Juan Francisco Estrada overcomes knockdown, rallies back to stop Carlos Cuadras in 11
Juan Francisco Estrada proved that he is more than just a counterpuncher.
Estrada recovered from a third-round knockdown to score two knockdowns of a game Carlos Cuadras to score an emphatic 11th-round stoppage to defend the WBC and Ring junior bantamweight titles Saturday at Gimnasio TV Azteca in Mexico City.
Estrada promised to get off to a faster start against Cuadras in the sequel to their thrilling September 2017 fight.
But that promise almost backfired on him in round three when Cuadras drilled him with a clean right uppercut and a follow up left hook that sent him to the canvas.
Both men were comfortable to trade punches in round four. Estrada rocked Cuadras with a clean left hook, but his opponent came right back with a plethora of vicious power shots that knocked Estrada back.
Amazing Fight. Amazing Finish.
Estrada vs. Cuadras 2 did not disappoint. 💥 pic.twitter.com/n20RazCoJD
— DAZN USA (@DAZN_USA) October 24, 2020
Estrada rocked Cuadras again in round five as the bout went from battle to full-on war. “El Gallo” connected with a solid right hand that backed up Cuadras. He then followed up with a series of clean left uppercuts to the chin that buckled his knees.
In round six, Estrada badly hurt Cuadras with a left hook to the liver. Just when things seemed to be going down for the challenger, Cuadras came back to connect with a left hand that bloodied Estrada’s nose.
Estrada (41-3, 28 knockouts), 30, of Mexico, had not fought since knocking out Dewayne Beamon in the ninth round of a homecoming fight in August 2019 in Mexico. If inactivity was a factor, it didn’t seem to be an overlying issue.
It was a competitive round eight, but Estrada hurt Cuadras with a right uppercut late in the frame. He then followed up with a left hook to the liver that damaged his adversary even worse.
As both fighters finished the eighth round, Estrada appeared to be in better condition.
In round 10, Cuadras came out throwing with a big head of steam to the body. Around the midway point of the frame, a right hand from Cuadras opened up a nasty cut above Estrada’s left eye.
At the start of round 11, Estrada looked like a glazed donut as his team put on a significant amount of vaseline to nurse the cut above his eye.
But a mere 12 seconds into the round, Estrada sent Cuadras into a haze. He connected with a left hand that buckled his legs, followed up by a sweeping right hand that sent Cuadras crashing into the ropes to score his first knockdown of the fight.
Before Saturday, Cuadras (39-4-1, 27 KO’s), 32, of Mexico, had never been stopped. But the junior bantamweight titlist was floored again a short time later, and it was only a matter of time before Estrada sealed the deal.
In their first fight, Estrada escaped with a narrow unanimous decision victory that some felt Cuadras was deserving of the victory, despite suffering a 10th-round knockdown.
There was no controversy this time around.
After dishing a sustained beating to Cuadras in the center of the ring, the referee stepped in to stop the fight at 2:20 of round 11.
The scintillating ending to a very entertaining main event sets up the possibility of a rematch between Estrada and living legend Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez, who outpointed Israel Gonzalez over 12 one-sided rounds in the chief support bout to retain his WBA 115-pound strap.