TEPIC, Nayarit, Mexico (March 25, 2022) – In an action-packed main event that didn’t figure to go the distance, Salvatore “Chango” Tapia won an 8-round split decision over Emiliano “Letal” Cruz, headlining last night’s RJJ Boxing on UFC FIGHT PASS® show in Tepic, Nayarit, Mexico.
Five fights were streamed live and exclusively on UFC FIGHT PASS®, the world’s leading digital subscription service for combat sports. To sign up for UFC FIGHT PASS, please visit www.ufcfightpass.com.
The pro boxing event was one of the highlights of the 40th Nayarit Festival, which is celebrated between March 10 and 27, displaying the cultural identity of Nayarit like the Indigenous community, and also providing entertainment by offering regional artists at national and international events. It attracts between 20,000 and 30,000 people each day of the festival.
The boxing event was presented by Roy Jones Jr. (RJJ) Boxing Promotions in association with De La O Promotions, World Cup Boxing Series and Team Cruz Promotions.
Tapia (13-3-1, 10 KOs), the former WBC FECOMBOX super lightweight champion, and lightweight Cruz (13-4, 12 KOs) combined for 22 knockouts in their 25 victories (88-percent win percentage).
The battled toe-to-toe from the opening bell, pounding each other around the ring, en route to an entertaining split-decision victory for Tapia by judges’ scores of 77-75 twice and 78-75 in favor of Cruz. The 24-year-old Tapia won his fourth in a row, sixth of his last seventh. Cruz went into the fight having won six of his last eight fights.
In the co-featured event, reigning WBO Latino Super Middleweight Champion Lester Martinez (11-0, 10 KOs) stopped light heavyweight Jaime “El Huizi” Hernandez (9-6, 4 KOs), the former Mexican Pacific Coast super lightweight titlist. In a non-title fight, the WBO #14 rated Martinez, fighting out of Guatemala, was simply too much for Hernandez to handle. The bell for the fifth round sounded, but Hernandez was unable to continue.
Making his RJJ Boxing on UFC FIGHT PASS appearance, Martinez has potentially positioned himself for a major fight later this year versus a top 15 ranked opponent. In his 2019 pro debut, he knocked out former world champion Ricardo Mayorga in the opening round, and he has since beaten notable opponents such as Michi Munoz and Uriel Gonzalez.
Arnando “El Chica” Ramirez (6-0-1, 2 KOs) remained unbeaten, taking an 8round unanimous decision from fellow Mexican super featherweight Edgar “Diablo” Espinosa Vargas (7-2, 6 KOs).
Hector “Tigre” Perez Cruz (7-0, 5 KOs) and Victor “Tyson” Tadeo Rodriguez (3-1, 3 KOs) squared off in a battle between Tepic featherweights. Cruz pitched a shutout, winning all six rounds for a convincing triumph.
In the UFC FIGHT PASS opener, 19-year-old lightweight Marco Cota Moreno improved to 6-0 (4 KOs), comfortably winning a 4-round unanimous decision over Jonathan “Lagartijo” Perez Zuniga (6-4, 6 KOs). Moreno was a celebrated Mexican amateur boxer who compiled a sterling 155-15), including five-Sonora State championship titles
MAIN EVENT – SUPER LIGHTWEIGHTS
Salvatore Tapia (13-3-1, 10 KOs), Tepic, Nayarit, México
WDEC8 (77-75, 77-75, 75-78)
Emiliano Cruz (13-4, 12 KOs), Tijuana, Baja California, México.
CO-FEATURE – LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHTS
Lester Martinez (11-0, 10 KOs), Guatemala City, Guatemala
Jaime Hernandez (9-6, 4 KOs), Tepic, Nayarit, Mexico
Marco Cota Moreno (6-0, 4 KOs), Empalme, Sonora, México
WDEC4 (40-36, 40-36, 40-26)
Jonathan Perez Zuniga (6-4, 6 KOs), Morelia, Michoacán, México
Armando Ramirez (6-0-1, 2 KOs), Celaya, Guanajuato, México
WDEC8 (78-76, 78-76, 78-76)
Edgar Espinosa Vargas (7-2, 6 KOs), Guadalajara, Jalisco, México
Héctor Pérez Cruz (7-0, 5 KOs), Tepic, Nayarit, México
WDEC6 (60-54, 60-54, 60-54
Víctor Tadeo Rodríguez (3-1, 3 KO), Tepic, Nayarit, México
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