Hopkins handles Arnaoutis
Ringside by Francisco Salazar
Photography by “Big” Joe Miranda
The effects of welterweight Demetrius Hopkins’ game plan in his ten-round bout on Friday night was evident by the redness on Mike Arnaoutis’ face. Unfortunately for Arnaoutis, it has been a recurring theme recent bouts.
Hopkins won a unanimous decision over a game Arnaoutis before a crowd of almost 2,000 at the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, CA. With the victory, Hopkins retains a regional title.
The bout headlined a nine-bout card, presented by TKO Boxing Promotions.
Hopkins won his last bout in March, a 10 round unanimous decision over veteran Jesse Feliciano. It was his bout since his 12 round split decision loss to then-titleholder Kendall Holt in December of 2008. Hopkins fights under the TKO Promotions banner.
Arnaoutis entered the bout against Hopkins desperate for a victory as he has lost three out of his last four bouts. Prior to this stretch, he had won four bouts in a row before being stopped by Victor Ortiz in March of last year.
Hopkins dominated the action early and often in the first three bouts. Hopkins was much busier and landed at will against the southpaw Arnaoutis. Rather than match Hopkins, Arnaoutis was content to throw one punch at a time.
Arnaoutis increased his aggression and punch output in the fourth round. He was much more accurate than in previous rounds, but was not able to offset Hopkin’s offense. Arnaoutis landed a hard left cross to the head of Hopkins, but was not able to follow up on that punch. Instead, Hopkins was able to land a series of combinations on Arnaoutis.
Arnaoutis had his best round in the sixth. Sensing he was behind, Arnaoutis pressed the action, while Hopkins’ punch output dropped. However, Hopkins came on in the seventh and eighth rounds, effectively countering to the head of his opponent.
Making one final stand in the ninth round, Arnaoutis successfully landed a series of left hands to the head and body. Although his swollen face told the story that he was behind, Arnaoutis did not give up, fighting on and hoping to hurt Hopkins.
Unfortunately, it was not to be as Hopkins remained the fresher fighter of the two in the final round. Both did not do anything spectacular in the final round. Hopkins finished strong until the final bells sounded.
Two judges scored the bout 99-91 in favor of Hopkins, while the other judge also gave Hopkins the nod with a score of 100-90. Fightnews.com scored the bout 98-92 in favor of Hopkins.
Hopkins, from Philadelphia, PA, improves to 30-1-1, 11 KO’s. Arnaoutis, from Atlantic City, NJ by way of Athens, Greece, falls to 22-6-2, 10 KO’s.
Contreras decisions Cruz
In the co-feature bout of the evening, lightweight Francisco Contreras won an eight round unanimous over Eric Cruz.
Contreras won his last bout, stopping Tyler Ziolkowski in the first round of a scheduled six round bout in April. Cruz took the fight against Contreras on a week’s notice, replacing hard-hitting Noe Bolanos. Cruz lost an eight round split-decision in his last bout against David Rodela in May.
Contreras controlled the action with his aggression in the opening rounds. He was able to score with right hands, which Cruz took well. Cruz attempted to counter, finding some success with a few lead right hands.
In the third round, Contreras caught Cruz with a hard right hand flush to the chin. Cruz was able to recover, even fighting back in an attempt to win the round.
During the middle rounds, Cruz was much busier, pressing the action. He was rewarded at the end of the fourth round when he landed a hard right hand to the head of Contreras. During the latter part of the bout, Cruz pressed the action as Contreras looked to counter. Contreras was able to land right hands to the head of Cruz.
Both fighters charged out at the start of the eighth round throwing hard counters and crosses at one another. Although Cruz was game, Contreras landed the cleaner and more effective punches. Contreras finished the round strong, landing hard right hands to the head, solidifying his victory.
All three judges scored the bout in favor of Contreras, with scores of 80-72, 80-72, and 78-74. Fightnews.com scored the bout 77-75 in favor of Contreras.
Contreras, from Irvington, NJ by way of La Romana, Dominican Republic, goes to 15-0, 13 KO’s. Cruz, from Toa Baja, Puerto Rico, falls to 7-4-3, 7 KO’s.
Elegele stops game Walton
Welterweight Joseph Elegele stopped game Willie Walton in the third round of a scheduled six round bout.
Both southpaw fighters went on the attack from the opening round. Elegele stunned Walton with a left hand to the head. Undaunted, Walton hurt Elegele later in the round with a left hand of his own. Although Elegele was on wobbly legs, Walton was unable to follow up.
Elegele controlled the action in the second round, raining down hard left hands and right hooks onto the shorter Walton. At the end of the second round, Elegele scored a knockdown with a left hand to the top of the head. Walton was able to get up and walk back to his corner.
Elegele continued his assault on the game Walton in the third round. Elegele was able to trap Walton in a corner, throwing punches to the head and body. Although few punches were landing flush, Walton was not throwing back. After about 10 unanswered punches, referee Wayne Hedgepeth stepped in and stopped the bout at 1:37, drawing a cascade of boos from the crowd. Walton protested the stoppage.
