Ringside Report: Estrada earns rematch victory
By: Abraham Gonzalez
The “Fabulous” Forum was the site for this long awaited and highly anticipated rematch between the WBC Super Flyweight Champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (47-4-1) and Juan Francisco “El Gallo” Estrada (38-3).
Both men have desires to win decisively in order to leave zero doubt on who is the best at 115lbs.
The WBC Champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai stayed busy last year having two voluntary defenses back in his home country of Thailand. Rungvisai wanted the opportunity to fight in Thailand before attempting to give Estrada the rematch. With Rungvisai now 32 years old, is he still going to be able to perform at the high level that we are used to seeing or will this fight show a decline in skill set?
Juan Francisco Estrada has been waiting for this rematch ever since his decision loss last February at the Forum. Estrada patiently waited and kept himself busy in 2018. He earned a unanimous decision victory against Felipe Orucuta and then was a late fill in for the injured Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez which resulted in the destruction of Victor Mendez. Will the miles on the motor for Estrada take a toll on him tonight or will he be able to pull together a career defining victory?
Here is how this evening’s fights unfolded.
Srisaket Sor Rungvisai vs. Juan Francisco “El Gallo” Estrada
The rematch produced exactly what the fans were looking for which was an all out battle between two great fighters. Rungvisai shocked everyone by starting the fight in the orthodox stance hoping to confuse Estrada from the beginning. Estrada adjusted well and dominated the early rounds as his angles and punch placement were excellent. Estrada’s left hook was landing in the third which gave Rungvisai fits in the ring. Estrada was dominating through the eighth round but in the ninth, Rungvisai switched back to southpaw and started to see huge success. Rungvisai made a comeback in rounds ten through twelve but it was a story of too little and too late. Both men went all out in the last round leaving the fight in the hands of the judges. The scorecards read 116-112, 115-113 and 115-113 for the winner and New WBC Super Flyweight Champion Juan Francisco “El Gallo” Estrada.
ESTRADA post fight: On what this moment means to him: “I am happy. Thank you to all of the people in Mexico and here tonight for supporting me.”
On Rungvisai fighting out of an orthodox stance in the rematch:“He surprised me a bit by that. Because he is always lefty, it surprised me that he was righty tonight. But I felt him out well when he fought right handed.”
On trading shots with Rungvisai when he was far ahead on the score cards: “I needed to show the Mexican fans and everyone here tonight that I was going to win that belt.”
On whether he wants a third fight against Rungvisai: “If he wants a third fight, I will give it to him. I would prefer to fight some other champion first. That’s what I think is next.”
Co-Main: Daniel “The Baby Face Assassin” Roman (26-2-1) vs. T.J “The Power” Doheny (21-0)
WHAT A WAR….The first round saw both men just figuring each other out and trying to play mind games. In the second round, Roman scored the first knockdown of the fight with a clean lead left hook as he caught Doheny dipping in a bit. In the third, Roman scored a right hook to the stomach that really bothered Doheny. Rounds four through six were savage back and forth action by both men. Round seven was one of two “Round of the Year” candidates as Daniel Roman poured it on but TJ Doheny just weathered the storm and kept coming. Fast forward to round nine which was the second “Round of the Year” candidate, Roman landed a left uppercut that nearly floored Doheny but he somehow came back from that damage to almost win the round. In the eleventh, a Roman left hook to the body floored Doheny and he was in serious trouble. Doheny made it through the round and to the end of the fight. The fight went to the scorecards and the judges saw this one 113-113, 116-110 and 116-110 for the winner and new Unified Super Bantamweight Champion Daniel “The Baby Face Assassin” Roman.
DANIEL ROMAN postfight:
On his strategy during the middle rounds: “TJ connected with a good shot and I knew I shouldn’t exchange with him. He’s a strong guy.”
On his body work: “Once I connected on two big body shots, I saw his conditioning going down and I jumped on it. I just kept it going.”
On whether he wants champion Rey Vargas next: “Give me Rey Vargas. I want the fight, we are two great champions. Let’s do it.”
TJ DOHENY post fight:
On the decision: “First off, I want to congratulate Danny. Not just him but his whole team. He is a great fighter but even more than that, he is an absolute gentleman, so all the credit in the world to him. The plan was to become the unified champion but that didn’t happen. My second plan was to go to war and put on a show for Los Angeles and we did it.”
On Daniel’s consistent body attack: “The body shots broke me down slowly. But I am an Irish fighter and we are warriors so we stick around until the end.”
