“How does Freddie Roach do it?” inquired big Steve during our Saturday morning java at Starbucks on Western avenue in Glendale:” Between Manny Pacquiao, Amir Khan, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr and now Jorge Linares and consulting U.S. Olympic team, where does he find the time for it all? I heard he went to Ukraine to help another fighter.”
“It’s simple,” I said:” He delegates and he has help.” Such was the case last night in Corona where Efrain Esquivias Jr, without Freddie Roach in his corner, scored an impressive victory in the main event of the night of professional boxing of an extremely popular series dubbed New Blood, promoted by Thompson Boxing Promotions. Magical, warm, Southern California night at the sold out Omega Products International venue featured seven professional bouts in the ring set up outside.
No Freddie Roach in his corner, no problems; hailing out of Torrance, California, featherweight Efrain Esquivias Jr(14-0,9KO’S) won a hard fought unanimous decision over a rugged veteran, Juan Ruiz(23-7,7KO’S) from Santa Clarita California. All three judges scored the fight in favor of Esquivas Jr: 97-93 and 99-91 twice.
It was a close, fill out first round with Efrain dialing in his jab and Juan Ruiz throwing a few combinations. Both guys opened up a bit in the second stanza fighting mostly on the inside which seemed to be of benefit to Juan Ruiz who trapped Esquivias Jr on the ropes several times. No Floyd Mayweather Jr, Efrain did some impressive work off the ropes that included famous Mayweather’s shoulder rolls. Even though he had to fight on the inside Efrain was very effective avoiding majority of the punches and going to the body in the third stanza. They could have been fighting in the phone booth. Ruiz was pressing forward and applying a lot of pressure, but it was Esquivias Jr who was landing all the effective blows as well as showing good defensive skills in the fourth and fifth frames. Efrain came out with renewed vigor in the sixth, but it only lasted for the first minute of the round. Juan Ruiz took a licking early but continued to press the action.
A real fight broke out in the seventh as Ruiz continued to apply heavy pressure and Efrain was firing back. Esquivias Jr had a very good round eight using his advantages in speed and movement to not allow his determined adversary to get set to punch. Boxing and moving seemed to be the formula that worked for Esquivas Jr in the ninth as he was able to land combinations almost at will and move out of danger before his opponent could fire back. To the delight of knowledgeable boxing crowd it was back to the inside fighting in the tenth and final stanza. In a violent war of attrition both determined warriors kept firing until the final bell signified the end of the night. In the end Freddie Roach’s fighter was just too skilled for relentless adversary form Santa Clarita, but no one in the stands had any complains.
In other action, hard punching welterweight from Colton, California, Artemio Reyes Jr (13-1,11KO’S0 stopped Mexican veteran, Miguel Angel Munguia(21-21-1,18KO’S) within two rounds.
Undefeated featherweight from Riverside, Richard Contreras (6-0,5KO’S) stopped veteran from Las Vegas, Manuel Sarabia (16-32-11,10KO’S) at the 48 second mark of the fifth round scheduled for six.
Talented featherweight from Riverside, Daniel Franco (3-0,2KO’S), younger brother of Michael Franco, dominated debuting Mario Brenas over four rounds. All three judges scored the fight 40-36.
Puerto Rican flyweight, Miguel Diaz (6-0,3KO’S) dominated Mexican, Samuel Gutierrez (5-9-1) over four fast paced rounds. All three judges scored the fight 40-36 for Diaz.
Riverside’s welterweight, Roberto Crespo (2-0) got all he could handle from North Hollywood’s Javier Albonica on the way to a highly contested unanimous decision victory. After four rounds all three judges scored it 39-36 for Crespo.
In his professional debut, super bantamweight Angel Aponte from Allentown, Pennsylvania outpointed Cain Garcia (0-4) from Bakersfield, California over four rounds by scores 40-36 on all the scorecards.
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