At the Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, CA, Oscar de La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions put on a seven bout card featuring the vacant WBA Gold Super Lightweight Title in a re-match going back to October of 2017 when Steve Clagett won a split decision over fellow Canadian Yves Ulysse, Jr.
In the main event Steve Clagett, 27-6-2 (17), of Calgary, Alberto, CAN, lost a slim decision to Yves Ulysse, Jr., 18-1 (9), of Montreal, Quebec, CAN, over 10 rounds of action.
In the first round both fighters started off throwing punches. No feeling out in the one from the start. In the second round Clagett continued pressing. Ulysse got a warning for a low blow by referee Raul Caiz, Jr. It’s been a very competitive fight. In the third round it turned into a brawl. Ulysse rocked Clagett in the last ten seconds.
In the fourth round Clagett came back some. Both were going fo the body more in this round. Ulysse landed a hard right uppercut to the chin of Clagette. Ulysse ends the round well again. The fight seems even up to this point. In the fifth round Ulysse landed more power punches though Clagett seemed to throw and land more punches.
In the sixth and seventh rounds the fight seemed to be even going back and forth with the action with a lot of body shots. In the eighth round Clagette was getting the better of it as Ulysse tends to clinch. In the tenth and final round both fighters let it all hang out with the fight on the line. Ulysse seemed to pull it out.
Scores were Morett 96-94 and 97-93 twice by judges Rochin and Sandoval. This writer had it 95-95.
In the co-feature a re-match in October they fought to a draw. NABF Bantamweight champion Colombian Oscar “Jaguar” Negrete, 18-2-1 (7), of Paramount, CA, lost a disputed split decision to Joshua “El Profesor” Franco, 15-1-1 (7), of San Antonio, TX, over 10 exciting rounds.
In the first round Negrete started fast for the first minute until Franco took over the rest of the round pressing him. In the second round referee Ray Corona warned Negrete for the second time to keep his punches up. This was a give and take round with Negrete possibly having a slight edge.
In the third round the in-fighting was furious. Negrete was warned for a third time by the referee Corona who should have taken a point away. In the fourth and fifth round it was a war with Megrete being warned about hitting behind the head. In the sixth round Negrete landed a powerful overhand right to the chin of Franco. The action continued with Negrete looking stronger the past three rounds.
In the seventh round Negrete landed a pair of kidney punches without a warning from the referee. In the final minute Franco backed Negrete into a corner. Negrete seemed to take over. In the eighth round at the end of a minute Negrete rocked Franco with a right to the chin. In the final minute Franco landed a half a dozen punches without return. Franco knew he was behind and needing a knockout. After the bell Negrete hit Franco who answered with a right cross getting a warning from the referee.
In the ninth round of an even half round Franco landed good body shots. The fight was a brawl up onto the final seconds. In the final ten seconds Negrete rocked Franco with a right to the head. In the tenth and final round for about the sixth time Negrete was warned by referee Corona who seemed to be ver leanant to Negrete. How many times can he say “for the final time?” At the halfway point of the final round. The pace was furious to the end.
Judge Lou Moret had it 98-92 for Negrete, Daniel Sandoval for 96-94 for Franco and Fernando Villarreal 97-93 for Franco. This writer had it 96-94 for Negrete.
2012 Olympic Bronze Medalist Marlen Esparza, 6-0 (1), of Houston, TX, defeated Jhosep “La Chica de Oro” Vizcano, 9-9 (3), of Quito, ECU, for the vacant female WBO NABO Flyweight title, over 8 rounds.
Coming back after a year to have a baby Marlen Esparza in the first two rounds kept the pressure on Vizcano easily taking both rounds. In the third round the action picked up into a slugfest. Esparza landed her share of rights to the chin of Vizcano but she stayed upright.
In the fourth round Esparza started landing left hooks to the chin of Vizcano. In the fifth round Vizcano landed a hard right uppercut on the chin of Esparza. Being off a year Esparza seemed to slow down in this round. In the sixth round Esparza got her “second wind” and in another action packed round had the edge.
In the seventh round Esparza moved around the ring more and going to the body when inside. She may be saving her energy for the eighth and final round. Esparza tried to get the knockout but Vizcano held her own going the distance.
Scores were 80-72 by all three officials while this writer had it 79-73. “I was up to 175 when I had the baby three months ago. It was hard getting back into shape,” said Esparza.
Welterweight southpaw Alexis Rocha, 13-0 (8), of Santa Ana, CA, defeated Shoki “EL PV” Sakai, 23-10-2 (13), of Japan, living in MX, over 10 rounds.
Super lightweight southpaw Mike “Yes Indeed” Reed, 24-2 (13), of Waldorf, MD, stopped Yardley Arenta Cruz, 25-14 (15), of Los Mochis, Sinaloa, MEX, in the second round when eferee Edward Hernandez called a halt.