The fights are underway at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas for the Canelo vs Jacobs card, and we saw some young fighters get in work on the Facebook prelims portion of the show.
Aram Avagyan UD-10 Francisco Esparza
Scores were 96-93, 96-93, and 97-92, which were deserved. Avagyan (9-0-1, 4 KO) is a 28-year-old featherweight from Armenia, represented his country at the 2016 Olympics and lost in the second round to Ireland’s Michael Conlan, now a top prospect with Top Rank.
Avagyan struggled a bit early with Esparza (9-1-1, 3 KO), including getting clipped and dropped in the second round, but starting around the fourth, Avagyan’s class and skills just took over, and he was able to pretty handily outbox the 24-year-old Esparza down the stretch. Bad Left Hook had it 96-93 for Avagyan, giving Esparza the first three rounds plus that knockdown, but the last seven frames to Avagyan.
Alexis Espino UD-4 Billy Wagner
19-year-old Matchroom prospect Espino (2-0, 1 KO) weighed in at 164 for this fight, but he’ll try to settle in at 160 when the fights get serious, where he’ll be a really big fighter. There’s a chance he’ll never quite be able to do 160 given his frame, but that’s the plan.
Anyway, Espino dominated this fight, but Montana’s Wagner (1-1, 0 KO) was tough as all hell, gave the kid four really good rounds, and Espino and trainer Robert Garcia knew that, showing great respect to Wagner after the fight. Wagner took some big shots and stayed up in this one. There appeared to be a knockdown in the second, but then it seemed like referee Jay Nady didn’t count the knockdown after Espino landed a shot once Wagner was on the canvas, kneeling. Espino lost a point for that. But whatever, Espino won on scores of 39-34, 39-35, and 39-35, and got a bloody nose for his efforts.