LA Fight Club results: Emilio Sanchez stops Christopher Martin
Emilio Sanchez got the type of win he needed coming off his first defeat, dominating Christopher Martin for five rounds until the bout was stopped before the sixth round. Scheduled for eight, the featherweight contest was the main event of an “LA Fight Club” card, at the Belasco Theater, in Los Angeles, California, on Friday night.
Sanchez, 16-1 (11), wasted no time finding his range and pouncing on the experienced 32-year-old who had taken the fight on short notice. Martin, 30-11-3 (10), seemed a bit overwhelmed to start and, for much of the first round, was behind his guard, perhaps hoping the prospect would make the mistake of punching himself out early. That was not happening on this night, as Sanchez was quick but unhurried with his varied combinations to the body and head.
In the third, Sanchez landed one of his better shots of the evening, a right uppercut to the chin that hurt Martin and stumbled him into a shell on the ropes. A small flurry from Sanchez later and Martin crumbled to the canvas for the fight’s only knockdown. Martin, Chula Vista, California, used his legs more afterward but, soon enough, the two could be seen standing toe-to-toe exchanging body shots. The difference of power at the end of those shots was glaring and, after the fourth, Martin’s left eye started to close. During much of the fifth, referee Jack Reiss looked for an opportunity to stop it, as Sanchez scored clean shots easily. After the round, he rightfully waved it off with Martin on his stool, after a short conversation.
“I felt stronger,” said Sanchez afterward. From Pacoima, California, Sanchez took his training to nearby Indio under the auspices of Joel Diaz. The decision stemmed from a shocking defeat earlier this year when Sanchez was knocked out in the second round by Eugene Lagos. “I changed my diet and everything,” he added. “I felt great and I want to thank Golden Boy Promotions for putting me in the main event.”
In the co-feature, lightweight prospect Hector Tanajara Jr. outboxed Emmanuel Morales to a shut-out unanimous decision victory, after eight rounds, keeping his record unbeaten.
From San Antonio, Texas, and fighting out of Robert Garcia’s Boxing Academy in Riverside, California, Tanajara, 15-0 (5), had one of his better performances against his Puerto Rican foe, not only using his jab but implementing some real power shots. The very first right hand he landed bothered the jaw of Morales, who could be seen stretching it out for the remainder of the fight. Eventually Morales, 7-3 (4), had the right side of his face badly swollen from all the shots that added up and Tanajara would mix in a few hard body shots to make him breathe out of his mouth heavily, by the fight’s midway point. If there was any measure of success for Morales, it was on the inside, where Tanajara’s long arms were deemed ineffective and stationary. However it would be hard to find one round in which he was the clear winner and the judges at ringside agreed.
“I feel I did better than in my past performance,” Tanajara admitted afterward. “(Morales) was really taking all of my punches. He was a really tough opponent. I need to work on not letting people hold me on the inside but I’m overall happy with the fight.”
In the opening bout of the Estrella TV broadcast, Raymond “Danger” Muratalla shined during his unanimous decision (40-35 across the borard) win over Guillaume Lorenzo.
Muratalla, 5-0 (3), a junior welterweight prospect from Fontana and now training out of nearby Indio, California, under Joel Diaz, showed off some crafty combinations to easily maintain control of the fight. All the way from of Perpignan, France, Lorenzo, 2-2, didn’t have the hand speed to match, nor the jab to thwart anything coming at him but the Frenchman was smart enough not to stand there and trade through the first couple rounds. In the third, however, Muratalla started to put together some great shots, once mixing up the speed and angles of his combos. He dropped Lorenzo with a power right hand and bloodied his nose in the same instance. Lorenzo managed to survive that moment and the fight, after one more round, but this was the Muratalla Show and the 21-year-old showcased himself well in his television debut.
“It was good and I had fun,” said Muratalla. “(Lorenzo) had a good chin, so it was hard to get him out. I need to be more offensive. I hope I can fight again before the year ends.”
Oscar Acevedo earned a shutout unanimous decision (40-36 on all three scorecards) win over Gerardo Molina to earn the fourth victory of his young career.
Fighting out of Los Angeles, by way of Garden City, Kansas, Acevedo, 4-0, a tall junior lightweight prospect, had virtually no issues with his shorter opponent in the beginning, measuring with the jab and whipping hooks to the body and head. Molina, 2-5 (1), looked to be on his way out early – just like in all of his defeats – but, starting in the third round, the 30-year-old from Mexico found his way inside and got himself into the fight. The small success he had prompted Acevedo, 19, to come out firing in the fourth round to try and get his first knockout. Molina was helpless on the ropes for much of it but withstood the flurries behind his guard to survive a loss without getting knocked out.
“This was a good learning experience,” said Acevedo. “I felt I needed to throw more punches but (Molina) was a tough opponent, so I’m OK with my performance. I can’t wait to come back.”
In the opening bout of the Golden Boy promotions card, Recky Dulay turned in a tremendous one-punch knockout of Juan Sandoval in the fifth round to take the victory. The lightweight contest was scheduled for six rounds.
Fighting out of Samar, Philippines, Dulay, 11-3 (8), was so elated from the highlight reel knockout, he was compelled to taunt his fallen opponent on the ground before celebrating on a turnbuckle. Referee Jack Reiss threatened to fine Dulay for the act but it ended a hotly-contested fight that was seemingly up in the air until the perfect right hand to the chin landed. In the first, a big left hook from both at the same time sparked a heated affair with plenty of exchanges and headbutts. Dulay was cut on the scalp in the opening round and virtually every left hook afterward came at Sandoval violently. Sandoval, 7-23-1 (4), was getting beat to the punch in the first couple rounds but some physical tactics on the inside roughed Dulay up in the fourth. More importantly they changed the tone of the fight. It seemed like Dulay was getting bothered by the sly tactics but all that went away once that final punch came and dropped Sandoval hard to the canvas.
“It was a matter of time,” Dulay said afterward. “I’m used to 10-round fights now. The key was throwing a lot of combinations. I’m happy with my win.”