By Francisco Salazar
Fantasy Springs Casino, Indio, California - Lightweight Adrian Estrella won a controversial unanimous decision over Oscar Duarte over 10 rounds. Duarte was the house fighter, having fought several times at Fantasy Springs and is trained by Indio-based Joel Diaz.
Duarte (15-1-1, 10 KOs) was the more-effective fighter during the first half of the fight, beating Estrella to the punch and bruising his face in the process. Duarte closed the distance between the two, but never cut the ring off as Estrella used ring generalship to keep his distance from Duarte.
Sensing he was down on the scorecards, Estrella increased his punch output. Estrella (29-3, 24 KOs) did land more punches, during the final three rounds.
One judge scored the bout 96-94 for Duarte, while the other two judges scored the bout 98-92 and 97-93 for Estrella.
Middleweight contender Tureano Johnson fought to a split-decision draw against veteran Fernando Castaneda. It was Johnson's first fight since his knockout loss to Sergiy Derevyanchenko in August of 2017.
Johnson (20-2-1, 14 KOs) was the more fluid fighter, but Castaneda closed the distance, connecting with several combinations.
Castaneda (26-13-1, 17 KOs) stunned Johnson momentarily in round four, and was the more-effective fighter during numerous exchanges during the second half of the fight, including the final round. Each fighter won 77-75 on a judge's scorecard, but the third judge scored the bout 76-76.
Featherweight contender Azat Hovhannisyan (16-3, 13 KOs) picked up a fifth round knockout of Lolito Sonsona (22-3-4, 9 KOs).
Hovhannisyan picked up a quick win back in October after suffering a ten round decision loss to WBC super bantamweight champion Rey Vargas in May of the same year.
Coming in, Sonsona was riding a one fight win streak after losing a ten round decision to highly regarded Jason Moloney.
Hovhannisyan was punching hard and heavy in the first round, but lost a point for repeated low blows. During the fourth round, he once again lost a point for repeated low blows. In the fifth, Hovhannisayan dropped Sonsona twice with power shots - with the last combination putting down Sonsona for the full count.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene.com since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing.