LA Fight Club on Fox Sports 1 Recap: Avila and Diego De La Hoya Win Decisions

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Avila RuizGolden Boy’s LA Fight Club on Fox Sports 1 came to us from the Belasco Theater in Los Angeles, California tonight and featured a 10 round junior featherweight bout between Manuel Avila and Erik Ruiz.

The undefeated Avila last fought in August of last year and was dealing with one of the longest layoffs of his career, while Ruiz (13-2, 6KOs), who trains in Oxnard, California with Robert Garcia, went the distance with Jessie Magdaleno in a losing effort earlier this year in his last outing.

The first round was definitely a feel out round and it was evenly measured as far as I was concerned. Ruiz did a little more in terms of implementing a plan, but Avila was able to be more impressive with his overall abilities.

Both fighters stepped it up considerably in the 2nd, coming off of a round where neither fighter did anything, but it was Avila that landed the more meaningful punches in the round. Ruiz was able to instill some counter-punching in the fight, but not enough to make Avila doubt his own attack.

Avila started to separate himself in the fight, but he wasn’t doing enough. He was only ever aggressive to a point, and his counter skills were limited to small instances. It wasn’t the Avila that we’d seen in his past winning performances.

Avila failed to follow up with his punches, even when he landed it was not inspired by anything creative and it wasn’t followed up by anything meaningful. He was in control, but he wasn’t putting the performance together in a well-rounded way.

Not to take anything away from Ruiz, who was able to stifle Avila with some slick boxing, but Avila was shutting down his own offense while finding no reason to utilize his defense as Ruiz failed to establish much of an offense.

Avila appeared to hurt his right hand in the 7th round, and Ruiz to his credit tried to take advantage of it early in round 8. He stepped up the attack and had Avila moving backward for the first time in the fight. However, it was short-lived as the Robert Garcia trained Ruiz took his foot off the gas, even though Avila stopped using the presumably injured right hand.

Avila began to move much more in the fight and Ruiz, who had enough trouble already planting his punches on Avila when he was in range, couldn’t seem to find Avila in the desperation rounds.

The fight went the distance and all three judges scored it 100-94 for Avila, giving him the unanimous decision win to make his record 17-0.

De La Hoya def Robles UD8 (Featherweights):

In the evening’s co-feature, Oscar De La Hoya’s cousin Diego De La Hoya took on Ramiro Robles in an 8 round affair.

De La Hoya came out in the first round with a relentless mentality and unloaded some vicious combinations toward the end of the round. It was certainly the highlight of the 1st, but you can’t ignore his patient aggression leading up to that moment. Diego wasn’t stalking, but he wasn’t being overly selective, either. He was unloading smart, calibrated punches. The footwork was also impressive.

Diego was pivoting well and showing an ability to mix up the angles. To be fair, Robles was walking straight in and he was definitely there to hit, but it goes back to the original observation that Diego wasn’t just throwing punches to see what lands. These shots that De La Hoya was landing were smart and athletic.

The activity level decreased a bit and Diego might’ve punched himself out to a degree, but he was still smart and accurate, and more importantly he was still landing punches in succession. Robles, to his credit, was coming forward and made it difficult for Diego to catch his breath or gain his composure. It was a bit of a surprise that Robles, who had a decent amateur background, was still in the fight after the way he looked in the first, but he was doing his best to take Diego out of his game.

Robles was obviously down on the cards heading into the last couple rounds and he started to let his hands go even more, if that’s possible, which led to a couple nice shots – a looping right hook was the best landed. De La Hoya stayed smart, presumably after realizing that he wasn’t going to get Robles out of there so easy, but his in-and-out movement was the most impressive aspect in terms of the grows from his last fight.

The fight went to the judges’ scorecards and they scored it unanimously for De La Hoya with all three scores reading 80-72.