Estrella TV results: Manuel Avila decisions Jose Ramirez
Manuel “Tino” Avila skated away with a split decision win over Jose Ramirez Friday night, in a frustrating affair for all involved. The featherweight contest was the main event of an L.A. Fight Club card held at the Belasco Theater in Los Angeles and broadcast on Estrella TV.
Fighting out of Mexicali, Mexico, Ramirez answered the opening bell like a bat out of hell. An overhand right grazed Avila’s chin in the opening seconds of the fight and Ramirez immediately forced his body on him. Ramirez set the precedent in those opening seconds but the physical nature of Ramirez’s game plan was too much for referee Dr. Lou Moret. Ninety seconds in, Moret had to call time in order to calm Ramirez’s mugging aggression.
Ramirez, 28-7 (16), did cool down for a bit and that gave Avila enough breathing room to establish his jab but it wasn’t as effective as intended. Ramirez was constantly mobile and, more often than not, he pressed forward to bring the fight on the inside when not using lateral movement to evade Avila’s follow-up power shots. It didn’t take long for Ramirez to return to his mugging ways, however, and Moret had to call time again in the third round in order to calm both fighters’ demeanor.
Avila, 22-0 (8), looked as frustrated as Ramirez was hip to his obvious game plan. Making the fight an ugly one worked but, at times, it was too physical. Moret docked Ramirez one point in the fifth round for pushing Avila’s head down. Although there was never an audible warning for the foul, they may have been given during the two time outs earlier. In the final round, Moret docked another point from Ramirez for hooking Avila’s arm.
Both fighters offered plenty of complaints to Moret – who was sweating just as much as they were – but the complaint centered on one thing: Headbutts. Whenever Avila landed a rare right hand, Ramirez’s first reaction was to clinch. Sometimes Avila tried to lunge forward with a power shot and, with Ramirez trying to move his head out of the way, another headbutt occurred.
Although the argument could be made that Ramirez’s physicality was to blame for the ugly fight, he got the brunt of the headbutts. A big cut opened above his left eye in the final round but, since it happened toward the end of the fight, Avila didn’t have a target until that point. Nonetheless, how Avila fought on this evening, he would’ve never found it anyway.
After 10 grisly rounds, the scores were baffling. Two judges ringside scored the fight 99-89 in favor of Avila, while the third had it 95-93 for Ramirez.
“I didn’t like this fight and I feel like it wasn’t a fight,” said Avila after the bout. “My opponent wasn’t throwing punches.”
On the contrary, Ramirez had a different feeling about the fight – even though he lost. “I feel satisfied with this fight. I showed that I was valiant and I could take on a favored fighter,” said Ramirez. “I wasn’t in my home territory and I would’ve had to knock him out if I were to win.”
In the co-feature, Emilio “The Kid” Sanchez remains unbeaten after getting the unanimous decision (80-72, 79-73, 77-75) nod over Diuhl “Elegante” Olguin in an eight-round junior featherweight bout.
With the hopes of opening up his opponent, Sanchez used a strong jab early on in order to impose his attack. Once he began to throw his power shots behind those jabs, it was clear what Sanchez intended for Olguin. Seemingly after every power right hand, Sanchez grunted loudly, making it apparent that he was putting everything he had into his shots and going for a knockout. Perhaps he was trying too hard or maybe Olguin’s slick moves negated the effort.
Fighting out of Guadalajara, Mexico, Olguin, 11-5-3 (9), ducked and dodged Sanchez’s shots that were laced with bad intentions. His positioning was key as he never ran from Sanchez. He even switched to southpaw a few times and, by the third round, he forced Sanchez to fight off the ropes. Emilio fought well when forced into this predicament. Whether it was a right uppercut or left hook, those punches not only landed but gave him room to breathe.
As for Olguin’s offense, not only did it fail to match Sanchez’s in terms of output but the few shots that landed cleanly were incomparable, in terms of power. Yet, Olguin was never clearly hurt throughout the entire fight and, given how Sanchez wasn’t blatantly successful, it seemed like the later rounds much more crucial than the scorecards ultimately indicated. Sanchez, Pacoima, California, returned to his jab in the last two rounds and the bellow he’d let off when throwing his right hand had disappeared. Emilio even went to the body with that jab often in the final round and, by its end, Olguin walked back to his corner with a bloody nose.
“He was a tougher opponent that I thought he was but we were prepared for that.” said Sanchez, 13-0 (8). “I had to watch out for his headbutts and keep my distance throughout the fight. I’m excited to be able to finish off the year on a positive note with this victory.”
In the opening bout of the Estrella TV telecast, Pablo “The Shark” Rubio Jr. earned a unanimous decision victory (59-55, 60-54 twice) his television debut over Francisco Dominguez.
Sporting a new look for his launch on the tube, Rubio’s flowing locks were unfamiliar but his action-packed style wasn’t. Luckily, his Mexican counterpart was obliged to a toe-to-toe fight and 18 minutes in, this one was fought in the proverbial phone booth. Both men enjoyed their moments of snapping each other’s heads back but Dominguez’s were few and far between, while Rubio’s were plentiful.
