By Francisco Salazar
"What you can do, I can do better."
Jonathan Alcantara thought he did enough to score points in his bout against super bantamweight prospect Erik Ruiz.
The problem was Ruiz did much more to secure a win.
Ruiz put up a workmanlike six round unanimous decision over Alcantara before an overflow crowd at the Pioneer Events Center (PEC) in Lancaster, CA.
The bout headlined a seven-bout "Rumble in the Desert" card, presented by Rodriguez Promotions.
The shorter Alcantara did all he could to get on the inside of Ruiz's card. He was able to land left hooks or right crosses that caught Ruiz's attention.
Ruiz showed his pedigree by swinging momentum in his favor by landing the harder and more effective punches to the head and body. The punches began to take their toll on Alcantara, as bruises began to appear around both of his eyes.
Despite being down on the cards, Alcantara did not let up, trying to land anything he could on Ruiz. Although he would land, Ruiz did not follow up as much as he should have, something he will need to work on in future fights against more modest opposition.
All three judges scored the bout in favor of Ruiz, 60-54, 60-54, and 59-55.
Ruiz, from Oxnard, CA, goes to 13-1, 6 KOs. The Salvadoran-born Alcantara, who resides in Novato, CA, drops to 6-11-2, 1 KO.
Lightweight Johnny Reyes won a four round unanimous decision over Alejandro Ochoa. Reyes (4-0, 1 KO) utilized his speed to beat Ochoa to the punch. Ochoa (3-9-2, 1 KO) was at his best when he put Reyes on the defensive, throwing and landing lead right hands to the head. Reyes increased his punch output and aggression in the second half of the fight. Ochoa was cut along his right eye, making it difficult for him to see, which allowed Reyes to repeatedly beat him to the punch. All three judges scored the bout in favor of Reyes, 40-36, 40-36, and 39-37.
Heavyweight Makani Sarellano stopped Giovanni Sarran in the first round of a scheduled four round bout. Sarran (5-7, 1 KO) started out well, beating Sarellano to the punch in the opening moments of the round. During an exchange, Sarellano (2-1, 2 KOs) landed a left the stunned Sarran. Moments later, a right-left from the southpaw Sarellano dropped Sarran against the ropes. After getting up wobbly legs, Sarellano went in for the kill, landing a combination that was punctuated by a left hand that dropped Sarran to the canvas a second time. Sarran struggled to get up, prompting referee Jack Reiss to wave the fight over at 2:44
Flyweight Poula Estrada won a one-sided four round unanimous decision over Blanca Raymundo. Estrada, who was making her professional debut, would make Raymundo (1-11) miss and countered with straight lefts to the head. Estrada was more assertive in the second half of the fight, throwing and landing combinations to the head and body of Raymundo until the final bell. All three judges scored the bout 40-36 in favor of Estrada, who is the daughter of Southern California matchmaker Hervi Estrada.
Heavyweight Helman Olguin won a sloppy four round unanimous decision over Andrew Tinae. The fight featured too much holding and few punching connecting between the two. Olguin (2-3, 1 KO) landed the more telling blow, save for the final 15 seconds of the fight where Tinae (0-2) landed four hard right hands to the head. All three judges scored the bout in favor of Olguin, 40-36, 40-36, and 39-37.
Junior welterweight Steven Zayas scored three knockdowns en route to a four round unanimous decision over Alejandro Arteaga. Zayas, who was making his professional debut, dropped Arteaga (3-9, 1 KO) with a right hand within 15 seconds of the opening bell. Arteaga was able to make it out of the round, but was dropped again with another right hand midway through the second round. Arteaga was able to land wild hooks and crosses to the head, prompting Zayas' mouthpiece to come out. Zayas came back to dominate the fourth round, landing at will. During an exchange, Arteaga tripped and fell, but referee Kurt Hoskin incorrectly ruled it a knockdown. All three judges scored the bout in favor of Zayas, 40-33, 40-33, and 40-32.
In the opening bout of the Rodriguez Promotions card, junior lightweight Ismael Fernandez won his professional debut, defeating Benito Salazar by majority decision over four rounds. Fernandez consistently threw and landed the more telling blows throughout the fight while Salazar (0-2-1) found some success by getting on the inside of Fernandez's guard. One judge scored the bout 38-38, while the other two judges scored the bout in favor of Fernandez, 40-36 and 39-37.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene.com since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. He also covers boxing for the Ventura County (CA) Star newspaper, RingTV, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing