Juan Francisco Estrada is a deciding winner…
The 28-year-old Mexican professional boxer, a former WBA and WBO Flyweight champion, defeated Felipe Orucuta at The Forum in Inglewood, California over the weekend by unanimous decision following a hotly contested 12-round bout.
The judges scored the fight 118-110, 117-111 and 117-111 for Estrada.
Orucuta (36-5, 30KOs) proved a much tougher opponent than expected. But Estrada (37-4, 25 KOs), after fading in the middle rounds, rallied down the stretch to win decisively, if not spectacularly.
“When two Mexicans are in the ring, you’re going to get a great fight,” Estrada said.
Estrada hopes the victory will earn him a rematch with junior bantamweight titleholder Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, who beat Estrada by majority decision in February.
Obviously going for a quick win, Estrada abandoned his usual economical style over the first three rounds, winging wild punches with bad intention. Many missed, but he connected with enough to take all three rounds.
Orucuta began to work his way back into the fight in the fourth, landing his share of punches, but it wasn’t quite enough to take the round.
In the fifth, Estrada sent his adversary reeling backward with a hard right to the head near the end of the round. At that point, it seemed Estrada was on his way to an easy win; but that changed in the sixth, when Orucuta landed a hard left hook to the body, forcing Estrada into the ropes.
The underdog unleashed a two-handed flurry, and most of the punches landed cleanly, before Estrada extricated himself from the ropes. Suddenly, Estrada didn’t look like a sure shot.
The seventh was another good round for Orucuta when he got the better of several brutal exchanges in an action-packed round. The crowd that had been booing the bout earlier jumped to its feet, as the two fighters stood toe to toe.
Urged by his corner to keep pressing, Estrada gradually took over again. A cracking right to the head rocked Orucuta in the eighth, but he kept his feet under him and fought back.
Estrada finally showed the expertise that he is known for, sweeping the remaining rounds. He almost got the knockout he wanted in the 12th, when he chased Orucuta around the ring, landing flush punches to the head.
However, the final bell interrupted Estrada’s onslaught with his extremely durable opponent still on his feet.