Boxing fans showed up in full force to provide a sell-out crowd for the inaugural "Live at the Lodge" event at the Sportsmen’s Lodge in Studio City, California on Saturday night.
The event, which showcased six bouts was broadcast on TeleFutura’s hit series "Solo Boxeo Tecate" and promoted by Goossen Tutor Promotions. Fans in attendance also witnessed promoter Dan Goossen honor two of his former World Champion fighters when he presented Gabriel and Rafael Ruelas with awards commemorating the brothers on their storybook careers and dedication to the Goossen family.
Former WBA Super Bantamweight Champion Rico Ramos scored a huge win over a very gritty Efrain Esquivias in tonights main event. The two fighters, who had battled more than once during their amateur careers had the capacity crowd on their feet for all 8 rounds of their brawl. Having lost his world title and his undefeated record this past January, Ramos had all the motivation he needed to take home a majority decision (78-74, 78-74, 76-76). Ramos improves to 21-1, 11 KOs as Esquivias suffers his first loss becoming 16-1, 9 KOs.
"He was tough, I knew he was going to be tough," said Ramos. "He came forward at me a lot like I remember from fighting him in amateurs, but we prepared for that and we were ready for him. He went hard to the body, and so I came back with body shots of my own, and I was landing the cleaner shots. It feels great to be back in the win column. I’ll be coming back for my belt soon."
The Telefutura broadcast opened up with a crowd-pleasing super flyweight attraction between Matthew Villanueva and Bruno Escalante. The 115-pound sluggers exchanged several swings of momentum and huge shots throughout the 8-round fight. Both fighters displayed incredible power shots as well as great body and head movement to avoid the oncoming shots.
"That was the toughest fight I’ve ever had," said Villanueva of his opponent. "He came to win, and he was much stronger than I thought. The kid can take a punch, he was taking everything but the kitchen sink. I really thought that the ref was going to come in and stop it on a few occasions when I was getting him against the ropes and just tagging him, but he stuck in there and made it exciting."
John Molina Jr. (24-1, 19 KO’s) outworked his opponent Miguel Angel Munguia for the duration of their 8-round attraction and walked away with a unanimous decision, scoring 80-69 on all three judges scorecards. The world-rated lightweight contender will be fighting Antonio Demarco for the WBC Championship on September 8 at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif. beneath Andre Ward and Chad Dawson’s World Championship fight.
"It was a great figh," Said Molina. "I got the rust off. It was exactly what I needed to get ready for Demarco. I hope they were watching, because I’m hungry and I’m coming for him."
Fans also enjoyed a heavyweight collision between Philadelphia’s undefeated Malik "King" Scott and Alvaro Morales. Scott was the agressor for the entirety of the 6-round bout, and was awarded a unanimous decision victory shutting out his opponent 60-54 on all scorecards. Scott improves his record to 34-0, with 11 KO victories.
In the first fight of the evening, Los Angeles based junior middleweight John Hays looked impressive in his pro debut, scoring a 4-round shutout over Santa Barbara’s Raymundo Inda.
After the Ramos bout, fans who wanted more action were treated to a walkout bout featuring 22-year-old Jessie Villanueva (the younger brother of Matthew), who spoiled the pro debut of Frank Liera of Los Angeles with a first round knockout. Villanueva improves his record to 3-0 with all wins coming by KO.
Malik Scott Photos