Sunday, June 11, 2023  |


Rafael Espinoza defeats Carlos Ornelas in Zanfer main event

Fighters Network

Featherweight prospect Rafael Espinoza remained unbeaten Saturday night, defeating fringe contender Carlos Ornelas by unanimous decision at the Grand Hotel in Tijuana, Mexico.

Scores were 97-92, 97-92 and 98-91 for Espinoza, who improves to 15-0 1, 12 knockouts.

The victory over Ornelas was Espinoza’s most impressive to date and his first win in almost two-and-a half years. In his most recent bout on June 27, Espinoza was originally announced the winner after stopping journeyman Luis Guzman Rios in Round 2 but the outcome was changed to a no-contest, as there was no commission present at ringside that night, in Mexico City, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The same happened to Ornelas one week before Espinoza’s fight against Guzman, as he originally stopped Edwin Palomares in Round 5. The outcome was also changed to a no-contest.

Espinoza, who resides in Guadalajara, Jalisco, utilized his height and reach to counter the aggressive Ornelas with accurate two and three-punch combinations throughout much of the fight. As the bout progressed, Espinoza’s punches began taking their toll as Ornelas’ face was bruised from their accumulation. By Round 8, blood was streaming from Ornelas’ nose.

Ornelas continued to be game and aggressive, even as he was down on the scorecards. There were moments during the fight in which he pinned Espinoza against the ropes, connecting with hooks and crosses to the head and body but they were not enough to win rounds of the fight.

Ornelas, who resides in Mulege, Mexico, drops to 25-3, 14 KOs.

Junior middleweight prospect Dubiel Sanchez, of Tijuana, defeated gatekeeper Jose Guadalupe Rosales by decision over 10 one-sided rounds.

All three judges scored the bout 100-90 in favor of Sanchez, who improves to 16-0-2, 12 KOs.

Sanchez was the more effective fighter throughout the bout, throwing and landing a variety of punches and combinations on Rosales, who looked like he was in survival mode during the last couple rounds of the fight.

The 39-year-old Rosales, who resides in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, drops to 39-29, 20 KOs.

Lightweight Humberto Galindo dropped Gregorio Soto (12-4-2, 8 KOs), of Guasave, Mexico, twice in Round 2 to win by knockout at 2:01. Galindo, who also resides in Tijuana, improves to 13-0-1, 10 KOs and has won eight of his last nine bouts by knockout.

Zanfer Promotions promoted the card, which was once again held without an audience.



Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @FSalazarBoxing.




Latest Issue Cover