By Ryan Burton
The Novo at LA Live in LosAngeles - In the main event of the evening, featherweight prospect Joet Gonzalez (20-0) defeated Rafael Rivera (25-2-2) via split decision as he moved closer to contender status.
The final tallies read 97-93 and 96-94 for Gonzalez and 96-94 for Rivera. The final scores reflected the competitiveness of the fight.
Rivera was the busier fighter but Gonzalez landed the more telling blows. Rivera started out very aggressively in the first two rounds as he threw punches in bunches and tried to pin Gonzalez in the ropes. He concentrated on the body but after throwing his flurries, Gonzalez would land his own big shots to nullify Rivera's work.
Gonzalez really came on in the third round which slowed Rivera down. Gonzalez had a lot of success of his own going to the body. Rivera was able to come back strong in the 5th round after it appeared that Gonzalez had taken control of the fight. The fight continued to be fought in a phone booth as Gonzalez regained control of the fight.
Big left hands to the body were a key weapon for Gonzalez who had his hometown fans cheering for him. The eighth round was another good round for Rivera who refused to go away. Joet closed the show strong in the final two rounds as he continued to make Rivera pay by landing the bigger shots and dictating the pace.
East Los Angeles' light flyweight Seniesa Estrada (14-0) made quick work of of Jhosep Vizcaino (7-7) of Ecuador. Estrada dropped Vizcaino with a left right on the chin in the first round and stopped her with a wicked left hand to the liver :20 into the third round. Vizcaino was in obvious pain when she dropped to one knee and the referee quickly waived off the action. Estrada is now 3-0 with 2 knockouts in 2018.
168 pound contender Maricela Cornejo (12-2) opened up the televised action against Samantha Pill (3-1) with a third round knockout victory. Cornejo was the far busier fighter and landed several shots in the second round with very little return fire from Pill.
Referee Jack Reiss warned Pill after the round that if she didn't defend herself better that he would stop the fight. The veteran ref kept his word and stopped the fight 41 seconds into the third round as Cornejo continued to pressure and land clean shots on Pill. The win is Cornejo's third in a row via knockout.