On whether he wants a rematch: “My stock can only go up. It’s not like I lost to a guy, I was up against a world class operator. I said it all along, the winner is number one. If there’s a rematch, I will take it of course. I’d love the chance. But I just don’t want to be rebuilt. My stock can only go up from a war like that. Thank you to Eddie Hearn for giving me this amazing opportunity, it meant so much and I can’t wait to see what’s next.”
Jesse Vargas (28-2-2) vs. Humberto Soto (69-9-2)
In the first round, there was a clash of heads that upset Jesse Vargas almost immediately. Both men were going at it and finished the round off strong. Jesse had his counter left hook working early in this fight. In the second round, a nasty cut which occurred by was of headbutt on Vargas’ left eye. Vargas was extremely frustrated by this and was truly upset about it. Vargas continued to box through rounds three to five but the veteran Soto was setting traps and catching Vargas with overhand rights. In the sixth round, a straight right hand by Vargas led to the first knockdown of the night. After Soto got up, Vargas immediately jumped on him with a barrage of punches which led to the referee stopping the fight. Jesse Vargas wins by TKO in the sixth round.
JESSIE VARGAS post fight:
On his performance: “Honestly, I was looking for the big shots, looking for body shots. But he is a crafty veteran and he proved that tonight. I just tried to dictate the pace but he was fighting in spurts and he would put together combos.”
On the accidental head butt and ensuing cut in the first round:“It was really frustrating. It’s the first round, it’s very frustrating. I get headbutt and get a cut. So then I am thinking constantly about his head movement and where he is at because I didn’t want another cut. And listen, I’m not saying it’s his fault or anything like that. I am scarred for life again but it’s because of this beautiful sport.”
On what is next for him: “I am ready for whatever is next. I am ready for anyone. I want a world championship. I will let Eddie find the right opponent. But man, I haven’t had a KO in almost three years and I got it. It feels great and it is a credit to Freddie Roach and the great three month camp we had out here in Los Angeles.”
Anthony Sims Jr. (18-0) vs. Vaughn Alexander (14-2)
Anthony Sims Jr. has everything you are looking for in a future star and that includes good head movement and foot work along with solid technique. He displayed those skills throughout the fight but just didn’t have any desire to do anymore than land a few punches here and there. Vaughn Alexander was a tough opponent but one that could have been stopped if Sims Jr. applied more pressure to accompany those solid fundamentals. In what was considered a bit of a “stinker,” Anthony Sims Jr. won by unanimous decision as the judges saw this one 98-92, 98-92 and 96-94.
Diego Pacheco (2-0) vs. Guillermo Maldonado (1-0)
This fight did not last long as Guillermo Maldonado and Diego Pacheco were on two totally different levels. Pacheco landed a crushing right upper cut and followed it with a nasty over hand right. That is what started all of the problems for Maldonado. Towards the middle of round one, Pacheco landed a huge left hook and straight right hand which led to the knockout. Diego Pacheco wins by first round knockout.
Shakhram “Wonder Boy” Giyasov (7-0) vs.Emanuel Taylor (20-5)
Shakhram Givasov came in as the favorite for this one but don’t mention that to Emmanuel Taylor as he clearly came into this fight to play spoiler. In the first round, Taylor landed a counter right hand that rocked Givasov badly which led to him barely making it past the first round. The remainder of this fight saw Giyasov land two shots at a time without following it up while Taylor kept landing a check left hook which found a home each and every time but with no follow up. The fight was close from press row and could have gone either way. The fight went to the scorecards and the judges however saw this one 99-91, 99-91 and 97-93 for the winner by unanimous decision Shakhram “Wonder Boy” Giyasov.
Austin “Ammo” Williams (Debut) vs. Joel Guevara (3-4-1)
Austin Williams did not waste any time or “ammo” as he was fast and precise early in the first round. A left hook to the body sent Guevara down for the first knockdown. Guevara beat the ten count but Williams jumped on him and was just too much as he was landing at will. The referee had no choice but to stop this one. Your winner is Austin “Ammo” Williams by TKO in the first round in his pro debut.
This evening, boxing fans were treated to a great night of fights. The crowd that comes to support boxing at the Forum are just as hardcore as the ones that go to the old StubHub (now Dignity Sports Health Park). The fight card did what most fight cards don’t always do and that is live up to the hype… Fans are still buzzing about this one as they walk out of the venue.