Local Boxers Featured at Show
Fists flew Saturday night in the City of Oxnard as seven bouts were showcased at E&R’s “Fists of Fury 8” live boxing show that ignited inside the Oxnard Performing Arts & Convention Center.
Team Estrada & Roman Promotions presented this seven bout card at the spacious theater that drew a large crowd to catch the April 8 action. Oxnard is often called “Boxnard” for its noted gyms, prizefighters and the fans’ love of the pugilism there. This beach city in Ventura County was a nice backdrop for this boxing event promoted by Sam Roman and Hervi Estrada with their team including Jose Martinez, Hervi Estrada Jr. and more.
The fight fans in the theater applauded for their favorite sluggers; the majority of the “A” side of the card hailed from Oxnard and Ventura and their supporters wore team shirts and cheered from their seats. The local fighters were all victorious with Oxnard’s Anthony Rivera, Ricardo Quiroz, Keoki Anaya and Ventura’s Oscar Mendoza, Travis Gambardella all winning their bouts; Oxnard’s Jose Delgado got a majority draw.
The main event was Santa Maria’s Rufino Serrano (15-6, 1 KO), who won by majority decision over San Fernando Valley’s Cristian Silva (5-8-2, 1 KO) in a six-round fight. The official scores were: 57-57, 58-56, 60-54 for “El Animal” Serrano. It was a spirited brawl that thrilled the audience; many in the crowd thought it was a much closer fight than what the scorecards dictated. After the match the two featherweights shook hands in a sign of good sportsmanship and respect.
“Fists of Fury 8” also featured a VIP area near the ring where celebrity guests and champs were available to meet and mingle with the sponsors on stage. Ring announcer Barry Eget introduced the familiar faces to the crowd including Crystal Morales, Poula Estrada, Alex Ramos, Francisco Santana, Gabriel Rojas, etc.
IFBA champ Crystal Morales has previously fought in this same Oxnard venue and Poula Estrada (daughter of promoter Hervi Estrada) has laced up at the Pioneer Event Center (PEC) in Lancaster (where Team Estrada and Roman Promotions’ next show will be held on May 20). The female fighters posed for photos and signed autographs for the fans.
Also catching the crowd’s attention was a superstar comedian seated ringside. Gabriel Iglesias (known as “Fluffy”) was with Ten Goose Boxing Gym trainer Ricky Funez. Iglesias told me he loves boxing and was having a great time at the show. Since training with Funez, the popular comic has shed pounds and is living a healthier lifestyle thanks to his boxing workouts. “Fluffy” was a huge hit with the attendees and took a lot of pics with his legion of fans.
Besides the seven bouts of action, there was also a special award taking place center ring. Robert Garcia is one of the busiest and most successful boxing trainers in the sport. Nicknamed “Grandpa” in his own fighting days, the former champ continues to be a heralded coach to many champs and contenders in the fight game. His father Eduardo Garcia is one of the most revered trainers; Robert’s brother Danny Garcia is also a trainer and had a fighter on the card as well and their younger brother Mikey Garcia, who is a current champion.
Check out my behind-the-scenes photos from “Fists of Fury 8” and see you at the fights!
Photos by Michele Chong