By: William Holmes
Tonight was a special Thursday edition of ESPN’s Friday Night Fights. It took place at a nearly empty arena in Rancho Mirage , California.
The first bout of the night was between Enrique Ornelas (34-8) and Tomas Williams Jr. (16-0) in the light heavyweight division. Williams is a promising light heavyweight with the kind of knockout power that pleases fans.
Williams, a southpaw, was patient in the first round while Ornelas showed he was not afraid to try and press the action. Ornelas started off well in the second round and his straight right hand found its target several times. Williams turned the tide of the fight in the second when he connected a lead right hook. He followed that with hard body shots and left to the head that stunned Ornelas. He quickly knocked him down with a left cross that may have clipped Ornelas behind the head.
Ornelas was able to get back up, and fought valiantly for the remainder of a hard hitting second round. Williams was clearly feeling confident after his second round knockdown and came out firing in the third. He backed Ornelas to the corner twice and landed ripped combinations into the body and head of Ornelas. A combo that ended with a left hook knocked Ornelas down again, and he wasn’t able to get back to his feet.
Williams showed that he was willing to take a punch to give a punch. He wins by knockout at 2:48 of the third round.
The next televised bout was between Michael Noriega (4-2) and Immanuel Aleem (7-0) in the super middleweight division. This was simply a stay busy fight for Aleem as for Noriega looked like somebody they picked randomly from the crowd.
Aleem had Noriega backing up early in the first round and trying in vain to avoid the heavy blows of Aleem. Hooks to the body, uppercuts to the chin, jabs to the face…nearly every power punch Aleem threw seemed to land. Noriega survived the first round, but he mainly survived because he was pretty good at back pedaling.
The end came at 2:04 of the second round. Aleem connected with a perfectly timed left hook that sent Noriega to the mat. The referee didn’t even bother counting and waived off the fight.
The main event of the night was between Josesito Lopez (31-6) and Aron Martinez (19-2-1) in the junior welterweight division.
The first round started off slowly, but heated up in the middle of the round after Lopez and Martinez echanged combinations to the body. Martinez’s back was again the ropes and Martinez was missing wildly. A head butt in the first round opened up a small cut on the top of Martinez’s forehead.
Martinez attempted to catch Lopez several times coming in, and was able to land a few hard body shots. Martinez was also able to slip most of the punches of Lopez in the second round, probably his best round.
Lopez began to take over the fight in the third round by being the more active fight and landing combinations to the head and body of Martinez. Another clash of heads occurred in the third round. Lopez stayed with his jab in the fourth round while Martinez taunted Lopez by waiving him forward. Lopez refused to take the bait, and stuck to out boxing Martinez from the outside.
The fifth round started with another clash of heads, but ended soon after when Lopez connected with a hard left hook to Martinez’s head. Martinez turned his back to Lopez and covered up. The referee immediately jumped in and waived off the fight.
Josesito Lopez wins by TKO at 1:19 of the fifth round.