By Francisco Salazar
INGLEWOOD, California - It may not have been his best performance and Juan Francisco Estrada was not facing Srisaket Sor Rungvisai or Roman 'Chocolatito' Gonzalez, fighters whom he would want to face sooner rather than later.
Estrada still had to take care of business Saturday night against Felipe Orucuta, outboxing and giving his fans and those in attendance a thrill on his way unanimous decision before an announced crowd of 4,019.
Estrada was coming off a close majority decision draw against Sor Rungvisai on the last 'SuperFly' card on Feb. 24. While Estrada was hoping for a rematch, Sor Rungvisai decided to remain in Thailand to fight in a tune-up bout in July and will be defending his WBC title on Oct. 6 against Iran Diaz.
Orucuta had won his previous five bouts, all against average opposition.
It looked like it would be a matter of time before Estrada would dispatch Orucuta. Estrada was the more effective fighter during the first four rounds, outboxing the slower and more methodical Orucuta.
Undaunted, Orucuta was the more aggressive fighter in round five, closing the distance and attempting to walk Estrada down. He connected with several hooks and crosses in round six that was one of his best in the fight.
Both fighters stood in the center of the ring in round seven, trading combinations to the head, producing great exchanges that put the crowd at The Forum on their feet.
"Orucuta is a good fighter," quipped Estrada after the fight.
Both fighters fought in the pocket for most of the second half of the fight. Orucuta connected with the occasional hook or cross, but Estrada won most of the exchanges by initiating the action or countering with hooks to the head of Orucuta.
Estrada connected with three two-punch combinations to the head to conclude the 11th round, pocketing another round in his favor.
Estrada stunned Orucuta twice in the final round, the last one occurring from a counter right cross to the head of Orucuta, who was able to make it to final bell.
Scores were 117-111, 117-111, and 118-110 for Estrada, who improves to 37-3, 24 knockouts.
Estrada connected at a ratio of almost two to one. According to Compubox, Estrada connected on 338 out of 986 total punches (34.3 percent). Orucuta landed 186 of 764 total punches (24.3 percent).
Tom Loeffler said another chapter of the 'SuperFly' series could occur in February or March. Estrada, who has appeared on all three 'SuperFly' cards, would like to fight on that card.
"I want to fight again on the next SuperFly card," said Estrada, who resides in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. "The atmosphere here was great."
Estrada is eyeing a rematch with Roman 'Chocolatito' Gonzalez, who fights Moises Fuentes on Sept. 15 in Las Vegas, or Sor Rungvisai.
He hopes his next fight would be against either fighter.
"I felt great about my performance tonight. I thought the scorecards were closer."
"We are awaiting a fight against Sor Rungvisai. We hope the fight happens soon."
Orucuta, who resides in Nicolas Romero, Mexico, drops to 36-5, 30 KOs.