Celine Romans Wins Close Decision in L.A.
Plus other fights
Photo by Al Applerose

By David A. Avila

LOS ANGELES-Ontario’s Celine Roman upset IFBA lightweight champion Crystal Morales by majority decision in a non-title bout in a close fight that saw two judges favor the counter-puncher over the busier fighter on Saturday.

Roman (3-1-1) knew ahead of time she was meeting the world champion Morales (8-10-1) and was not surprised at the Oxnard boxer’s constant pressure. It was pot shots versus body punching that saw two judges give the decision to Roman before 1,000 fans at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in the downtown area.

“She was strong,” said Roman, 24, who had previously fought at a lighter weight but had problems keeping strong. “She was very aggressive but I made her miss and I put stronger cleaner punches.”

Morales had just recently captured the IFBA lightweight world title this past summer and was looking for a way to stay busy. After six rounds the Oxnard female boxer known as “La Morenasa” was certain she won the fight.

“I definitely felt I won four of six rounds,” said Morales, 27.

The opening round saw Morales fire combinations as Roman backed away and fired jabs. During the middle of the first round Morales attacked both sides of Romans body and tried pinning the Ontario fighter on the ropes. It was a recipe that continued for most of the fight.

Morales kept busy with a relentless body attack especially when pinning Roman on the ropes. But once the fight moved into the center of the ring the taller Roman fired uppercuts and would land at least one uppercut or left hook.

In round four Morales was able to rip body shots and caught Roman with a perfect left hook to the head. Both fired bog blows with Roman landing some hooks and uppercuts while Morales landed two left hooks to end the round.

Roman rallied in the fifth round with left hooks and more uppercuts. Though neither boxer was hurt by the punches it was the Ontario boxer’s round and set the stage for the crucial sixth and final round.

Both female boxers showed signs of weariness and the steam out of their punches seemed to be apparent. Morales was again the busier fighter as she was through most of the fight but at the end of the final round two judges favored Roman’s more conservative style. The scores were 57-57 and 58-56 twice for Roman.

“It means a lot to beat a champion,” said Roman who hopes the win leads to a title fight.

Morales was visibly upset by the decision and looks forward to meeting Roman again.

“I landed a lot more punches and pressured her throughout the fight,” said Morales. “I definitely want a rematch.”

Other bouts

Rancho Cucamonga’s Daniel Franco (6-0-2, 3 KOs) won by unanimous decision after six rounds against Alejandro Ochoa (3-7-2) in a lightweight match. Franco’s speed proved the difference in winning by unanimous decision against Bell Garden’s Ochoa.

L.A.’s Ray “Bad Boy” Chacon (5-6) upset Moreno Valley’s Anthony Villarreal (10-5, 5 Kos) after four rounds in a fight between super quick southpaws. Chacon knocked down Villarreal in round two and that proved critical in the decision win.