Featherweight prospect Raul Hirales Jr. remained unbeaten with a hard-fought eight-round split decision over once-beaten standout Charles Huerta in the main event of a Solo Boxeo card from San Diego on Friday.
Hirales (12-0-1, 7 knockouts), of Baja Calif., Mexico, soundly outworked Huerta over eight rounds of mostly phone-booth style infighting, ripping the Southern Californian with uppercuts and left hooks to the body and head.
Huerta (16-2, 9 KOs), of Paramount, Calif., gamely stood his ground in most of the rounds in a futile attempt to match Hirales’ aggression and punch output but the normally hard-punching featherweight appeared listless and his shots seemed to lack their usual pop.
Despite his sluggishness, Huerta made the fight interesting by occasionally employing some lateral movement behind a nice jab and by clearly taking the fourth round with a two-fisted attack that included double hooks and looping right hands.
However, Hirales, who won by scores of 78-73, 77-74 and 74-77, would not be denied, not even after referee Pat Russell penalized him a point in the fifth round for repeated low blows. The fiery Mexican continued to press the action and dominate his better-known foe with crisp three- and four-punch combinations.
Hirales’ strong showing adds his name to the deep field of junior featherweight and featherweight prospects, which includes Roberto Marroquin, Rico Ramos, and a talented young man who was featured in the opening bout of the Telefutura broadcast on Friday, Gary Russell Jr.
Russell (14-0, 9 KOs) defeated well-traveled Colombian veteran Feider Viloria (23-8-1, 16 KOs) via technical decision after an unintentional headbutt prematurely ended the bout in the seventh round. Viloria, who was dropped in the fifth round, was badly cut over his right eye from the accidental clash of heads.
Prior to the headbutt, Russell, who was up by scores of 70-62, 70-62 and 69-63 at the time of the stoppage, was dominating the bout. The 2008 U.S. Olympian patiently stalked his fleet-footed opponent behind a quick, hard jab and a straight left. He punished Viloria with right hooks and body shots whenever he was able to press the veteran to the ropes. Viloria occasionally punched back but he simply could not deal with Russell’s speed.
Viloria has now lost six of his last eight bouts, but it should be noted that three of his losses were to former titleholders (Oscar Larios and Rocky Martinez) and current beltholder Takahiro Aoh.