Rivera, Esquivel, Khamukov win on FS2 prelims
Stephanie Trapp/TGB Promotions
Three prospects picked up wins in Bakersfield.
Dominican lightweight Michel Rivera dominated five rounds of action against tough opponent Jose Luis Gallegos, before referee Marcos Rosales stopped the one-sided bout.
Rivera (17-0, 11 KO) is a 21-year-old prospect from Santo Domingo, who was last seen on the June 21 edition of ShoBox, where he beat Rene Tellez Giron over eight rounds. Here, he blasted away on Gallegos (16-8, 12 KO), landing over 50% of his punches and splitting his attack pretty evenly, landing 75 punches to the head and 74 to the body.
Gallegos, 24, is a tough, tough dude, and never went down or even seemed in serious danger of going down, but he also had a hematoma on his forehead from a clash of heads, and Rosales probably rightly decided that he was taking more punishment than necessary without offering much offense in return. Gallegos was really unhappy about the stoppage, but it hadn’t been a remotely competitive fight.
Petr Khamukov TKO-4 Randy Fuentes
Russia’s Khamukov fought at Rio 2016, losing in the opening round. He fought at light heavyweight at those Olympics, but was really a middleweight, which is where he’s campaigning as a pro. He’s now 4-0 (1 KO), this being his first stoppage victory. He dropped Fuentes (9-9-1, 2 KO) twice in the second round and two more times in the fourth, before referee Rudy Barragan stopped the mismatch. Fuentes gave it a go, but he was outclassed. Khamukov is 28 and we’ll see what his future holds, but he’s not a super prospect or anything. As for Fuentes, he’s tentatively slated to fight James Kirkland on Nov. 9 in San Antonio.
Jonathan Esquivel TKO-2 Justin Steave
Bless Steave (10-3, 4 KO), a 33-year-old out of Pennsylvania, who did not come here to Give Rounds to the prospect Esquivel, he came to give it his best shot and maybe crack the kid and pull off the upset. Didn’t pan out — instead, Steave being willing to open up and trade with Esquivel (12-0, 11 KO) got him dropped twice late in the first round, and then crushed with a body shot in the second. Steave, to his credit, fought off the obvious pain to rise to his feet at a count of nine, but referee Jack Reiss made the right call to stop it. Had he sent Steave back into the storm, there was no good ending.
Esquivel, 24, is an interesting middleweight prospect out of Anaheim. He hasn’t fought anyone yet, but he’s a 5’11” southpaw with some power. Based on the little I’ve seen of him, I’d say his upside is really fun TV fighter — which boxing always needs — but I could be shortchanging him.