An action-packed card kicked off a weekend of back-to-back fight nights in Las Vegas, preceding the highly-anticipated Miguel Cotto vs. Canelo Alvarez card at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on Saturday, November 21 on HBO PPV.
Attracting a crowd of 1,339, the night featured undefeated boxing legacy and fan-favorite Diego De La Hoya (13-0, 7 KOs) of Mexicali, Mexico facing fellow countryman Giovanni “Lloviznas” Delgado (15-4, 9 KOs) of Mexico City, Mexico in what was an explosive eight-round super bantamweight main event, live on Boxeo Estelar on Estrella TV.
Ring legend Bernard “The Alien” Hopkins, former world champion Fernando “Feroz” Vargas and Golden Boy Promotion’s fighters “King” Gabriel Rosado, who also stars in the upcoming film CREED, Ivan “Striker” Delgado, Oscar “El Jaguar” Negrete and Zachary “Zungry” Ochoa were all on hand to enjoy the night of action.
De La Hoya shined with a unanimous decision victory over Delgado in his grand return to Las Vegas and to the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. The fight saw back and forth action as both fighters traded combinations in the middle of the ring. Delgado proved a difficult opponent, landing hard combinations to the body and then following up with shots to the head of De La Hoya. De La Hoya showed his toughness and durability, taking Delgado’s shots and countering with clean effective punches of his own.
“I knew he (Delgado) was going to be a tough opponent,” said De La Hoya. “I used to spar with him when I was 15 years old so I was familiar with his style but I think now I am a faster and more intelligent fighter and that’s what gave me the victory tonight. This victory also proved to me that I have a great passion for the sport and hope to become a world champion soon. I’m not going to quit until I achieve my goal. I want to thank all the fans that came out to support me and I’m glad I closed out the year with victory.”
In the co-main event, undefeated John Karl Sosa (13-1, 6 KO’s) of Caguas, Puerto Rico battled Alan Sanchez (17-3-1, 9 KO’s) of Fairfield, CA in an eight-round welterweight bout. A tactical affair in the first few rounds, the two fighters showed their skill and ring intelligence as they got accustomed to the other’s style. Entering the final stanza of the fight, Sanchez was able to catch Sosa with a powerful shot that sent him to the canvas. Clearly hurt, Sosa bravely met the count but was sent down twice more, forcing the referee to call a stop to the bout, awarding Sanchez the win by sixth round technical knockout.
“I think my experience showed tonight. I was able to beat the favorite tonight, a young undefeated top prospect and this win means a lot to me and my career. I won and in a great way dropping him three times in the sixth round. This win proves that I have grown as a fight and am ready to go to the next level and compete for a regional title,” said Sanchez.
In the first televised bout of the evening, Guadalajara, Chihuahua, Mexico’s Horacio Garcia (30-1, 21 KO’s) took on Raul “Bule” Hidalgo (24-14, 8 KO’s) of Nuevas Casas Grandes, Chihuahua, Mexico. With Jose “Chepo” Reynoso, trainer of Canelo Alvarez in his corner, Horacio attacked Hidalgo from the opening round, landing hard shots to the head and body. The second round saw more of the same, as Garcia cornered Hidalgo on the ropes and landed clean, unanswered shots, prompting the referee to stop the fight, declaring Horacio the winner by second round technical knockout.
“This is my first time fighting in the U.S. and I feel that I gave a great performance. I am a strong, hungry fighter and this victory impressed the fans. I was prepared and I am ready to come back and show fans more,” said Garcia.
The last bout on The Ring TV’s live stream, Roy “Pitbull” Tapia (11-1-2, 6 KO’s) of East Los Angeles faced Erik Ruiz (15-4, 6 KO’s) of Oxnard, CA in an eight round super bantamweight matchup. The bout was close throughout, with both fighters landing shots at close range and trading momentum back and forth. Going to the scorecards, Ruiz was able to come away with a win via split decision.
“I thought I won the majority of the rounds but I got the win and that’s all that matters. Roy was a really tough guy and he came out throwing hard to the body like he said he would. It was a good fight and I’m glad the fans enjoyed it,” said Ruiz.
“He was beating me to the punch from the first round and it made it difficult to keep my rhythm. Honestly, I felt like I had lost but I know that I will come back stronger when I am in the ring next,” said Tapia.
As part of The Ring TV’s live stream, crowd favorite, Jason “El Animal” Quigley (9-0, 8 KO’s) put on a show as always in a four-round super middleweight bout against Marchristopher Adkins (5-2, 2 KO’s) of Dallas, TX. Quigley boxed effectively, controlling the distance and landing clean, hard shots, earning his first unanimous decision victory.
“It’s very exciting to get a knockout, but it’s also good to go the distance. I felt I showed my fans that I can box as well. I was in control the whole time and able to pressure him whenever I wanted. At the end, I knew I won every round,” said Quigley.
Opening up The Ring TV’s live stream, Francisco Esparza (2-0, 1 KO) of Las Vegas, NV, battled Jose Rodriguez (2-2, 1 KO) of San Juan, Puerto Rico. In a thrilling opening bout, the two fighters traded shots in the center of the ring, setting the tone for the card. At the end of the bout, Esparza was awarded a majority decision victory making his trainer Fernado “Feroz” Vargas proud.
“This was my second professional fight and I felt more comfortable and able to pace myself. I was also able to apply pressure when I wanted. My strategy was to move my head and break him down on the inside and I feel I did that efficiently tonight,” said Esparza.