Elegele, from Melbourne, FL, goes to 9-0, 6 KO’s. Walton, from Salt Lake City, UT, falls to 4-2, 3 KO’s.
Caballero stops overmatched Delgado
Super bantamweight Randy Caballero made quick work of overmatched Jairo Delgado, stopping him in the first round of a scheduled four round bout.
Both fighters came out winging wild hooks and crosses at each other. Caballero, fighting in front of a local crowd that made the hour and a half drive, settled down and began to work behind a jab. To his credit, Delgado was game and eager to go toe-to-toe with Caballero.
A counter right hand landed flush to the chin of Delgado, dropping him face first to the canvas. Delgado stood up, but referee Wayne Hedgepeth stopped the bout at two minutes. Despite being wobbly, Delgado protested the stoppage as he wanted to continue.
Caballero, from Coachella, CA, goes to 4-0, 4 KO’s. Delgado, from Denver, CO, drops to 3-8, 3 KO’s.
Juarez gets nod over Rios
Flyweight Austroberto Juarez won a six round unanimous decision over Joseph Rios.
Juarez was at his best in the opening rounds throwing combinations. Rios attempted to fight on the inside , hoping to score to the head and the body. He was able to find some success, but would get hit whenever he threw punches.
As the bout progressed, Rios was able to connect more to the head of Juarez. He was able to land with counter right hands and left hooks to the head.
However, Juarez stunned Rios in the fifth round with a hard right hand to the head. Rios was able to hold on to Juarez in a attempt to recover.
Although Rios tried to rally in the final round, Juarez was just too much for Rios, using his speed and more-polished skills to outland Rios. Juarez finished the final round landing the more effective punches until the final bell.
All three judges scored the bout 60-54 in favor of Juarez. Fightnews.com scored the bout 59-55 in favor of Juarez.
Juarez, from Ventura, CA, improves to 10-0, 2 KO’s. Rios, from San Antonio, TX, drops to 7-5-1, 2 KO’s.
Saenz stops Sanchez
In the walkout bout of the evening, featherweight Gabino Saenz had a successful professional debut, knocking out Brandon Sanchez in the first round of a scheduled four round bout.
Saenz, a star amateur from Indio, CA, threw and landed a double left hook, first to the body and then to the head. Sanchez went down and remained on one knee as referee Dr. Lou Moret counted him out at 34 seconds.
Sanchez, from Vail, CO, falls to 1-3, 1 KO.
Mendez stops Evangelista
Star amateur Eric Mendez had a successful professional debut, stopping Jose Evangelista in he first round of a scheduled four round bout.
The taller Mendez stalked Evangelista around the canvas., looking to land lead left hooks. Evangelista, who was also making his professional debut, tried to get on the inside of Mendez’ defense, but had little success.
Mendez, from Hawaiian Gardens, CA, floored Evangelista with a straight right hand followed with a right uppercut to the head. After Evangelista stood up, Mendez viciously dropped him again with a three-punch combination to the head, prompting referee Wayne Hedgepeth to step in and stop the bout at 2:51.
Evangelista hails from Santa Maria, CA.
Jimenez decisions Flores
Featherweight Alex Jimenez won a one-sided four round unanimous decision over Edgar Flores.
Both fighters had their moments in the opening round. Flores attempted to counter with right hands to the head, but Jimenez was much busier, landing more. As the bout progressed, Flores did little to engage with Jimenez. As Jimenez mounted an offense, Flores would grab onto his opponent. Referee Dr. Lou Moret warned Flores about excessive holding in the third round.
Jimenez came out aggressively in the final round, throwing and landing hard right hands to the head. In defensive mode, Flores would circle away from Jimenez or would make him miss. Jimenez was able to land his fair share of punches, but none that put Flores down.
All three judges, including Fightnews.com, scored the bout 40-36 in favor of Jimenez.
Jimenez, from Perris, CA, improves to 2-0. Flores, from Santa Maria, CA by way of Michoacán, Mexico, drops to 0-3.
Finney annihilates Dunham
Welterweight Michael Finney knocked out overmatched john Dunham in the first round of a scheduled four round bout.
Finney dropped Dunham to the canvas with a left-right combination to the head. Dunham stood up on wobbly legs, prompting referee Wayne Hedgepeth to stop the bout at 35 seconds.
Finney, from Smith Station, AL, goes to 4-0, 4 KO’s. Dunham, from Stockton, CA, drops to 1-7-2.
- Junior Welterweight champion Timothy Bradley, Interim Super Welterweight titleholder Alfredo Angulo, Super Welterweight contender Sergio Mora, Lightweight contender Rolando Reyes, Welterweight Antonio Diaz took in the action from ringside.
- Joe Tessitore and Teddy Atlas called the action from ringside for ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights.
- Ring announcer was Thomas Treiber.