Hidden on an ESPN televised undercard on March 22, 2018 was
an absolutely smashing knockout worthy of SportsCenter’s
top-ten plays of the day.
Given how the biggest sports network in television is
stepping into the boxing realm more and more each day, the
channel might do itself a favor by bumping up Eugene Lagos
to their televised portion of events.
In case you missed it, and of course you did as most did as
well as the fans at the Fantasy Springs Casino who were
excitedly lined up and waiting for the nights meet and greet
which featured icon Julio Cesar Chavez, those smart enough
to glance at the opening bout of the night were witness to
After a testy back and forth first round, which saw both
fighters neglect to jab and instead look for money punches,
Lagos, (12-5-2, 8KO) a native of Bukidnon, Philippines,
worked the body and then unleashed a monster of a right hook
just as opponent Emilio Sanchez circled left towards Lagos’
right hand, a proverbial no-no in the sport.
“On the first body shot I felt that he was hurt and that
make him to take his hands down and it give me the
opportunity to hit him on the head.”
In what looked nothing like the normal, first round feel
out, and especially given that it was the opening bout of
the night, both fighters deserve much credit, win or lose,
for fighting in the fashion that they did. Both fist
throwers came in with something to prove and were throwing
big shots from the first bell, in a fight that would
probably have been an exciting eight rounds had Lagos not
ended the night early by landing first.
No ref count was needed as the third man in the ring, Tony
Crebs, immediately waived his hands over a stretched out
Sanchez and Lagos couldn’t help but punch his gloves
together and get onto his knees to let out some pent up
emotion, no doubt a celebration of what every fighter goes
through and works towards in weeks of training camp in what
culminates in what is similar to baseball’s home run,
basketballs slam dunk or footballs touchdown.
However, much respect is due to Lagos, who erased one of
Golden Boy Promotions brightest undefeated prospects with
one hellacious punch at :35 of round two.
BLUE CORNER WIN FOR LAGOS
Sanchez, (16-1, 11KO) a 23 year old of Pacoima, California
managed by Frank Espinoza, turned professional in 2013 had
enjoyed a glossy, undefeated record with three of his last
six wins via knockout, simply was handed a career setback at
the hands of Lagos. Lagos, who likes to run marathons
between fights, is only 22 years of age who also began his
career in 2013, and is the brother of 5-0 featherweight
An added cherry on top was that the fight lineup was the
architype ‘red corner’ night, described in the boxing world
as when the promoter signed fighters are all assigned to
either the red or blue corner and all fighters in said
corner typically win their bouts. Of the seven fights that
night, the red corner fighters went 6-1; Lagos was the only
blue corner fighter to have his hands raised in the
The win couldn’t come at a better time for Lagos, who is
trained in the Coachella Valley by Mr. Lee Espinoza and
assistants Marcos Caballero and Francisco Calderon at the
Coachella Boxing Club, as the Philipine fighter known as
‘Rambo’ had lost three of his last six fights, one via KO,
and the featherweight had just fought the month prior in
taking an undefeated Ray Ximenez the eight round distance
but ended up with a UD loss.
“On the last fight that I lost to Jimenez I felt that he did
not hit hard and I did not feel it in my heart to fight him.
I made the decision that from then on I was going to leave
my heart and soul on the ring. And that was I did. Currently
with the people of New Champ I feel that their guidance will
take me to new levels.”
Now Lagos and his team can bask in the glory of a one-punch
knockout win, viewing the fight multiple times via YouTube
(1,716 views and counting), reset and make their
preparations for the next time their fighter is scheduled in
a blue corner.
New Champ Promotions is a new start up promotional company
and is off to a solid start with promoting a solidified, one
punch knockout type fighter in Lagos.
“The fighters like the way everything is being done for
their training, and the results have paid off,” said NCP
head Gregorio Sandoval.
“Lagos wants to be a winner so he also joined our team he
had lost five fights prior to beating De La Hoya’s guy
Emilio Sanchez, who was 16 and 0, and he beat him by
knockout. Now Eugene Lagos is a different boxer guys that
wanted to fight him before have called and canceled.”
MAGBANUA DOWN, BUT NOT OUT
New Champ Promotions also promotes Philippine fighter
Rolando Magbanua, who also fought on the Indio card and went
five rounds before being TKO’d by Joet Gonzalez. Magbanua,
who was making his United States debut, had two wins via TKO
prior to the fight with Gonzalez, and still looks forward to
fighting again under Sandoval’s NCP banner.
“These Filipino fighters have been a pleasure to work with
they now know what real training is about they are anxious
to get back to training. They can’t wait, they feel that
this valley has opened doors and opportunities that weren’t
there before and now they have called their friends who are
boxers in the Philippines, to tell them how we work and a
lot of them plan to make the Coachella Valley their home!”