Avalos vs Francisco
By Sean Wippert ringside in Las Vegas: Coming into the main event of the evening on Top Rank’s Friday Night Fights, the thirty year old Philippino super bantamweight Drian Francisco had not seen defeat in over two years. Since that tough loss at the hands of Tepparith Kokietgym in May of 2011 for the WBA world super flyweight title, he had amassed four wins, three by knockout. With this momentum he seemed to be looking to improve his 1-1 record in world title fights as he squared off against a much younger opponent.
Standing across from him and hailing out of Lancaster, California was twenty three year old Chris “The Hitman” Avalos. The tough and very dangerous Avalos was looking to add to his list of previously held bantamweight and super bantamweight titles. Much like his opponent, he also had not seen defeat in several years and was poised and ready to make the main event something to remember.
The opening round saw Francisco attack and land early. He scored wild shots that caught the attention of not just Avalos, but of the crowd. Avalos returned fire, but found his opponents unorthodox movement and offense a bit tricky to deal with. He attacked at will anyway, doing the best he could with what Francisco was offering.
This pattern of exchanges continued on into the second and third rounds. Avalos was landing more and more shots which was good for the scorecards. His offensive showings however but did little to quell the effect of a sudden thunderous bursts of leather that Francisco seemed to flash intermittently. What made matters worse was that they were literally coming from his shoelaces at times, and connecting with some amount of authority.
The middle rounds saw Avalos turning to the only response he seemed to be able to muster. An increased punch output. The affect, while slow at first, quickly became an effective countermeasure to his wild fisted opponent. By the sixth and seventh rounds Avalos was not only landing more shots, he was stifling Francisco’s ability to do any real damage in return.
Avalos kept at this, constantly attacking. He soon found himself chasing and often cutting the ring off from Francisco. The effect was a power diminished Francisco who scrambled to find an answer. As the twilight rounds came and went, both men gave everything they had and then some. Avalos was looking like the stronger of the two, but he still took the occasional haymaker from Francisco that would have dropped many a weaker fighter.
When the final bell sounded, it was the younger Avalos who had earned the victory and with it the WBO NABO super bantamweight title. He took home the win with unanimous scores of 96-94, 97-93, and 97-93, improving to 22-2 with 16 knockouts. The tough loss gives Francisco his second ever professional loss, dropping him to 24-2-1 with 19 knockouts. In the end the story of this fight seemed to be a man hoping one or two hard shots would give him the victory and an up and coming kid who knew better.
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