Undefeated junior featherweight prospect Jhonatan Romero took another step toward contender status with a one-sided unanimous decision over once-beaten Efrain Esquivias in a ShoBox: The New Generation main event from Santa Ynez, Calif., on Friday.
Romero (21-0, 12 knockouts), a rangy 25-year-old boxer from Cali, Colombia, outboxed and outworked the game but overmatched Esquivias in every round of their fast-paced 12-round bout, which he won by scores of 120-107 and 119-108 (twice).
Esquivias (16-2, 9 KOs), a 29-year-old boxer-brawler from Gardena, Calif., tried hard in every round but couldn’t deal with the long reach, lateral movement or combination punching from different angles that Romero gave him.
Esquivias was coming of an eight-round majority decision loss to fomer WBA 122-pound beltholder Rico Ramos in June. That fight was competitive. This one was not.
It was Romero’s second impressive performance in a ShoBox main event. Last December the talented Colombian outworked once-beaten puncher Chris Avalos to a 10-round split decision victory.
The victory over Esquivias earned Romero the No. 2 spot in the IBF’s junior featherweight rankings.
In the co-featured bout of the Showtime broadcast, Roman Morales got up from a knockdown to score a well-earned eight-round unanimous decision over fellow unbeaten youth Jonathan Arrellano.
Morales (13-0, 6 KOs) was dropped by a left hook in the third round but the 21-year-old resident of San Ardo, Calif., got up and soundly outworked Arrellano (13-1-1, 3 KOs), of Ontario, Calif., for the rest of the bout.
Morales dropped Arrellano with a left to the body in the sixth round. Arrellano, who was in obvious agony, barely beat the count. The 23-year-old boxer exhibited better technique than Morales but simply did not let his hands go enough to compete with his aggressive, combination-punching foe.