Results: Ismail Muwendo and Seniesa Estrada score big wins
Ismail Muwendo remained undefeated after sending Efrain Esquivias to the canvas twice and earning a shutout decision (80-70 on all official scorecards) to remain undefeated. The contest was the main event of a Roy Jones Jr. Boxing and Rebel T Promotions card at the M3 Anaheim Event Center in Anaheim, California, on Friday night.
“It was a good fight,” said the smiling Ugandan fighting out of St. Paul, Minnesota. Muwendo, 19-0 (12), said he was happy with his performance overall and looked to be what he described as 100 percent for this fight. The 28-year-old was coming off a near-11-month layoff, thanks to a nagging shoulder injury that required surgery but, by all accounts, he looked to have some pop.
“I tried to figure (Esquivias) out but he was a little bit difficult. He was a really small guy – really low to the ground. It was kind of hard to catch him,” admitted Muwendo. I ain’t got a excuse. It’s a good fight.”
Nicknamed “Sharp Shooter,” the lengthy prospect had a short, fidgety opponent in front of him, fighting north of his weight class and in there to survive. Esquivias, a 34-year-old club fighter who campaigned at 122-pounds and went as high as 130, tried his best to make it a dog fight on the inside but, by the second round, Muwendo’s right hand started to snap his head back. Muwendo, a lightweight prospect fighting at 142 pounds, had the clear power advantage and, in the fourth, that right dropped Esquivias hard to the mat. It was the fight’s most brutal instance but Esquivias, 17-7-1 (10), dusted himself off and continued to move around the ring well enough from getting trapped in a corner or against the ropes. In the sixth, Esquivias found the mat again after another right from Muwendo but his foot may have been stepped on by his adversary, in that case. Nevertheless, Muwendo was looked in top form on his comeback but the knockout evaded him, thanks to the instincts of a veteran fighter. As for what’s next for Muwendo, he leaves that to his manager and promoter (Roy Jones Jr. Boxing Promotions) and, on this night, seemed more than content with a win and a healthy shoulder.
“I’m just a fighter,” Muwendo added about what might be next. “They make fight. I fight.”
In the co-featured bout of the evening, Seniesa “Super Bad” Estrada outclassed Aracely Palacios en route to a unanimous decision win after six two-minute rounds. However, on this occasion, the smaller fighter showcased her skill.
“Overall. I felt great. I felt sharp. I won every round on every judge’s scorecard – which is great – and I felt like I did. I knew I was up every round.” said Estrada after her 10th victory. Fighting out of East Los Angeles, California, the 25-year-old let it be known who was the superior boxer in the fight, once eating a right hand early in the first round. The shot didn’t faze her at all, just forced her to step on the gas pedal with her feints, movement and combinations. Palacios, 8-7 (1), only threw that one telegraphed right hand and, once Estrada figured that out midway through the first, it was all but over for the flyweight from Durango, Mexico.
Estrada, 10-0 (2), was creative, with her array of combinations, and was sure to punctuate them with a body shot on her bigger opponent. Soon enough, Estrada had Palacios shelled up, every other moment, blinded by the quicker hands and heaving an aimless right hand, only to find nothing there. Other times, Estrada had her hands down, baiting Palacios to throw the right. When she did, the same thing would happen but Seniesa would be sure to throw the right cross or left hook before her escape. In the sixth, Estrada showboated a tad for the crowd but she didn’t really have to. After all, their attention never strayed because Estrada’s obvious talent kept them engaged.
While she was satisfied in victory, there was some frustration. Estrada says she should be fighting at 108 pounds but opponents and opportunities at that weight are scarce and there are more options four pounds north. Such is the occasion on this evening, as Palacios struggled to make weight and regained much of it on the morning of the fight (118 pounds to Estrada’s 110). It didn’t take long to see that the skill level wasn’t the same and even Seniesa would admit that. That said, most importantly these days, Estrada’s opponent showed up – something that didn’t happen on the fight week of her most recent fight a month ago. Then again, the replacement was badly out-matched and knocked out cold in the first round by Estrada. This time, Palacios was better than that but even that wasn’t nearly enough. The life of a developing female prospect may always be frustrating but things will be on the upswing soon for Estrada.
“I’m back in the ring, September 9th, on the ‘SuperFly’ card (on HBO),” she said with excitement.
After six rounds of competitive junior featherweight action, Humberto Rubalcava scored a majority decision win over Raymond Chacon to keep his record unscathed.
“By far, yeah,” admitted Rubalcava afterward, when asked if that was his toughest fight to date. “He was fast and my past opponents have all been aggressive. This guy was more of a boxer.”
