Golden Boy Thursday Night

Golden Boy Promotions started its Thursday Night Fights series with a bang and several upsets at the historic Avalon Theater in Hollywood, California. Among those that fought were prized contenders such as Mercito Gesta, Manuel Avila and other prospects on March 21, 2019. It was a night that saw the venue sell out and prove that warm up fights no longer exist for the Los Angeles-based boxing promotion company.   (ALL PHOTOS BY ALONZO COSTON)

Manuel Avila (23-1-1) had a tough time against Guadalajara's Jose Gonzalez (23-7-1) with head butts galore and holding in abundance. After eight rounds the featherweight match ended in a draw.

As the rounds mounted it was clear that Rodriguez had as good a chin as Gesta. Both traded explosive punches and neither seemed bothered by the big blows for the first half of the 10-round fight.

A battle between undefeated welterweights turned immediately bloody when heads clashed in the first round. Blair Cobb wobbled Ferdinand Kerobyan early in the round and took advantage of the blood dripping down the local fighter Kerobyan's face.

Toward the second half of the battle for the vacant NABA welterweight title, Kerobyan began to find the recipe for success. He fought through the blood and began connecting repeatedly with jabs and combinations.

In a battle of heavyweights the seemingly too strong James Wilson tossed down Mexico's flabby Miguel Cubos early in the fight, Surprisingly, the Mexican heavyweight proved too clever for Wilson throughout the six round contest.

Lightweight contender Mercito Gesta was matched against Mexico's extremely tough Juan Antonio Rodriguez. The battle between southpaws was evenly matched with Gesta using his speedy combinations to gain the advantage early.

By the ninth round Rodriguez began to ease ahead and connected with body shots and an extremely hard overhand right that stunned Gesta. In the ninth round the fight was stopped at 2:55 of the round thus giving Rodriguez (30-7, 26 KOs) the upset win over the talented Gesta (32-3-2, 17 KOs).

Kerobyan refused to quit despite the blood impairing his vision. Cobb did not have mercy on his foe and peppered him with long right jabs throughout the fight. Many fans cheered on local fighter Kerobyan throughout the fight. It was an uphill battle.

Despite the strong rally by Kerobyan (11-1, 6 KOs) the Armenian-American fighter suffered his first loss. Cobb (10-0-1, 6 KOs), who fights out of Las Vegas, was deemed the winner by unanimous decision and wins the NABA title. 

Miguel Cubos mixed up his attack and proved too elusive for the more muscular Wilson (7-0-1, 6 KOs) in the eight round fight. At the end of the heavyweight clash the judges ruled it a draw to the delight of the crowd who cheered the gritty performance by the seemingly over-matched Cubos (13-20-1, 10 KOs). The fight proved its not always muscles but brains that win fights.