LOS ANGELES - The September 18 special edition of LA FIGHT CLUB on Boxeo Estelar on Estrella TV was a celebration of Mexican Independence Day as Marvin "Cachorro" Quintero (28-6, 24 KOs) secured a technical knockout victory over Jeffery Fontanez (16-2, 12 KOs) in the main event at the Belasco Theater for the vacant NABF Lightweight Title.
The latest installment of LA FIGHT CLUB also attracted top names in entertainment including retired two-time world champion boxer Fernando Vargas ; TV and radio personality Don Cheto; singer Luis Coronel; Pepe Garza; and "The Golden Boy" himself, Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. They were joined by Golden Boy Promotions' future world champion fighters and top prospects including Joseph "Jojo" Diaz Jr., Christian "Chimpa" Gonzalez, Julian "El Camaron" Ramirez, Jason Quigley, Abraham "Chamaco" Lopez, Angel Bojado, Everton Lopes, Johnathan Navarro and Joshua Franco.
The Fontanez vs. Quintero battle thrilled the crowd with its action as a classic Mexico vs. Puerto Rico rivalry, with the Quintero win exciting fans and extending the Mexican Independence Day celebrations from earlier in the week. Quintero knocked Fontanez down twice in the fifth round, showcasing exceptional power. Fontanez answered the count on both occasions, but after absorbing several hits, Fontanez's corner ended the fight giving Quintero the technical knockout victory.
"It is very satisfying to have gotten a big win in the name of my country and add a win for Mexico against Puerto Rico. I feel proud of the work I have put in, my left hand was a big weapon for me tonight. This win is for the people of Mexico," said Quintero.
"I knew Quintero was a very experienced fighter and because of that we trained hard to prepare. It was one of the best training camps of my career. I knew I was ahead on the cards but he threw a lucky left in the fifth round that I couldn't recover from. It was just a lucky shot but I have respect for him [Quintero] as a fighter," said Fontanez.
In the co-main event of the evening, newly minted Golden Boy Promotions fighter Carlos "The Solution" Morales (12-1-3, 6 KOs) faced the tough O'Nell Negron (11-2-2, 87 KOs) of Puerto Rico in a scheduled eight-round super featherweight bout. An even match in the beginning, Morales dominated the action landing his jab and straight right regularly. Negron absorbed Morales' shots and continued to exchange with Morales, but after a series of unanswered blows, the referee stopped the fight in the seventh round. Morales secured the first victory via technical knockout for Mexico of the night, in another action-packed addition to the classic Mexico-Puerto Rico rivalry.
"I trained very hard and couldn't be prouder to add a win for Mexico in the great rivalry. He was a tough fighter. He kept coming forward, but I was able to land my jab and straight right and really focused on working the body. I think my intelligence and variety of attack made a big difference in the fight," said Morales.
"I had seen some tape of him before in a previous fight and I thought he was slower but today he surprised me with his speed. He kept me at a distance and I was unable to work the body like we planned. In the thirdor fourth round I felt like I hurt him but he was too fast and continued to counter keeping me at a distance. My dream doesn't end here. If there is another chance to fight him, I would take it. I feel the fight was exciting and the people enjoyed it. We both won in giving the people a great fight," said Negron.
In the first televised bout of the evening on Boxeo Estelar on Estrella TV, Oscar "El Jaguar" Negrete (11-0, 3 KOs) boxed brilliantly in the ring against Jose Estrella (14-8-1, 10 KOs) in an eight-round super bantamweight bout adding another technical knockout victory to his record. Negrete used movement and speed to land quick, accurate shots on Estrella throughout the fight. By the sixth round, Negrete's quick hands and clean shots forced Estrella's corner to stop the fight.
"Our strategy was to box in the early rounds and wear him down for a late knockout. He was standing straight up so I was able to catch him a lot with the straight right. I want to fight one or two more eight-round bouts then move up and fight for a title. I feel very confident after tonight's performance." said Negrete.
As part of The Ring TV's live stream, newcomer Hector "El Finito" Tanajara (2-0, 1 KO) took on Antonio Martinez (3-5, 3 KOs) in a four-round lightweight bout and secured the second win of his career by unanimous decision. Tanajara calmly placed his shots, showing excellent combinations as well as patience in his attack. All three judges ruled the fight in favor of Tanajara by scores of 40-36.
"I knew I was in control throughout the fight and was looking to take him out. My jab was an effective weapon when I used it and I think had I used it more, it would have been a shorter night," said Tanajara.
Los Angeles prospect Emilio Sanchez (10-0, 7 KOs) held onto his undefeated status with a win over Juan Sandoval (7-17-1, 4 KOs) of San Bernardino, Calif. in a six-round featherweight fight also part of The Ring TV's live stream. Sanchez stalked Sandoval from the start, throwing powerful shots to the body and the head. Sanchez's shots caused serious swelling on the eye of Sandoval forcing the referee to stop the bout after the second round, awarding Sanchez a technical knockout victory.
"I felt really good throughout the fight. Our strategy was to break him down, throwing hard combinations to the body and I felt I did that really well. I am pleased with the improvements I've made and look forward to getting back into the ring," said Sanchez.
Francisco Esparza (1-0)of Las Vegas made his professional debut against Carlos Gonzalez (1-8) of Bell, Calif. with a unanimous decision in a four-round lightweight bout. The bout picked up right where the previous fight left off, seeing both fighters trade punches in the center of the ring at a frenetic pace. Esparza fared better in the exchanges, landing the harder shots and backing up Gonzalez with all three judges scoring the fight 38-36.
"Hearing the crowd cheer, hearing my name called with the victory, these are the moments I have worked for my whole life. He [Gonzalez] was a tough fighter. He kept coming forward but I'm a brawler. I love that type of up close and physical fight," said Esparza.
Opening up The Ring TV's live stream, Alejandro "Popo" Salinas (3-1, 3 KOs) of Youngstown, Ohio battled Oscar Duarte (3-0-1, 2 KOs) of Parral, Mexico in a four-round lightweight battle. Providing fireworks from the start, the two fighters traded shots from the opening bell. Duarte showed his power midway through the second round, dropping Salinas with a left hook. Salinas showed tremendous heart, meeting the count and continuing to battle. The competitive fight ended with a split decision victory in favor of Oscar Duarte.
"I felt good throughout the fight. My coach and I worked on making sure my combinations were sharp and I felt very strong. I felt my left hook was my best punch tonight. I was able to drop him with that shot and hurt him with it a couple of times during the fight," said Duarte.
LA FIGHT CLUB: Fontanez vs. Quintero was a 10-round bout for the vacant NABF Lightweight Title presented by Golden Boy Promotions and sponsored by Corona Extra. Doors opened at 5:00 p.m. and the first bout began at 5:30 p.m. The Estrella TV broadcast aired live on Friday, September 18 at 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT, and The Ring TV undercard live stream began at 8:30 p.m. ET/ 5:30 p.m. PT.