by Francisco Salazar
Super bantamweight Roman Morales did enough to fend off an opponent on Friday night. He will have to improve on certain facets of his game should he want to be considered one of the best in his division.
Morales knocked out veteran Jose Iniguez in the fifth round of a scheduled eight round fight at the Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, CA.
The bout headlined a seven-bout "Central Coast Championship Night" card, presented by Gary Shaw Productions.
Morales was coming off an eight round unanimous decision over Jonathan Arrellano on September 21st. Iniguez, who had three of his last six bouts, beat Gregorio Ronquillo in his last fight on November 24th.
The taller Morales landed the more-telling blows from the opening round. Undaunted, Iniguez found a way to counter Morales, landing left hooks to the head of Morales.
Morales dropped Iniguez near the end of the second round with a counter right hand. To his credit, Iniguez stood up and tried to fight back.
Despite Iniguez hanging in there, landing his punches on the inside, he dropped to a knee in the third round, courtesy of a barrage of punches by Morales. Throughout the rest of the bout, Iniguez kept his distance away from Morales, trying to pot shot the younger fighter.
About halfway through the fifth, Morales landed a well-timed left hook to the body, dropping Iniguez to the canvas. Referee Jack Reiss counted Iniguez out at 1:32 of the round.
Morales, from San Ardo, CA, goes to 14-0, 7 KOs. Iniguez, from Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, drops to 6-15, 1 KO.
Super middleweight Eric Prado won a four round unanimous decision over Victor Medina. After Medina controlled the first round, Prado (1-2-1) pressed the fight more in the second. His aggression was rewarded as he stunned Medina with a right hand, eventually dropping him to the canvas moments later with a barrage of punches. Medina (3-4) tried to fight back after getting up, but was tried and only threw one punch at a time. Prado should have continued to press the fight, but was content to circle the ring and throw one-two combinations until the final bell. All three judges scored the bout in favor of Prado, 39-36, 39-36, and 40-35. Boxingscene.com scored the bout 39-36 for Prado.
Super welterweight Francisco Santana stopped Dustin Reinhold in the first round of a scheduled six round bout. Although Reinhold gave a decent account of himself by landing an occasional punch, Santana (15-3-1, 8 KOs) had too much firepower for him. Santana dropped Reinhold with a left hook to the body. After getting up, Reinhold was dropped again by another Santana left hook to the body. Reinhold (5-4, 2 KOs) winced in pain while he was on the canvas both times. After getting up again, Reinhold tried fighting back, but was dropped in a corner by a barrage of punches. Referee Jack Reiss stopped the bout at 2:52.
Featherweight Edwin Solis won an action-filled six round unanimous decision over Rufino Serrano. It was all Solis (4-2-1, 3 KOs) in the first half of the fight as he could not miss landing a lead or counter overhand right to the head of Serrano. Solis was more effective on the inside, beating Serrano to the punch. Serrano (13-5) bounced back in the fourth round, landing repeated left hooks to the head. However, Solis stunned Serrano repeatedly in the fifth round, but could not land that one punch that would drop Serrano. Both fighters had their moments in the final round, landing hard shots flush to the head. All three judges scored the bout 59-55 in favor of Solis. Boxingscene.com scored the bout 58-56 for Solis.
"I knew I had to work my way in," Solis after the fight, with an ice-pack over his right hand. "I saw that I kept connecting with my right hand over his jab. I wanted to go to the body more, but it was easier for me to just keep landing that overhand right. I kept hurting him."
In an unpopular decision that brought boos from the crowd, flyweight Maria Suarez won a six round unanimous decision over Abigail Castaneda. Although Suarez (3-0-1) won the first and sixth rounds clearly, Castaneda (3-2-2) was the more effective fighter in between those rounds. Castaneda pressed the fight, backing Suarez up and landing right hands to head. However, it was not enough as all three judges scored the bout 59-55, 59-55, and 60-54. Boxingscene.com scored the bout 58-56 in favor of Castaneda. It was a rematch of their four round majority draw from September 21st.
Super bantamweight Roy Tapia won a tougher-than-expected six round unanimous decision over Jesus Adame. All three judges scored the bout 60-54 for Tapia, but the fight did the reflect the one-sided scorecards. Tapia (5-0-1, 2 KOs) of East Los Angeles, CA landed the harder and telling blows, especially ripping hooks to the body of Adame. However, Tapia would only throw one punch at a time during the middle rounds, allowing Adame (2-11-1 1 NC) to throw and land more punches. Tapia increase his punch output in the final rounds, allowing him to be more effective and imposing more his will on Adame. Boxingscene.com scored the bout 58-56 in favor of Tapia.
Junior welterweight Valentino Knowles won his professional debut; a one-sided four round unanimous decision over Alejandro Ochoa. The Bahamas-born Knowles easily outlanded Ochoa, who kept getting beat to the punch. Ochoa (1-3-1) was cut above the left eye by a Knowles punch in the second round, but kept plodding forward. However, Knowles stunned Ochoa frequently in the second half of the fight, but could not drop the hard-nosed fighter from Bell Gardens, CA. All three judges, including Boxingscene.com, scored the bout 40-36 in favor of Knowles.
- Promoter Tom Loeffler and former junior welterweight fighter Antonio Ojeda watched the action from ringside.
- Showtime normally telecasts fight cards from the Chumash Casino Resort. Since Friday's card featured local talent, it was not nationally televised.
- Ring announcer was Donald DeNoyerTags: Roman Morales