‘L.A. Fight Club’ results: Joshua Franco teaches Victor Pasillas a hard lesson
Joshua “El Profesor” Franco picked Victor Pasillas apart en route to a third round knockout Friday night. The super flyweight contest was the main event of a Golden Boy Promotions card held at the Belasco Theater in Los Angeles, California, broadcast live on Estrella TV.
Fighting out of San Antonio, Texas, and for the first time on television, Franco managed to land just about every punch in the book through two rounds. As poised as any 21-year-old could be, Franco started to unleash an uppercut after gauging his distance. Lead left hooks to Pasillas’ head connected often and follow-up right hands had the Mexican opponent at a loss for activity.
Franco, 9-0 (5), even started to land lead right hands to Pasillas’ body and, just when one thought it would the one-sided beating would continue, Franco closed the show. An overhand right scrambled Pasillas into a forward stumble and, as he tried to grab Franco for support, “The Professor” swiftly moved out of the way and Victor crashed hard to the canvas, face-first. As referee Raul Caiz Sr. was shouting to 10, Pasillas shook his head no and the fight was waved off at the 2:32 mark of the third round.
“I was definitely expecting a tougher fight,” said Franco. “I had watched a lot of (Pasilla’s) fights online and I expected a knockout later in the fight.”
“I felt like I could have continued to fight,” said Pasillas, 8-7-2 (5). “It’s been two years since I’ve been in the ring, so this was the first step to rebuilding my career.”
In the co-feature, Jonathan “Thunder” Navarro earned a wide unanimous decision (60-54 twice, 59-55) over Angel Rodriguez but those scorecards didn’t indicate the valued experience gained by the local junior welterweight prospect.
Considering he hadn’t fought in five years, the opening round would be a clear indication of Rodriguez’s capability and he didn’t disappoint. The 35-year-old from Houston, Texas brought a fight to Navarro and the crowd instantly had plenty of action for which to cheer.
Navarro, 8-0 (5), a 20-year-old from East Los Angeles, welcomed the idea of an action fight, especially since he got the better of his opponent in exchanges. Navarro seemingly set up every power right hand to the head, with his jab early in the fight, but, in the waning moments of the second round, Rodriguez rallied to land a few shots that snapped Navarro’s head back.
In the third, Navarro started implementing shots to the body. Sometimes they came without a jab preceding them and Navarro was able to land a consecutive left hook/right hand/right hand combo to each side of Rodriguez’s ribcage. That combination was perhaps Navarro’s best of the evening and, in the fourth round, Rodriguez’s production drastically dropped. Rodriguez, 5-7-3 (4), wasn’t done, however, and he gave an inspiring effort in the final round, that gave Navarro something to think about.
“This fight shows that I can rumble with tough opponents,” said Navarro. “My opponent fought against Diego Magdaleno and Adrien Broner, so I knew he had to be tough – and he was. I came into the ring slowly, trying to figure him out, and Rodriguez came forward aggressively. He was a tough opponent and I am definitely thankful for the experience. I’ll be back in the ring soon, hopefully increasing my rounds.”
In the opening bout of the Estrella TV telecast, Ryan “Kingry” Garcia earned a second round stoppage victory over Devon Jones after sending him to the canvas four times. The lightweight bout was scheduled for six rounds.
Garcia, 8-0 (7), looked a bit surprised at the opening flurry from Jones. The winging shots were so wild, it was a wonder that the Alexandria, Louisiana, native managed to come into the fight with a winning record. Jones, 2-2 (1), was confident with his attack, however, but that was until he felt a clean shot from Garcia. After throwing a few jabs, Garcia landed a right hand that badly buckled Jones and the latter found himself on the canvas in the final minute of the opening round. Just before the bell rang, Jones crashed to the mat again, still shaky from the first right hand.
Fighting out of Victorville, California, Garcia opened up more in the second round and, while Jones managed to land a few swinging rights, Garcia put an end to that with his right hand. Jones dropped to the canvas a third time within the first minute of the second and then, with the very next right hand he threw, Garcia sput him flat on his back. Referee Raul Caiz Sr. immediately waved off the bout at the 55-second mark.
“You heard the crowd tonight; I think they enjoyed the fight,” said Garcia. “I give myself a B-minus for my performance, since I got cobbled in my head a couple of times – I had to adjust because I didn’t know that my opponent was a southpaw. But we got the knockout and that’s what makes champions.”
In the only non-televised undercard bout of the Golden Boy Promotions card, David “Junebug” Mijares scored the unanimous decision (60-54 twice, 58-56) victory over Evincii Dixon in a six-round junior welterweight bout.
Mijares, 5-0 (3), was a busy body throughout the entire fight. Always moving and feinting, the 21-year-old kept his hands busy and the activity kept his opponent hesitant to get out of his guard. Fighting out of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Dixon, 7-16-2 (2), was perplexed behind his guard as Mijares worked heavily on his body. There wasn’t much else Mijares could do with such a tentative opponent in front of him but he did use his lateral movement to create something that wasn’t there in the first half of the fight.
Once Dixon did decide to throw punches, he managed to bloody Mijares’ nose in the fourth round with a clean right hand. After the fifth, Mijares went back to his corner again with blood leaking down his mouth. While he scored more than Dixon, Junebug had an adverse moment in the final round. In its final minute, Dixon rocked Mijares with a right hand that almost sent him to the canvas but the Santa Monica, California native caught his footing and proceeded to charge at Dixon with a smile on his face to finish the fight.
“This was a great learning experience for me,” said Mijares after the win. “It was the first time I went all six rounds with someone who has the experience and patience inside the ring. I definitely want to work on being more aware throughout the fight – he got me with a couple of punches high up on the head that threw me off. I want to pursue more experienced opponents like this and build myself up as a fighter for this year and get used to fighting at six rounds.”