Saturday, April 20, 2024  |


Rivers outpoints Pucheta in ‘Big Fighters, Big Cause’ main event

Fighters Network

SANTA MONICA – Lightweight prospect Kevin Rivers Jr. returned from a 15-month layoff outpoint Roberto Pucheta via six-round unanimous decision on Wednesday in the main event of the Eighth Annual “Big Fighters, Big Cause” charity event put on by the Sugar Ray Leonard Foundation.

Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions provided the entertainment for the even at the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel.

Rivers (14-1, 10 knockouts), who’s from the same part of Maryland where Leonard was born and raised, won by scores of 60-54, 59-55 and 58-56 to cap an entertaining evening of club-level fights that helped raise funds and donations for life-changing care and research for pediatric type 1 and 2 diabetes – a disease Leonard watched his father suffer with.

“I’ve fought the best throughout my career, but this fight here is against the toughest opponent in the world, and that’s diabetes,” said Leonard during an in-the-ring address.

Rivers tried to measure his jab to start, but it took a few rounds for the Palmer Park native to really get his shots in. His quick combinations began to pepper Pucheta in the third round, and those flurries featured a left hook that bloodied his opponent’s nose. Rivers also started going to the body, but sometimes those shots came below the belt, and referee Thomas Taylor had to give a stern warning in the fourth round.

Pucheta, 10-11-1, a grizzled veteran from Mexico City, seemed to enjoy the pain inflicted on him at times, and even egged Rivers to come forward while he danced around the ring late in the fight. Never did he show signs of being hurt in the fight, but Pucheta’s determination was something to admire while Rivers boxed his way to an easy win.

Junior lightweight prospect, “King” Louie Coria, kept his record perfect after beating up Antonio Martinez for four rounds, but for the first time, the 18 year old got a decision win. All three judges ringside scored it 40-36.

Coria, 4-0 (3), who’s grandfather passed away from diabetes just weeks ago, came out of the gate firing a left hook that had bad intentions, however, it was a right hand of his that buzzed Martinez in the opening round. Martinez, Durango, Mexico, showed plenty of heart as the lefts from Coria kept coming, but the youngster’s distance wasn’t judged well-enough to land. Martinez countered with his right hand in those instances, but they were effecting Coria whatsoever.

Martinez, 7-10 (5), was hurt again in the third by a Coria right hand, but was able to withstand another barrage by hiding behind his guard. Coria seemed a bit wound too tight in some moments as his missing left hook found him unbalanced, but he managed to bloody Martinez’s nose by the end of the fight, and gave an impressive performance that was also entertaining.

In the only bout between unbeaten fighters, Marvin Cabrera walked away with the win once his opponent Quantavious Green was deemed unfit to continue by the ringside doctor after four complete rounds. The middleweight contest was scheduled for six.

Cabrera (4-0, 4 KOs), a Mexican southpaw fighting out of Los Angeles, traded jabs with Green in the first two rounds and that contest was competitive for the most part. Yet, in the third round, Green, of Shreveport, Louisiana, began to show signs of being tired with his mouth open and his body there for the taking. Cabrera began to exploit Green’s body with left and right hooks and eventually those same shots crept upstairs as well.

Before the fifth round had a chance to begin, Green (1-1, 1 KO) gave a complaint to his corner that he couldn’t see out of his left eye and referee Thomas Taylor caught wind of it. Once of his stool, Taylor directed Green tot he doctor ringside and it was then the fight was stopped and Cabrera was given the TKO victory.

In the opening bout of the Golden Boy Promotions card, Alfredo Escarcega sent Rolando Padilla to the canvas twice before earning a unanimous decision victory. All three judges ringside scored it 40-34 after four rounds of junior welterweight action.

Fighting out of Indio, California, Escarcega, 2-0, was forced to go through some adversity before getting the win. An accidental clash of heads in the first round forced a leaking cut above Escarcega’s left eye, but just moments after it happened, the 19-year old returned the favor with a left hook that sent Padilla to the mat.

Padilla, 0-2, had the will to fight back, but that left him open for body shots for Escarcega to exploit. While he landed a few right hands, Escarcega was scoring the more meaningful shots throughout the fight, and in the middle of the third, another left hand had him on the canvas again – this time, however, the happening had him hurt badly and reeling with clinches for the rest of the bout.