Juan Francisco Estrada (37-3, 25 KOs) threw down with Felipe Orucuta (36-5, 30 KOs), headlining HBO’s Super Fly 3 bill. Estrada, the -2225 betting favorite, picked up a unanimous-decision victory but had to work for it, outlasting his opponent’s high-volume attack.
The violence swelled in Rounds 7 and 8 to the approval of the 4,019 in attendance at The Forum in Inglewood, California. An unheralded name to the HBO broadcast team, Orucuta dragged Estrada into a scrap with the same unreal punch output that years ago gave former super flyweight king Omar Narvaez fits. Estrada’s bigger punches eventually proved to be the difference maker, winning 117-111, 117-111, and 118-110, remaining the No. 1 contender to Srisaket Sor Rungvisai’s lineal title.
From the onset, Orucuta let everybody know he wasn’t going to roll over, stealing the opening round with plenty of straight lefts and rights.
The fighters, both out of Mexico, traded the next handful of rounds.
By round 5, Estrada was convinced he needed to sit on his punches, demonstrating his best combination: a sharp jab to overhand right. But Orucuta continued to push the pace, hardly flinching at big hooks throughout the middle rounds, and finding the most success in the sixth period, driving Estrada into the corner.
Not to be outdone, Estrada drummed his opponent’s head in Round 7 but Orucuta met him head on and the ring went up in flames. Orucuta was left on his bicycle, flustered from a right cross, early in the eighth round but somehow mustered the strength to return to the center of the ring for the final 90 seconds, providing more violent exchanges nearly as good as the round before.
Estrada would throw every punch in the book to get Orucuta off of him. He curled hooks up and down his man, stalking Orucuta for the next two rounds, but the lanky underdog found success in quick spurts.
Orucuta was overpowered in Round 11. But traded two- and three- punch combos with Estrada in the twelfth. This time, though, Estrada capitlized on the exchanges with more ferocious hooks and overhands. A crunching body blow from Estrada left Orucuta backpedaling and he nearly lost his footing as the bell rang.
According to CompuBox statistics, Estrada connected on 338 of 986 total punches (34 percent) and Orucuta returned 186 of 764 (34 percent). Estrada’s focus on heavier shots, landing 282 of 779 (36 percent) power punches compared to Orucuta’s 133 of 461 (29 percent).
Seeking a rematch with Sor Rungvisai, Estrada may not have raised his stock with bookies after a competitive bout with a fighter outside of the Top 10. But with another action fight in the books, public interest will certainly have him back near the top of the bill.
Photo by Ed Mulholland/HBO
Andre Berto enthusiast | Bylines at Bleacher Report and Today's Knockout | Follow me for live streams at twitter.com/BoxingContreras