Friday night went about as perfect as it could for local star boxer Angel Flores fighting at the Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez.
Flores, who had fought at the Chumash before, got one more opportunity to shine in front of his friends and family as the headliner of the World Fighting Championships 120, facing off against a veteran boxer who shared his surname, Danny Flores.
That’s all the two would share on Friday night, however, as Angel used a combination of lethal hooks and jabs to knock out Danny at the 2:47 mark in the second round and erupt an energetic local crowd who just seconds before was chanting his name hoping to see the result that ensued.
With the knockout victory, Angel improved to 8-0 in his professional career and picked up his sixth KO.
“I am super grateful for the opportunity the Chumash and Wayne (Hurte, Executive Director of Marketing for the Chumash) is giving me. I’m really grateful for the people of the valley who came out to support me and for the hard work that my team puts in,” Angel said.
For Angel, Friday was the result of all his hard work. The 20-year old boxer, who went to school at Santa Ynez High School, has been training for more than a decade. The person right by his side the whole way, including Friday, has been his father, Miguel Flores.
“He’s been there with me through everything, even the amateurs. I am just super grateful for my dad,” Angel said.
More than just being his support beam, Angel said his dad is also who has kept him on his current path.
“There were points when I wanted to give up but he kept on pushing me saying ‘if you keep trying, you’re going to be something,’” Angel said.
Turns out, Miguel Flores was right.
On Friday, Angel wasted no time in attacking his opponent. About midway through the first round is when Angel began gaining headway after a series of hooks to the head pushed Danny (31-8) back against the ropes and wobbled him.
At around the 2:30 mark of the second round, Angel rocked Danny with a huge right to the temple, stunning the veteran. Angel followed that up with a series of shots to the head that sent Danny to the canvas. The referee stepped in and stopped the fight, giving Angel the win.
“It (was) exciting but at the same time, I gotta care because you know it is important that everyone has to care for everyone’s mental health and physical health,” Angel said.
“It was a good fight though, I give props to my opponent.”
When asked if he would be back fighting at the Chumash, Angel responded, “Most definitely.”
Other fights on Friday included the co-main event of the night between Braulio Avila and Rudy Ochoa.
Ochoa dominated the fight throughout even though it went the full six rounds, with every judge scoring the bout 59-55 in favor of the Oxnard native.
With the win by majority decision, Ochoa improved to 10-0 while Avila dropped to 4-6.
Louie Lopez also improved his undefeated mark on Friday to 8-0 with a knockout in the third round against Isaiah Varnell (3-2).
Lopez won the first two rounds with ease, easily being the aggressor and finally got the knockout 1:50 into the final round.
The 129-pound fight between Jorge Lima and Danny Robles was the fight of the night on Friday.
The bout went the full four rounds, with Lima executing quick combinations to score him points while Robles relied on his heavy hand to try to get a knockout.
Lima looked to have the advantage through the first two rounds, but he said he got a little tired in the third, prompting Robles to lay some shots that Lima had been dodging earlier.
By the time the match was over, Lima had blood all over his shorts and Robles looked physically worn from all the punches he threw, but in the end, the result was a majority draw with two judges scoring it 38-38 much to Robles’s chagrin.
“I obviously won, look at his face and look at mine. I out jabbed him all four rounds, I was blocking most of his shots but I don’t know what happened.”
On the other side, Lima thought the result was fair given how the fight was back and forth though he was disappointed.
“I think I won. He landed some good shots but I thought I did more work and landed more but it’s a draw. There is no winner and no loser. I’d love to run it back, though, if his team is interested,” Lima said.
Santa Maria native Gerardo Alvarez bested Aaron Hollis (4-11) in the 138-pound fight, defeating him by a majority decision to improve to 2-2-2.
In the first professional fight of the night, heavyweights Luis Pena of Oxnard and Cody Sims of Bakersfield put on a show.
The two kept trading blows in the first round but midway through, it was Pena who got the advantage and knocked down Sims two times before the ref called the bout at the 2:38 mark of the first.
For Pena (5-0), Friday’s win is especially sweet because two years ago the Oxnard native was in a terrible car accident in Michoacan, Mexico.
Pena was training with his father when, on his way to the airport, his father and he were hit by a drunk driver.
Luckily his father was okay and though Pena suffered noticeable scars throughout his right arm, he was able to return to boxing in November.
“First things first, I check on my dad. Family is everything. Now, when I fight, I have nothing to lose. I am just happy I was able to come back. This is a beautiful sport,” Pena said.
In amateur fights, Deandre Currie won his first fight, knocking out Deon Martinez while Marley Morgan won by split decision over Lonnie Campbell.