A house fighter with probably the most fans in the crowd, Rubalcava left them quiet after the second round, as he was struggling with a man with much more experience, and some savvy moves, in the ring. Fighting out of Los Angeles, Chacon, 7-24-1, was a southpaw with a jab that gave the 22-year-old fits and kept him tentative throughout. Rubalcava, who was able to switch stances, was reluctant to throw first because of Chacon’s well-placed jabs, that were aimed high. That said, Chacon wasn’t exactly exposing the prospect and, by the account of the judges at ringside, couldn’t conjure up enough offense to edge the many close rounds. Rubalcava certainly landed the most meaningful punches of the contest and, in the fifth, an accidental headbutt made things bloody, thanks to a leaking cut from Chacon above his right eye. The blood enhanced a final round, in which both fighters knew the fight still hung in the balance. After a sigh of relief after the decision, it served as a wake-up call for the prospect out of Westminster, California.
“I think I switched too late,” said Rubalcava, 7-0 (5), about switching stances. He switched to southpaw after the fourth round and perhaps that led to the inadvertent headbutt in the fifth. “I feel like I was being aggressive and landed more at southpaw. Next, I’m just gonna go back to the gym and look at the video. This is a big-time wake-up call for me. I have to train harder and be more aggressive next time.”
More than a year after making his pro debut, Ricky Frausto returned to the ring with a technical knockout win over Jimmy Eugene Gomez. The middleweight contest was scheduled for four rounds.
Frausto, 2-0 (1), fell to his knees immediately after referee Raul Caiz Jr. waved off the contest with Gomez on his feet. Gomez, 0-2, was getting hit repeatedly from jump and his raw style was no match, even for the very green Frausto.
“It was almost a year-and-a-half since I (last) fought,” said Frausto after the win and revealed that his emotions got the best of him, once it was waved off. “I was really anxious to get back in my backyard.”
Lorraine Villalobos won her professional debut via unanimous decision after outboxing Elvia Trevino-Garcia for four two-minute rounds. All tree judges scored the bout 40-36.
Villalobos, 1-0, had a thirst for action and a desire to prove her worth as a fighter. Her jab pumped and her power right hand flew with malicious intent but Villalobos’ left hook scored often, en route to an easy score for the judges at ringside. Trevino-Garcia, 2-2, was tough and handled those shots well but she just couldn’t match the offense that was being thrown at her.
In another professional debut, Arthur Saakyan walloped Cesar Hernandez in the opening round to get his boxing career off on the right foot. The welterweight contest was scheduled for six rounds.
Saakyan, 1-0 (1), looked strong but, better yet, disciplined in his first round as a pro. After an accumulation of shots within the opening minute, Saakyan scored his first knockdown and, just moments later, a final right hand knocked Hernandez, 0-4, senseless and to the floor again. Referee Raul Caiz Jr. waved it off without a count.
“I was just taking my time. I know the last shot was a right hand that put him out. I was just taking my time, doing my thing,” said Saakyan, Montebello, California, afterward. “Yeah, just want to get the feel of the ring a little better but I can’t complain. I’d rather get out of the first round than the last round.”
Jarret Jeter produced a tremendous body shot knockout of Alberto Serna in the opening minute of the first round. The junior lightweight contest was scheduled for six.
“It’s amazing. I love a body shot. It’s more satisfying than a head punch to me,” said Jeter, 7-1-1 (2), after the victory. The shot was a perfect right hook to the ribs of Serna, 3-7 (2), and it had the Mexican rolling around on the canvas in dire pain. Jeter, 23, trains out of the DG Boxing Gym in Long Beach, California.
In the opening bout of the Roy Jones Jr. Boxing Promotions card, Anthony “2 Pretty” Chavez Cifuentes was too fast for Carlos Gonzalez and, after scoring two knockdowns in the second round, forced a stoppage win to earn his third professional victory.
“We seen he had a lazy jab and we capitalized on it,” said the featherweight prospect from San Bernardino, California. Chavez Cifuentes, who wants to be known by both of his last names, started timing the lazy jab of Gonzalez, 1-2, within the fight’s first minute and, soon enough, the swagger associated with his nickname revealed itself once his timing mellowed out. In the second, that well-timed right dropped Gonzalez hard to the mat and, moments later, the same punch re-acquainted him to that same spot. While Chavez Cifuentes went in for the kill and the third knockdown, referee David Mendoza waved off the fight with Gonzalez helpless on his feet at the 2:41 mark.
“You know, the ladies – they tell me I’m pretty, so I gotta stick with it,” said the confident young man about his nickname and on how other fighters may perceive him in the future. “Oh, they’re gonna get mad but, if they get mad, their girl knows – they know who the pretty guy is in there.”