SAN DIEGO, May 7, 2016 – Before sparse crowds making their way into the new T-Mobile Arena, four bouts ended in solid decision victories for four aspiring boxers on the Canelo vs. Khan undercard.
David Mijares (1-0) of California won in his professional debut with a unanimous decision over Omar Reyes of Texas (1-3) in their four round super lightweight fight. Mijares showed good boxing skills and won a shutout, 40-36 on all scorecards.
“The win still hasn’t settled in,” said Mijares. “I’m just out here trying to do my work and that’s all I was focused on.” Mijares is now the answer to a trivia question: the first boxer to win a fight at the new T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Rashidi Ellis (15-0, 11 KOs) of Boston followed Mijares with another unanimous decision and scorecard shutout over Marco Antonio Lopez of Mexico (24-9, 15 KOs) in an eight round super welterweight. “It feels great to walk out of the ring undefeated,” said Ellis, who also acted as a sparring partner for Canelo Alvarez prepping him for Amir Khan. “I was a little rusty going in because I haven’t fought in a year and a half. It feels amazing to open up the T-Mobile Arena on the undercard of Canelo-Khan. I see more fights in Las Vegas in my future.”
Lamont Roach Jr. (11-0, 3 KOs) of Washington DC also remained undefeated with his shutout decision over Jose Arturo Esquivel (9-5, 2 KOs) of Mexico. Roach Jr. had good moments pinning Esquivel against the ropes but couldn’t quite close the show with a stoppage. “I came out strong on the big stage,” said Roach. “It seemed like Jose Arturo came to survive, but he wasn’t really engaging too much. There was no doubt in my mind that I was going to win this one. If I can’t knock him out, I might as well pitch a shut out.”
Jason Quigley (11-0, 9 KOs) of Donegal, Ireland fell chasing James De La Rosa (23-4, 13 KOs) of Texas in the ninth round of their ten round middleweight fight, but it was ruled a slip by referee Jack Reiss. The pair traded several sharp shots, but it was Quigley who prevailed with ease in a unanimous decision, again a100-90 shutout on all scorecards. Seeing a pattern here? It seemed De La Rosa won at least one or two rounds, but admittedly the results would have been the same. De La Rosa said, “I feel pretty good about the fight. To be honest, I’m not a judge so I can’t make that call. I came here to fight and fight hard. The decision, that’s on the judges.”
De La Rosa tried to egg Quigley on several times, at one point play-acting as if he was wobbling around the ring to draw Quigley in. De La Rosa would be smart not to do it again.
“I feel unbelievable,” said Quigley. “This is the stage I wanted to headline. I hope to be back soon. I am willing, and of course, I’d love to fight Canelo someday.” Call it a battle of the Gingers when he does.
In the final fight of the non-televised undercards, Diego De La Hoya (15-0, 9 KOs) of Mexico brought the first real action of the afternoon and got the first stoppage against a spirited Rocco Santomauro (13-1, 1 KOs) of Southern California. De La Hoya started briskly, and scored a second round knockdown just before the bell on a good counterpunch straight right. Santomauro’s trainer Shane Mosley had a lot to tell his fighter between rounds.
Referee Jay Nady took a point away from De La Hoya in the seventh round when he hit Santomauro to the chin with his elbow after misfiring a punch. It didn’t end up making a difference. De La Hoya continued to pile up the damage on Santomauro and Nady stopped the fight in De La Hoya’s favor at 1:59 of round 7.
“From the very beginning Shane Mosley has been talking about this being De La Hoya vs. Mosely III, and that inspired me to train really hard for this fight and focus on my speed and strength,” said De La Hoya, who is Oscar De La Hoya’s cousin. “This victory is satisfying to me because it shows all the hard work I put into my training camp..” Referring to the I wasn’t expecting the knockout but it was very satisfying, and I believe the crowd enjoyed it. After that knockout, I knew he couldn’t take anymore.”
“I fought horrible tonight,” said Santomauro in a burst of honesty. “I was very unfocused. I didn’t agree with corner’s decision to stop the fight. I feel physically well because I am a fighter and I’m going to keep on fighting. But, you know, all I can do is move forward. I have to keep going for my little girl.”
The fights were witnessed in person by a sparse audience inside the T-Mobile Arena, with perhaps less than one thousand people in the cavernous new facility.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
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