Tito Sanchez Defeats Erik Ruiz at Fantasy Springs


By David A. Avila

In a super bantamweight battle hard-hitting Jose “Tito” Sanchez tried to become the first to knock out Erik Ruiz but was unsuccessful. Still, he won by unanimous decision on Thursday night in Indio, Calif.

Sanchez (13-0, 7 KOs) remained undefeated in front of a boisterous Coachella Valley crowd at Fantasy Springs Casino. Oxnard’s Ruiz (17-11-1) would not be able to use his experience to end his winning streak.

Things started slowly for Cathedral City’s Sanchez who allowed Ruiz to get a quick start in the first two rounds. But in the third, things turned around when a left hook floored Ruiz. From that point on Sanchez was in control.

A straight left to the solar plexus nearly felled Ruiz whose knees buckled, but somehow he remained upright. Things looked grim for the Oxnard veteran who had retired several years before coming back. Even referee Tom Taylor warned Ruiz to show something.

Ruiz rallied and used his vast skills to avoid the killing blows of Sanchez who was on full attack mode. At times it seemed the next blow would be the fight stopper. But Ruiz survived. After 10 rounds all three judges scored it 97-92 for Sanchez.

Sanchez proved he might be ready for the contenders. Ruiz gets to return to his family somewhat healthy and intact.

Other Bouts

Manny “Gucci” Flores (17-1, 13 KOs) needed only two rounds to figure out Tijuana’s Alberto Guevara (27-7) before busting a right hook to the jaw. Guevara was counted out at 2:31 of the second round.

Grant Flores (4-0, 3 KOs), the cousin of Manny Flores, needed only one round to pump a left to the solar plexus of Nicaragua’s Freddy Espinoza (10-4, 7 KOs) and leave him gasping for air on the floor. The end of the super welterweight fight came at 1:59 of the first round. The cousins are products of Joel Diaz’s boxing school in Coachella.

Moreno Valley’s Joshua Garcia (8-0, 4 KOs) survived a second-round knockdown from Diuhl Olguin (16-37-7) to mount a comeback against the veteran from Guadalajara. After six very competitive rounds Garcia won by split decision.

Middleweight Anthony Saldivar (6-0) defeated Henry Rivera (2-5) by decision after four rounds.