Fierro Nips Zamarripa in Tijuana; Erika Cruz and Skye Nicholson Win Too


By David A. Avila

Tijuana played host to a lightweight slugfest that saw hard slugging Angel Fierro survive an onslaught from Brayan Zamarripa to retain a regional title by split decision on Friday night on the Matchroom Boxing card.

Tijuana’s Fierro (22-1-2, 17 KOs) walked in seeking to maintain his place in line among top lightweights but nearly saw Ensenada’s Zamarripa (13-2, 4 KOs) pull the rug from under him at Auditorio Municipal.

Fierro was the favorite until they entered the prize ring and then Zamarripa showed he was not just a soft-hitting fighter who moves well. The lightweight contest saw several changes in strategy with the body attack proving to be effective for both fighters.

Though both inflicted heavy damage against each other neither fighter was knocked down. After 10 rounds Fierro was declared the winner of the very tight match by split decision 96-94, 94-96, 96-95.

A few in the Tijuana crowd booed the decision.

“People are never happy,” said Fierro. “I think I did enough to win the fight.

Erika Cruz

In the co-main event former featherweight champion Erika Cruz (16-2) dropped down to super bantamweight and basically out-punched American fighter Melissa Oddessa (6-2) for most of the 10 rounds that ended with blood on both southpaw fighters’ faces.

Though Cruz’s output was too much to match for Oddessa, she proved to be very strong and did prove competitive in every round of the contest. But for every punch landed by Oddessa, the former champion Cruz returned fire with twice as many and when needed unloaded eight-punch combinations.

Cruz won by unanimous decision 99-91 twice and 98-92 to capture a regional super bantamweight title.

It was a valuable lesson for Oddessa who also showed she can compete with the elite.

Cruz showed her skills and maybe only a great fighter like Amanda Serrano who defeated Cruz in February can figure out the solution to defeat her.

Skye Nicholson

Australia’s Skye Nicholson (8-0) found the distance after a few rounds and cruised by Argentina’s Sabrina Perez (18-2-1). But once the range was found, the athletic Nicholson was able to land with impunity.

Nicholson keeps improving and learning the pro style. It showed in her ability to keep at range without needing to regroup. She was effective with the check right hook and pivoting out of danger.

One sad note was the husband of Perez fell ill and was ambulanced to a local hospital.

After 10 rounds Nicholson won the interim featherweight title by unanimous decision 99-91, 98-92, 97-93.

Other Bouts

Kiki Olivo (21-1-1) out-scrapped Kevin Crespo (12-1) after 10 rounds in a back-and-forth battle of featherweights.

Federico Pacheco Jr. (5-0, 4 KOs) knocked out Carlos Cardenas (4-1) with body shots in the third round. Pacheco is the brother of Diego Pacheco.

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