By Ryan Maquiñana
FAIRFIELD, CALIFORNIA -- Manuel “Tino” Avila blitzed Sergio Frias with a body shot en route to an eight-round stoppage victory in front of his hometown fans Friday night at the Allan Witt Sports Center.
The “Golden Boy Live” card, which was televised by Fox Sports 1 and Fox Deportes, featured a main event where Avila continued to impress as he rises up the pecking order of junior featherweight prospects -- despite injuring both his hands over the course of the clash.
"I hurt my left hand in the first round and then my right in the fourth,” Avila said. “But this is the pros, and you just have to find a way to work through it.”
Almost immediately, the 122-pound Avila (15-0, 6 KOs), a graduate of Rodriguez High School just a seven miles away, sized up the taller, longer Frias (15-3-2, 8 KOs) and put him on the canvas twice in the opening round, with the second knockdown coming off a hellacious flurry punctuated by the local prospect’s signature left hook.
Frias, a 122-pounder from Guadalajara, Mexico, survived and his legs recovered in the following frame, but his inability to keep his fellow orthodox opponent at bay with the left jab was his undoing. Despite finding success for his left hook in the third stanza, Frias was soon lured into a firefight with Avila in the fourth.
However, in the fifth round, Avila began to sparingly use his right hand, usually an indication that he injured it. Frias took the fifth with a left hook that repeatedly caught Avila with his hands down. But the hometown hero would answer with his preferred weapon of choice, and in the eighth, he not only regained control of the fight, he finished it.
A pinpoint left hook upstairs had Frias backpedaling into the ropes, and Avila jumped on his foe. A nonstop barrage of left hooks and a sprinkling of right uppercuts were too much for the Mexican to bear, and ultimately, his defense waned. Avila saw an opening, and one more left hook collided with Frias’ liver, causing him to doubled over onto the canvas.
Referee Ed Collantes called a halt to the bout. Official time was 2:27.
"He kept putting his hands up to protect for the left hook, so I saw an opening down there and I went for it, " Avila said. “As far as who I want to fight next, I want anybody, but I think I’ll be ready for some type of title shot next year.”
GUY ROBB KO3 RONELL GREEN
Junior lightweight Guy Robb (14-1, 6 KOs) of Sacramento, California, knocked out previously unbeaten Ronell Green (10-1, 5 KOs) of Wheeling, West Virginia, in the third round. Official time was 1:48.
Robb, 127, a local favorite who made waves a couple years ago for his war with Joel Diaz Jr. on ShoBox, wasted no time in assailing Green, 127.5, in the center of the ring. Robb even wrestled Green to the canvas, but referee Ed Collantes correctly ruled it a slip.
The “Sactown Bloodhound” continued his assault in the second stanza and seemed to floor Green legitimately with a left hook, but Collantes again viewed the sequence as a slip. Regardless, while Green was a willing opponent, the difference in power became evident in the third round, when Robb overwhelmed him with a left hook and right hand over the top that put the West Virginian down for good.
“I could see everything just slow down in front of me,” Robb said. “I saw my shot to end the fight and I took it.”
GERALD WASHINGTON UD8 NAGY AGUILERA
Unbeaten heavyweight Gerald Washington (14-0, 10 KOs) of nearby Vallejo, California, passed his first true test in capturing a unanimous decision over New York’s Nagy Aguilera (19-9, 13 KOs).
Scores were 78-74 twice and 77-75 for Washington.
Washington, 246, was purported to be in excellent shape, and the former USC football player would need those legs as Aguilera, 244, followed him around the ring for an even first four rounds. Washington’s weapon of choice was a 1-2 off the ropes, while Aguilera -- whose only stoppage losses were to explosive punchers in Chris Arreola and Samuel Peter -- jabbed and feinted his way inside in hopes of landing the left hook and overhand right.
This familiar template continued into the second half of the clash. Though Washington displayed a set of heavy hands with the sound of leather audible to the back row, Aguilera’s steady pressure, namely the occasional left uppercut, seemed to bother the local favorite.
By this point, Washington’s shots had begun to lose a little zip, but based on how close the fight appeared, he needed to finish strong. Mustering what energy remained in the tank, he clocked Aguilera with two left hooks, the second of which slightly staggered the New Yorker and likely won the Bay Area bomber the fight.
ANDY VENCES TKO3 CESAR MARTINEZ
In a slugfest, lightweight Andy Vences (9-0, 5 KOs) of San Jose, California, won by third-round technical knockout over Cesar Martinez of Los Angeles (4-3-2, 1 KO).
Midway through the first round, Martinez, 131.5, made the mistake of rushing Vences, 130.5. Vences subsequently slipped the shot and connected with a short right hand that put his adversary on the canvas.
Martinez recovered, but after a second frame fought in a phone booth that Vences slightly edged, Dr. Smith Ketchum ruled that Martinez could not continue, leading referee Michael Margado to declare Vences the winner.
"I'm happy with my performance even though it was short," Vences said. "When I caught him with that right hand, I wanted to follow up and finish the job, but overall, I feel good about the win."
MANNY ROBLES JR. UD6 SERGIO NAJERA
Unbeaten featherweight Manny Robles Jr. (6-0, 2 KOs) of Los Angeles sprinted out the gate against veteran Sergio Najera (8-15-2, 2 KOs) of Acapulco, Mexico, but ended up settling for a six-round unanimous decision. Scores were 60-54 across the board.
Robles, 125.5, took advantage of the lack of movement from the southpaw Najera, 124, strafing him with a variety of left hooks and straight right hands off a stiff left jab. However, Najera displayed a sturdy chin and a solid right uppercut, even forcing his favored foe to fight off the ropes at times. Ultimately, Robles’ class won out, with his accuracy and volume earning him the competitive but clear nod from the judges.
"He had a good chin, but I stayed calm and listened to my corner," Robles said. "I felt relaxed and composed in there."
Ryan Maquiñana is the Boxing Insider for Comcast SportsNet Bay Area and the Editor-in-Chief of Norcalboxing.com. He is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Email him at [email protected] or contact him on Twitter @RMaq28.