Rubio, 8-0 (3), had the in-fighting advantage, despite a distinct height and reach advantage. The 19-year old from Whittier, California, also went to the body consistently against Dominguez and it began to show its effects midway through the third round. There, Rubio’s work rate began to overwhelm Dominguez, at times, as he slowly stepped backward, while Pablo stepped forward to stay on the inside. This continued throughout the fight but so did the sparse right hands with which Dominguez was able to connect, making it a fun, competitive fight, while also displaying the negative effects of the long hair, as the sprays of perspiration were a dead giveaway to his opponent’s success. Rubio suffered a bloody nose by the end of the fight but Dominguez’s face was battered and, with a small hematoma over his right eye, it was unquestionable as to who won – and lost – the fight.
“I thought it was a great fight and I faced a tough opponent,” said Rubio after the win. “I know I hurt (Dominguez) twice and I applaud him for being able to make it through the fight. I’m also thankful for my trainer Rudy, who is the reason why I was able to get this victory tonight.”
Eighteen-year-old featherweight prospect Luis Coria scored a technical knockout victory after his opponent Juan Bryand injured himself in the opening round. The contest was scheduled for four rounds.
After an accidental clash of heads dropped him in the fight’s opening seconds, Coria, 2-0 (2), showcased his jab early and he looked more like a composed veteran than a youngster with an immature disposition. Bryand, 1-6-1, was showing signs of unraveling as Coria began to unleash his right hands upstairs along with left hooks to the body.
In the waning seconds of Round One, Bryand was clearly in pain after Coria seemed to have landed two left hands on his right arm and near his elbow. Bryand quickly grabbed his arm while trapped in a corner and dropped to a knee as he saw Coria charging at him. Just as he took his knee, Coria landed a final right hand. It was ruled a knockdown but Bryand shook his head as referee Zac Young counted to 10. The fight was stopped at the 2:59 mark.
“I’m glad my fans were able to come out and support,” said Coria afterward. “It sucks for (Bryand) but we know the risks of being a boxer and I came to get the job done. I studied him well and I’m glad I was able to get the stoppage early.”
Los Angeles-based junior lightweight prospect Tenochtitlan “T-Dog” Nava managed to stay undefeated after getting the majority decision nod over Ricky Vasquez. One ringside judge scored the bout a 38-38, while remaining two turned in identical scorecards of 39-37.
Nava, 4-0 (1), looked like he was en route to a quick knockout victory in the opening round. An overhand right of his caught Vasquez’s chin in the opening minute and it sent him stumbling backward until his back was caught by a turnbuckle. While it wasn’t ruled a knockdown by referee Dr. Lou Moret, the scene was amplified by the large contingent of fans cheering for Nava.
Fighting out of Las Cruces, New Mexico, Vasquez, 6-3-1 (2), wasn’t disheartened by the early mishap. After bringing a fight to Nava after the near-knockdown, Vasquez could be seen dancing to his corner. His confidence was apparent in the second round, in which his counter right hands gave Nava fits, and his lateral movement of made T-Dog miss often. While the crowd was quieted because of Vasquez’s savvy boxing, there was more than one way to blame him for its silence.
The fight became ugly toward the end of the second and, into the third round. Vasquez was inclined to use a clinch as Nava’s right hand began to find its range again but, by the end of the second, Ricky sustained a cut above his left eye – likely from a clash of heads. In one strange moment, Vasquez even picked up Nava off the canvas as Moret tried to break them apart and Nava’s frustrations were abundantly clear as he pressed for more action and came up empty. In the final round, however, Vasquez elected to get on his bike and leave the fight’s result in the hands of the judges. Nava got in some shots in that last round to secure a victory but this one was harder than it seemed.
“I did get frustrated through certain points in the fight,” said Nava after the win. “His fighting style was slick and he was able to get in and get out with ease. At that point, my corner encouraged me to step in and use my jab to break in. This was a good experience for me and I’m glad I got to fight a boxer with a style that I haven’t seen before and get the win.”
In the opening bout of the Golden Boy Promotions card, Azat Hovhannisyan knocked Israel Rojas out in the opening round of a lightweight contest scheduled for six rounds.
Hovhannisyan, the 28-year-old younger brother of Art, didn’t waste any time, once the opening bell sounded, and his right uppercut was the beginning of the end for Rojas. It cut the bridge of Rojas’ nose, not to mention startled him into a retreat. Rojas, 9-14 (3), tried to fight back but Hovhannisyan knew he had him shook and proceeded to land fierce combinations to the body. The final shot landed – a left hook to the liver – folded Rojas to the canvas in writhing pain. Referee Zac Young recognized Rojas’ distress and waved off the bout immediately at the 1:31 mark.
“Every day we train hard and when the call came to fight, we said yes immediately,” said Hovhannisyan, 10-2 (9). “I’m in the gym preparing my craft and that’s what the fans saw – me using my preparation to take on just another fighter who is just as hungry as I am.”