He weighed 136 pounds when he last competed as a super bantamweight. He was fighting a southpaw who was physically bigger than him. He only had less than a month of training after coming off an injury.
It did not look good for Efrain Esquivias. Unfortunately for him, the outcome turned out to be worse.
Esquvias was not able to overcome those disadvantages, dropping an eight round majority decision to Ruben Tamayo at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, CA. The bout headlined a five-bout "Locked N' Loaded" card, presented by Thompson Boxing Promotions.
Esquivias was coming off the biggest win in his last fight; a ninth round knockout over former world champion Rafael Marquez on December 7th. A few weeks after the fight, Esquivias suffered a back injury, which turned out to be a pinched nerve, according to Esquivias.
He was cleared to fight, but was facing a bigger fighter and weighed in at a career high 136 pounds in his fight against Tamayo.
After an even first round, Tamayo controlled the action in the first half of the fight. He was able to throw and land hard combinations to the head and body of Esquivias. Undaunted, Esquivias threw and landed straight right hands to the head.
By the fifth round, Esquivias looked a bit winded. Sensing he was down on the scorecards, he pressed the action, trying to score with more right hands and attacking the body. Tamayo slowed down considerably, which allowed Esquivias to land more punches. His punches did not have any effect towards the end of the fight, not fazing Tamayo as the bout finished.
One judge scored the bout 76-76, while the remaining two judges scored the bout 78-74 and 77-75 in favor of Tamayo.
The Ciudad Obregon, Sonora, Mexico resident improves to 23-5-3, 15, while Esquivias, from Carson, CA, drops to 17-3-1, 10 KOs.
In a battle of unbeaten welterweights, Giovani Santillan won an eight round unanimous decision over Daniyar Ganyk.
The southpaw Santillan (12-0, 7 KOs) was aggressive in the first half of the fight, pressing the action and landing hooks and crosses to the head. Ganyk (10-1, 4 KOs) countered Santillan with straight rights and uppercuts to the head, but did not do so often. Santillan had his best moments in the middle rounds, trapping Ganyk against the ropes or a corner, mostly landing overhand left crosses to the head. Ganyk landed the more telling blows in the final two rounds when Santillan's punch output dropped. Ganyk caught Santillan flush with a right hand to Santillan's head, producing blood from the nose in the process. Sensing he was ahead, Santillan boxed around the ring until the final bell.
All three judges scored the bout 78-74 in favor of Santillan.
Jose Roman knocked out Lauro Alcantar in the first round of a scheduled eight round bout. Roman (16-1-1 12 KOs) threw and landed a left hook to Alcantar's body, dropping him to the canvas. Alcantar (8-2, 1 KO) writhed in pain while referee Eddie Hernandez counted him out at 1:19.
Roman trains in Indio, CA with noted trainer Joel Diaz, best known these days for his work with former two-division champ Timothy Bradley.
In lightweight action, Erick Ituarte won a four round unanimous decision over Juan Sandoval. Ituarte (6-0-1, 1 KO) was consistent in landing lead or counter right hands to the head of Sandoval in the first half of the fight. Ituarte increased his punch output and aggression in the third round, putting Sandoval (7-14-1, 4 KOs) on the defensive. Ituarte scored with left hooks to the head of Sandoval in the final round, stunning Sandoval in the final moments of the round. All three judges scored the bout in favor of Ituarte, 40-36, 40-36, and 39-37.
Super bantamweights Fernando Samaniego and Francisco Camacho fought to a four round majority decision draw. Samaniego (6-0-1, 3 KOs) started out fast, landing the more telling punches in the first half of the fight. Not to be outdone, Camacho (2-4-1, 1 KO) began timing Samaniego, landing counter left hooks to the head. Samaniego would land hard right hands to the head of Camacho, but slowed down considerably as the fight progressed, only fighting in spurts. Camacho was the more energetic of the two fighters, beating Samaniego to the punch many times in the final round. One judge scored the bout 39-37 for Samaniego, while the other two judges scored the bout 38-38. The crowd booed the decision, believing Camacho did enough to win.
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