Fabulous At The Forum
Estrada & Roman Victorious
By Albert Castillo
Photos: William Trillo
Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing at the Fabulous Forum put
together a fantastic card with equally matched fighters.
Nearly every fight was exciting and this show proved to
be an exciting event well worth the price of admission.
In the main event and a rematch, Juan Francisco Estrada
(39-3, 26 KO’s) out of Puerto Penasco, Mexico captured
the World Boxing Council Super Flyweight in a unanimous
stunning victory over southpaw Sor Rungvisai (38-4, 26
This fight was a war to end all wars although a third
war may be in the offing. Previously Rungvisai had won
his last 20 fights in a row including his 2017 win over
Estrada. Tonight was a different story as each round was
so close they were difficult to score.
Both fighters pounded each other with vicious
combinations to the head and body. Estrada was much more
focused and determined this fight than in the last.
Rungvisai was his same beastly self, taking big shots
and then returning big shots.
Each round was a slugfest and a candidate for fight of
the year. Rungvisai attempted to confuse Estrada by
switching back and forth from southpaw to orthodox but
to no avail. Judges scorecards were on target, 115-113,
116-112, and 115-113 all for Estrada.
"He surprised me a bit by that. Because he is always
lefty, it surprised me that he was righty tonight,"
Estrada said. "But I felt him out well when he fought
right-handed. I needed to show the Mexican fans and
everyone here tonight that I was going to win that
belt," said a joyous Estrada who stated that he is
willing to give Rungvisai a third fight but his
preference is to fight another champion first.
In the semi-main event Daniel “The Baby Faced Assassin”
Roman (27-2-1, 10 KO’s) put his WBA Championship on the
line against Ireland Born, now fighting out of
Australia, and IBF Super World Bantamweight title holder
TJ Doheny (21-1, 15 KO’s).
The fight started fast and furious with Roman knocking
down Doheny at the end of the first round. Doheny popped
up quick and was unhurt.
In the 4th round Roman hurt Doheny with a non-stop
barrage of punches. It looked like he was going for the
knockout. Miraculously Doheny came back and went on the
attack against Roman, gunning for a knockout. Both
survived the round but Doheny’s nose was bloodied and
would bleed for the rest of the fight.
The combat continued to the 11th round where Roman
caught Doheny with a left uppercut that put Doheny on
one knee. When it was done most fans gave the fighters a
standing ovation. Two judges had it correctly at 116-110
and 116-110 for Roman. One judge who may not have seen
the knockdowns scored the fight 113-113.
Roman maintains his belts by a majority decision. A
jubilant Roman stated, "Give me [WBC champion] Rey
Vargas," I want the fight, we are two great champions.
Let's do it."
Super welterweight Jessie Vargas (29-2-2, 11KO’s) of Las
Vegas Nevada, overcame a first round head-butt gash to
his left eyebrow to knockout wily veteran and former
world champion Humberto Soto, (69-10-2, 37 KO’S).
Make no mistake the 38 year-old Soto can still fight. He
nailed Vargas with several flurries, which had Vargas
concerned. Vargas retaliated with his own combinations
and then in the sixth round he caught Soto with a right
hand that put Soto on the floor. Soto couldn't recover
fast enough and though he tried to hold, Vargas would
have none of it. Vargas put together a relentless attack
of fierce combinations that caused referee Thomas Taylor
to call a halt to the bout. The official time was 1:48
of the sixth round.
"Honestly I was looking for the big shots, looking for
body shots," Vargas said. "But he is a crafty veteran
and he proved that tonight. I just tried to dictate the
pace, but he was fighting in spurts and he would put
together combos. I am ready for whatever is next. I am
ready for anyone. I want a world championship."
The last fight of the evening was a real crowd pleaser,
which saw Argentina’s Alberto Ezequiel Melian (5-0, 3
KO’s) survived three knockdowns to garner a unanimous
decision win over San Pedro’s Issac Zarate (16-5-3, 2
Early in the fight Melian caught Zarate with a left to
the midsection that crumbled him against the ropes.
Although the ropes held him up referee Thomas Taylor
correctly called it a knockdown.
Zarate not known for his punching power caught Melian in
the 5th round with a right to the midsection and several
left hooks that sent Melian to the canvas.
In the 7th round Zarate leveled a right uppercut to
Melian’s jaw that sent him reeling across the ring and
down to the canvas again.
In the final round Zarate once again floored Melian with
a straight left hand. The decision left the crowd
befuddled and Melian surprised as the judges handed him
a unanimous decision – 95-92, 95-92, and 94-93.
After knocking out his last 17 opponents in a row
Indiana native Anthony “The Magician” Sims Jr (19-0, 17
KO’s) couldn’t pull a rabbit out of his hat for this one
as he ended up going the distance against Vaughn “The
Animal” Alexander. Although Alexander, “The Animal” was
built like a beast
Sims had no trouble taming him with circular ring
movement and quick jabs. Alexander could never really
get going. Of the few punches he did throw he made them
count connecting on the chin of Sims. He was just not
busy enough choosing to keep his arms and elbows tucked.
Fans were not happy with this fight often booing and
jeering. They were glad to see this one come to an end..
Judges had it 98-92, 96-94, and 98-92 all for Anthony
Tremendous battle on the undercard saw Uzbekistan’s
Shakram “Wonder Boy” Giyasov (8-0, 6 KO’s) against
Maryland’s Emanuel Taylor (20-6, 14 KO’s) for the
International Boxing Championship. . The former Olympian
Silver medalist and now unbeaten professional Giyasov
had his hands full with veteran Taylor.
Giyasov hammered Taylor with numerous grunting blows but
he just couldn't move the Maryland native. Highlights of
this bout: First round – Giyasov missed with a right
hand that spun him around and upon turning got caught
with a straight right hand that stunned him. Giyasov had
to hold on to finish the round.
Third round – Giyasov had a left hook party to Taylor’s
body throwing four devastating unanswered left hooks one
after the other. Fourth round – Taylor caught Giyasov
with a left hook that again stunned him. He had to hold
Taylor constantly in order to finish the round.
Sixth thru tenth round – Giyasov displayed his signature
move, left hook to the body and right hand to the head.
He connected time and again for which Taylor had no
answer. Judges had it 99-91, 99-91 ,97-93 giving Giyasov
a unanimous decision win and the International Boxing
In the post card Santa Ana’s Ronny Rios (30-3, 14KO’s)
outclassed Mexican pugilist Daniel Olea in this
scheduled 8 rounder. Olea was overmatched against Rios
who had twice fought for a world title.
Rios battered him in every round. By the end of the
fifth round Olea and his corner had had enough. For that
reason Referee Ray Corona called the fight. Rios earns
his 30th win.
Phenom Diego Pacheco (3-0, 2 KO’s) of South Central Los
Angeles made short work of Guillermo Maldonado (1-1)
with a murderous right hand that sent Maldonado sliding
to the canvas under the bottom rope.
There was no chance he was going to get up. Pacheco’s
growing fan base went wild. Pacheco remains unbeaten and
is a hot prospect.
In the opening fight of the evening middleweight
prospect, Austin “Ammo” Williams (1-0, 1 KO) out of
Houston Texas, was impressive in his debut stopping Joel
Guevara (3-5-1, 2 KO’s) at 2:06 of the first round.
The two time USA Boxing Western Regional Champion
Williams displayed fast hands and a strong left hand.
The southpaw Williams dropped Guevara early in the first
round with a plethora of punches. Guevara made the count
but Williams continued his assault with a barrage of
Referee Ray Corona saw enough and called a halt to the
bout giving Williams his first win by knockout.