Golden Boy Promotions kicked off the summer with a sold out stacked undercard of top talents, including WBC Silver Featherweight champion Ronny Rios and the first ever female fighters on this edition of LA FIGHT CLUB. Golden Boy fighter Jesus “Renuente” Soto Karass was in attendance to witness all of the action. Fans were able to tune in to this fight frenzy broadcast live on Estrella TV and streaming live simultaneously on Ring TV, estrellaTV.com and on YouTube via Fenomeno Studios.
Santa Ana, CA fan favorite and current WBC Silver Featherweight titleholder Ronny Rios (25-1, 10 KOs) came back in the ring for the first time since defeating Jayson “La Maravilla” Velez on the Cotto vs. Canelo undercard last November to face Efrain Esquivias (17-4-1, 10 KOs) in a featherweight fight. Rios came in the ring with a vengeance, knocking Esquivias down in the first round with his powerful punches. The Belasco was a full house tonight chanting “Ronny” throughout his entire bout as they watched Rios take down Esquivias in the second round by technical knockout. Wearing his WBC Silver Featherweight belt proudly on display in the ring after his dominating win, one thing was for certain-Rios’ talents were on full display for his fans tonight.
“I knew Esquivias from my amateur days, and I remember him being a tough fighter,” said Rios after the bout. “I know that I trained harder, and prepared for this fight as if I would have prepared for a champion fight. This is just another step in the ladder to get my shot at a world title.”
The televised co-main event brought the likes of undefeated Zachary “Zungry” Ochoa (15-0, 7 KOs) hailing from Brooklyn, NY for his second LA FIGHT CLUB to face Bayamon, Puerto Rico’s Luis Joel Gonzalez (11-4-1, 6 KOs) in this eight-round super lightweight fight. Despite Ochoa putting on the pressure with his impressive reach, Gonzalez was able to knock Zachary down in the third round for a brief second. For the duration of the fight the two fighters danced around each other, exchanging blocks and jabs. Eventually, “Zungry” struck his opponent with a right chin jab in the seventh round in the most devastating knockout of the night–proving his sheer speed and strength to be too much for Gonzalez to handle.
“In this fight, I proved that I could make it all eight rounds, while maintaining all my power,” said Ochoa. “The endurance in my legs kept me steady throughout the fight. I saw the opportunity, and in the moment that I threw my right overhand punch, I knew he wasn’t going to get back up. This victory is just another win to get me closer to my dreams.”
Opening up the televised portion of the night, this edition of LA FIGHT CLUB made history as Golden Boy Promotions’ first female boxing event to take place at The Belasco Theater. Seniesa Estrada (7-0, 1 KO) representing East L.A. went up against Laredo, TX’s Christina Fuentes (4-8-5) in a scheduled six-round flyweight. Sparks flew as these two boxers went at it in all-out brawl in the ring inciting cries and cheers from fight fans. The fight took an ugly turn as Fuentes was docked a point for going after Estrada after knocking her down with a right during the third round. But that didn’t stop Estrada as she got up to fight back and during the fourth round began to corner Fuentes on the ropes while delivering quick combinations. Due to her quick comeback, the judges all voted to give Estrada the flyweight victory of the night.
“I came determined to win,” said Seniesa of being the first victorious female fighter of LA FIGHT CLUB. “Being in the sport since I was eight, I have the boxing skills to take on anyone. I wasn’t hurt at all in the fight, not even when I tripped up, and like the true fighter I am–I got back up. We both put in the work to be able to get on live television, and as female boxers, that’s no small feat. I am so thankful to Golden Boy for recognizing the value in us female fighters, and look forward to more fights like these.”
“Honestly, despite the outcome, I came to show that women can perform in this sport, and even do it better,” said Christina Fuentes of her bout. “Estrada and I came out to make a statement, and I feel like we did that as the Belasco’s first female fight. When I knocked her down for a brief second, I knew that I was holding my own, and could possibly win. Although she was throwing more punches, I felt like I was hurting her more at some points. I’m confident I’ll be back in the ring because I am a strong, woman fighter.”
Local fan favorite Rafael “El Alikin” Gramajo (8-1-1, 2 KOs) stepped back in the ring to face opponent Fajardo, PR’s Harold Reyes (2-6-1) adding fuel to the fire in the Mexico vs. Puerto Rico rivalry in this six-round featherweight fight. The bout began with a bang as Gramajo knocked down Reyes in the first few minutes. As the rounds progressed, punches were flying as these two fighters battled it out in the ring to seize the victory. The fans came out to show their support for “El Alikin” and went wild as the judges awarded him a unanimous decision win.
“I knew entering the ring that I was the bigger fighter,” said Rafael Gramajo of his unanimous decision win. “Our game plan was perfect, and we knew in order to win the fight I had to out-box him and walk him down. I’m so thankful for my boxing family, because without them, this wouldn’t mean anything. I expect my future fights to look bright as I build my reputation as a notable fighter.”
Los Angeles, CA’s Pablo “The Shark” Rubio Jr. (6-0, 3 KOs) was on the hunt in his six-round super bantamweight fight against Jorge Perez (2-3, 1 KO) of Riverside, CA. This rising fan favorite delivered some of the most devastating blows of the night to Perez, who pulled through until the very end with his counterpunches and blocks making for an all-out blood bath. Ultimately, the judges impressed by Rubio Jr.’s strength and skill awarded him the fight by unanimous decision.
“I loved the fact that we fought hard continuously through the fight,” said Pablo Rubio Jr. of his undisputed victory. “Not only did we give the fans a show, but we were both able to sharpen our skills in the ring. Perez is a tough fighter, and he was giving me a hard time, but I trained hard to go the distance in the ring. I have a lot of things that I learned about myself as a fighter, and what I would like to improve on, such as my distance and being able to land shots while being on the defensive. I hope the fans will get to see me dominate more fights in the ring.”
Los Angeles native Tenochtitlan “T-Dog” Nava (2-0) battled against David Montes (0-3) of El Paso Texas. “T-Dog” landed the first punch of the night, setting the tone of the fight. In a flurry of punches, the referee having to reset the fighters various times. Entering the second round, both fighters were hungry, landing combinations to the face and body. By the fourth round, we saw “T-Dog’s” expansive reach, landing overwhelming punches to the face. The judges all agreed he was the victor of the night via unanimous decision.
“I felt very confident about my fight today,” said champion Tenochtitlan Nava. “I train for every fight like I am the underdog because I feel like I have something to prove, and that I am a great fighter. I did get tired during this fight and it was because I felt I needed to punch harder and throw more punches. He was a bigger fighter and I needed to do more to win. I want to thank Golden Boy Promotions and the Saucedo Brothers for this opportunity, all my supporters and the Marching Skulls from West Side Boxing Club.”
Ronny Rios vs. Efrain Esquivias was presented by Golden Boy Promotions and sponsored by Cerveza Tecate, BORN BOLD, Casa Mexico Tequila and Carmelita Chorizo.