SANTA YNEZ, California (Dec. 6, 2008) – Undefeated Argentine Luis Carlos Abregu passed his first major test as a pro, winning a controversial 10-round split decision over David Estrada of Chicago in the main event Friday on ShoBox: The New Generation. But it was anything but easy. After manufacturing a big early lead during the initial four rounds, Abregu (25-0, 21 KOs) struggled mightily down the stretch as Estrada (22-6, 13 KOs) came on strongly..
Article posted on 07.12.2008
At the finish, however, Abregu, who fought the last half of a hard-fought, crowd-pleasing match with a cut over his left eye, had done enough in the eyes of the judges to triumph by the scores of 98-92, 98-91 and 94-96.
To many at Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, Calif., including ShoBox announcers Nick Charles and Steve Farhood, the winning scores for Abregu seemed way out of line. He may have deserved the victory, but not by that margin.
In the co-feature, Travis Kauffman of Reading, Pa., ran his unbeaten record to 14-0 with 11 knockouts by stopping Malachy Farrell (16-2, 12 KOs) of Chicago at 2;29 of the third round. Both heavyweights went down in the opening round, but Kauffman mostly had his way.
A solid doubleheader promoted by Gary Shaw Productions, LLC, aired on SHOWTIME at 11 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the west coast).
“When Abregu looked good, he looked very good,’’ said Farhood, the ShoBox expert analyst who had the World Boxing Council (WBC) No. 7-ranked welterweight ahead by two points at bout’s conclusion. “But when he looked bad, he didn’t.
“For sure, though, he is a kid you want to see more of. I think he won the fight because of two things: heart and conditioning. And, remember, the guy he defeated had only lost to the very best fighters.’’
Abregu had won 17 straight by knockout dating to September 2005. None of his outings had gone more than nine rounds and 21 had lasted less than six. The 5-foot-10, 25-year-old did not come close to flooring the battle-tested Estrada, however, much less stopping him.
“This was definitely my toughest fight,’’ said Abregu, who was making his ShoBox debut and fourth start in the United States. “But I definitely felt I won, if not by the spread they had me winning by. I know going into the eighth round that I had to win at least one round.
“My opponent deserves a lot of credit. He’s a really good fighter who came to win. But I know I learned a lot tonight and will be better for it in the future.’’
Estrada, who was making his fourth ShoBox appearance, had been in with the likes of current or former world champions Shane Mosley, Andre Berto and Kermit Cintron. So he entered the ring with a vast advantage in experience and quality of opposition.
Somewhat surprisingly, Estrada opted to box in the early rounds rather than fight aggressively. He showed excellent ring generalship, but didn’t let his fists fly.
“The plan was to box and then take him into the deep waters, and I did just that,’’ the 5-foot-9, 30-year-old said. “Maybe I should have just come out bombing, but there is no doubt in my mind that I won the fight.
“I was chasing him around the ring and he was running for his life in the last couple rounds. I don’t know what hurts worst. The fact, they gave him the decision, or the margin two of the judges had him winning by.’’
Nick Charles called the action from ringside with Farhood at his side. The executive producer of ShoBox is Gordon Hall with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.
Friday’s bouts will re-air as follows:
Wednesday, Dec. 10, at 11 p.m. ET/PT SHO2
The telecast also will be available On Demand beginning Monday, Dec. 8, and running through Jan. 4, 2009.
The next SHOWTIME telecast is Saturday, Dec. 13. In a must-see scheduled 12-rounder, World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior welterweight champion Kendall “Rated R’’ Holt (24-2, 13 KOs) of Paterson, N.J., will defend against former WBO 140-pound titleholder Ricardo “Mochuelo’’ Torres (32-2, 28 KOs) of Barranquilla, Colombia, in a grudge rubber match live on a special edition of ShoBox: The New Generation (11 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast).
This Monday, Dec. 8, “Holt-Torres – Unpredictable” will premiere on SHO2 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. Charles and Farhood will host “Holt-Torres – Unpredictable,” a 90-minute special that will replay in their entirety the fighters’ two hotly contested fights and preview their eagerly awaited third.
“Holt-Torres – Unpredictable” will re-air at the same time on SHO2 on Tuesday, Dec. 9 and Thursday, Dec. 11, before airing on Dec. 13 at 5:15 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME.
For more information on SHOWTIME Sports, including exclusive behind-the-scenes video and photo galleries, complete telecast information and more, please go to the new SHOWTIME Sports website at http://sports.sho.com.