By: William Holmes
A rarity happened this weekend.
Instead of starting thirty minutes late, ESPN’s Friday Night Fights actually started ten minutes early this week, and fans were treated to not one, but two bonus bouts. This card was in an outdoor arena in Corona, California.
The first bout of the night was between Daniel Martinez (0-0) and Aaron Acevedo (1-0) in the junior lightweight division.
It was a swing bout, and both fighters fought their hearts out and were swinging wildly for the fences. Acevedo was able to trap Martinez on the ropes often and pounded his opponent with combinations to the body and head. Martinez fared better when the bout was in the center of the ring and was able to sneak in some solid shots when Acevedo threw wide looping punches. Martinez was able to come on strong during the fourth round, and it was enough to make the bout a draw.
The official scores were 39-37 for Martinez, 38-38, and 38-38 to make it a majority draw.
The next bout of the night was between Robert Castaneda (20-1-1) Chris Martin (23-2-3) in the junior featherweight division.
Martinez is a regular on Friday Night Fights; most recently fought Philadelphia native Teon Kennedy to a very close draw. Castaneda was the taller fighter of the two, but Martin remained active on the outside and tagged Castaneda with a few solid jabs and right hooks as he bounced in and out.
Castaneda was able to make the fight close in the early part of the bout, but Martin began to distance himself from Castaneda as his body work began to wear down his opponent. Martin knocked Castaneda down in the fifth round with a body shot, and was able to finish him off in the sixth round with another knockdown due to a body shot. Castaneda was able to beat the count, but the referee waived the fight off. The bout was stopped at 2:31 of the sixth round.
The main event was between the dynamic Ruslan Provodnikov (21-1) and Jose Reynoso (16-3-1) in the junior welterweight division.
Provodnikov is another Friday Night Fights veteran, and was recently sparring with Manny Pacquiao. The sparring with Pacquiao may have helped as Reynoso was unable to put up much of a fight, and Provodnikov was able to figure out the southpaw style of Reynoso early on.
A vicious right hand to the head of Reynoso sent him down in the second round and he was unable to beat the ten count. The referee stopped it at 1:52 of round two and gave Provodnikov an impressive quick stoppage victory on national television.
The last swing bout of the night was between Oscar Godoy (6-2) and Roberto Crespo (4-1) in a welterweight bout.
Godoy was able to control the action throughout most of the bout, and there was little surprise when the official scores of 40-36, 40-36, and 39-37 in favor of Godoy were read.