cut surfaced alongside Espinoza’s right eye, who found it difficult to track down the moving target that Montelongo posed.
Johnny Reyes (1-0) needed only 1:22 to find Jose Ortiz’s (0-3) soft spot and connected with a left hook to the body to end the lightweight fight. Reyes boxes out of Lancaster and Ortiz from the Fort Worth area.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV