By Robert Hughes at ringside
The fight wasn’t easy for Manuel Rey Rojas because Jose Arturo Esquivel can take a blow, but Rojas made it easy for the judges to award him a unanimous-decision victory last night at the Waco Convention Center in the 137-pound Battle on the Brazos.
A barrage of body blows, high and low, didn’t drop Esquivel but they had to hurt the resilient fighter from Saucillo, Chihuahua. He hung around through eight rounds until judges Don Griffin, David Iacobucci and Jennie Cardenas made it official, pushing The Punisher’s record to 16-3-0, 4 KOs. Neal Young was the third man in the ring.
“We just tried to stick to the game plan as the fight went on,” Rojas said. “We tried to take him out but he was a tough guy.”
Rojas was coming off an impressive win June 10 against Zhimin Wang and Esquivel has had recent losses to fighters with a combined 45-1-0 record – Austin Dullay, Lamont Roach and Victor Benacourt. Esquivel was ready for this fight but so was Rojas, who was quick on his feet, showed sharp punching skills and seemed to get stronger as the bout wore on.
“This guy was tough,” Rojas’ trainer Vincent Parra said.
Rojas said he does not know how is next opponent will be.
Garcia vs. Trevino
The co-main was a six-round featherweight battle that saw Fernando Garcia keep a clean 6-0-0 record against Carlos Trevino of Austin.
Trevino, from Monterrey, Nuevo Leon in Mexico never was in the fight, judges Griffin and Iacobucci scored it 60-54 and Cardenas generously gave Trevino one round, 59-55. Jon Schorle was the referee.
Garcia, who is trained by Roger Rodas and fights out Rodas’ gym, R&R Boxing Club in Dallas, where Errol Spence, Jr. trains.
Metcalf vs Vasquez
The ladies’ fight of the night generated the excitement many fans hope to see – lots swinging for the fences, blood and action throughout – as Ayanna Vasquez of Las Cruses, New Mexico scored a four-round featherweight unanimous-decision victory against Shurretta Metcalf of Dallas. All three judges scored the bout 40-36. Young was the referee.
Deandrew Lewis easily won his middleweight bout against Jeremy Hall scoring a first-round knockdown on his way to four-round unanimous-decision win. Schorle was the referee.
Ray Trujillo of Houston took a light-heavyweight fight against David Cordova on 12-hour notice, drove from Houston to Dallas and back to Waco, more than 450 miles, to log a 39-36 unanimous-decision win against the home-town fighter. Young was referee.
Alexas Rojas and Joe Sambrano fought to a majority draw in four rounds of welterweight action. Griffin and Iacobucci scored it 38-38 and Cardenas gave it to Sambrano 39-37. Schorle was referee.
Gabriel Resendez scored a unanimous-decision win against Michael Coronado in four rounds of light-heavyweight action to open the show. Young was the referee.