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  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 KO’s).

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 KO’s) .

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 Sims Jr.

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 Champion Title.

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 non-stop combinations.

Referee Ray Corona saw enough and called a halt to the bout giving Williams his first win by knockout.


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