Monday, December 05, 2022  |


Prospects cruise on Fight Night Club card


The Night of Prospects went as expected.

Talented young fighters Frankie Gomez, Jesse Vargas and Gary Russell Jr. remained on course for bigger and better things by easily winning their fights against overmatched opponents on the Fight Night Club card Thursday at Club Nokia in Los Angeles.

Gomez, an all-out banger who doesn’t know what the word pacing means, boxed conservatively for about 30 seconds and then let loose on flabby opponent Jaime Orrantia. The willing Mexican fighter, a last-minute fill-in, was never hurt but he couldn’t defend himself effectively against a torrent of hard, fast punches.

Referee Pat Russell saw enough in less than a round, stopping it 2:32 into the scheduled four-round welterweight fight.

Gomez was pleased that another big crowd at the downtown L.A. nightspot embraced the quick beat down but he would prefer that his opponents give him some resistance.

“I wanted to go four rounds, to get the work in,” Gomez said. “Once I saw him throw, though, I knew I had to take him out.”

Zavala, a 37-year-old former contender who one fight into a comeback from a five-year hiatus from boxing, demonstrated that he’s a capable fighter with considerable courage. He simply couldn’t stand up to Vargas’ constant – and damaging – pressure.

Vargas (11-0, 6 KOs) put Zavala (21-5, 9 KOs) down with a right-left combination in the first round and then systematically broke him down, leaving his right eye closed and his faced badly beaten by the end of the fight. Vargas’ face was unscathed, evidence of the one-sided nature of the fight.

Vargas finished the job with a brutal flurry against the ropes early in the sixth round, punctuated by a devastating left to Zavala’s chin a split second before the referee jumped in to stop it 33 seconds into the sixth and final round.

“He was a tough guy,” Vargas said. “He went all six rounds so I give him all the respect in the world. I’m glad the crowd liked it. That’s what I try to do, please the crowd. ÔǪ I love fighting here. I was born in L.A. so these are my fans.”

Vargas, a 2008 Mexican Olympian who is trained by Roger Mayweather, is beginning to talk about big fights not even two years into his career.

“I’ll fight anyone they put in front of me,” he said. “Hopefully, I’ll be in the Top 10 soon.”

Russell, a 2008 U.S. Olympian, was both too good and too quick for fairly capable Rodrigo Aranda (8-13-2, 2 KOs), who has given other talented fighters some trouble.

Russell (10-0, 7 KOs) put Aranda down in the first round and then ended the fight 34 seconds into the second with a very painful right to the body.

“He had fought some guys I know from the amateur circuit,” Russell said. “And he went the distance with them. My goal was to knock him out. And that’s what happened. ÔǪ I find a lot of guys have trouble with my hand speed.

“Some guys have good speed but no power or good power and no speed. I think I’ve been blessed with both.”

In a preliminary fight, Jamie Kavanagh (2-0, 1 KO) of Ireland outpointed Luis Sanchez (0-2) of Fairfield, Calif., in a four-round junior welterweight bout.