Manuel Avila might have been used to doing things in the ring before his scheduled 10 round bout against Enrique Quevedo on Monday night.
One-sided fights in his favor, not getting hit as much, and knockout victories seemed to be the norm in most of his bouts.
Against Quevedo, none of that was happening. In fact, Avila was getting hit more often than in his previous fights. Just when it looked as though the fight may have been slipping through his fingers, Avila found a way to swing momentum his way and gain the victory.
Avila won a hard-fought 10 round unanimous decision over Quevedo at the Storm House in Salinas, Calif. The bout headlined a “Golden Boy Live” telecast and was the main event of a Golden Boy Promotions card.
The prospect has mostly scored one-sided or knockout victories in most of his bouts. In his last bout before the Quevedo bout on Oct. 28, Avila stopped Jose Angel Cota in the second round of a scheduled 10 round bout.
Quevedo was a significant step up in opposition for Avila, even though he had lost two of the three bouts before Monday night. The one win was a one-sided eight round unanimous decision over fringe contender Christopher Martin.
Avila and Quevedo had their moments in the first couple of rounds, setting the tone for the competitiveness of the fight. Quevedo was cut above his eye that was likely the result from a punch by Avila.
Quevedo began to time Avila by landing repeatedly with lead straight right hands to the head. He was able to get on the inside of Avila’s guard, where he was able to dig to the body.
Avila would find success in the middle rounds when he was able to get separation from Quevedo or had him backing up. Avila continued to throw, landing at a higher percentage.
Undaunted, Quevedo hung in there and looked as though he had momentum in the last couple of rounds. Landing with right hands to the head, Quevedo seemed to be winning the 10th round. Just when it looked as though Quevedo would win the round, a counter left hook by Avila dropped him to the canvas with about 30 seconds left in the round. Quevedo got up and managed to finish the round.
The knockdown was a mute point as Avila won on all three judges’ scorecards with scores of 97-92. RingTV scored the bout 96-93 in favor of Avila.
Although he was victorious, Avila showed tenacity and remained composed during the fight. It was a good learning experience for Avila, who moves forward as a legitimate prospect. Quevedo will remain a tough out for prospects and fringe contenders in the future.
Avila, from Fairfield, Calif., improves to 14-0, 5 KOs. Quevedo, from Los Algondones, Baja California, Mexico, drops to 15-7-1, 9 KOs.
Mendez too much for Cazarez
In the co-feature bout on the card, middleweight Paul Mendez was too much for Raul Cazarez, stopping him in the third round of a scheduled 10 round bout.
Mendez, who is now unbeaten in his last 11 bouts, is coming off a 10 round split decision draw since Louis Rose on Oct. 28. Cazarez was knocked out in consecutive bouts to Alfredo Angulo and Raymond Gatica before winning a six round split decision over Quinton Whitaker on Oct. 5.
The taller Mendez used his reach to keep the aggressive Cazarez away from him. Cazarez’s face met Mendez’s jab repeatedly in the first round.
Mendez was more aggressive in the second round, landing more with right hands to the head of Cazarez. Sensing he could hit and stun Cazarez, Mendez opened up more and was rewarded with landing more punches to the head.
A one-two combination to the head stunned Cazarez early in the third round. Cazarez looked unsteady on his legs, prompting Mendez to land another barrage of punches to the head that dropped Cazarez flat onto his back. Referee Marcos Rosales stepped in and waved the fight over at 43 seconds.
Mendez, from Delano, CA, goes to 15-2-2, 7 KOs. Cazarez, from Edinburgh, TX, falls to 20-5, 9 KOs.
De La Hoya remains unbeaten
In the opening televised bout, featherweight Diego De La Hoya stopped Sergio Najera in the first round of a scheduled four round bout.
A left jab by Najera seemed to momentarily stun De La Hoya within the opening minute. The punch seemed to aggravate De La Hoya, as he went on the offensive.
Later in the round, De La Hoya dropped Najera with a combination that culminated with a right hand to the head. After Najera got up, De La Hoya hurt Najera with trademark left hooks, almost similar to his famous cousin Oscar De La Hoya. Najera was repeatedly hit and when it looked as though he was not able to defend himself, referee Edward Collantes stepped in and stopped the bout at 2:14.
De La Hoya, from Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico, improves to 3-0, 3 KOs. Najera, from Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, falls to 6-13-2, 1 KO.
Vences stops Coca after three
Super featherweight Andy Vences stopped Dominic Coca after the third round of a scheduled six round bout.
The shorter and tattooed Coca had some success in the fight, but Vences was quicker and stronger, beating Coca to the punch. Coca tried to fend Vences off of him, but Vences connected more with each passing minute of every round. After the third round ended, Coca told referee Edward Collantes that he was not able to continue, prompting the fight to be stopped.
Vences, from nearby San Jose, goes to 7-0, 3 KOs. Coca, from the Watts section of Los Angeles, drops to 8-7, 2 KOs.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for RingTV since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. He also covers boxing for the Ventura County (CA) Star newspaper, Knockout Nation, and Boxingscene.com. He could be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing