Soliman defeats Ornelas, Walker hands Estrada first loss!


Soliman defeats Ornelas, Walker hands Estrada first loss!

Less than two weeks after the Democrats narrowly won back the Senate by a slim margin, majority ruled once again as world-ranked middleweight Sam Soliman and unbeaten heavyweight Travis Walker captured close decisions Friday on “ShoBox: The New Generation.”  Soliman overcame an early knockdown to record a 10-round majority decision over Enrique Ornelas, while Walker narrowly defeated 2004 Olympian Jason Estrada for the first time in four outings.  SHOWTIME televised the Goossen Tutor-promoted doubleheader from the Soboba Casino in San Jacinto, Calif.  


Soliman (33-8, 13 KOs), of Melbourne, Australia, won for the 21st time in 22 contests by attacking Ornelas relentlessly and controlling the later rounds.  Two of the judges scored the action-packed bout 95-94 for Soliman, while a third had it 95 apiece. 


In the last few seconds of the fourth round, Soliman’s unorthodox style caused a flash knockdown when he came in low to throw a right hand, got caught by an Ornelas right and hit the canvas.  After the fight, Soliman laughed about the encounter.


            “Everybody knows I was off balance and tripping when I hit the canvas,” said Soliman, who currently is ranked among the top-10 middleweights by three of the four major boxing divisions.


            Ornelas (25-3, 15 KOs), of Guanajuato, Mexico, lost for the first time in six fights despite scoring a fourth-round knockdown and winning early rounds with effective counterpunching.  In his last fight, the married father of three floored Raul Munoz twice en route to a first-round knockout on Aug. 18, 2006, in Temecula, Calif.


            “ShoBox” expert analyst Steve Farhood said that the momentum shifted when Soliman began to pressure Ornelas in the middle rounds.


            “Ornelas was very set in his approach of waiting and counterpunching,” Farhood said.  “It worked in the first few rounds.  However, when Soliman turned it up, he began to dominate as much with his will and his skill.”


            In the co-feature, Walker (22-0-1, 17 KOs) avenged three amateur defeats to Estrada (7-1, 1 ND, one KO) and handed his rival his first pro loss by registering an eight-round majority decision.  Two of the judges scored the closely-contested battle for Walker (78-74 and 76-75), while the third judge had it 76 apiece.  In a bout that was difficult to score, Walker and Estrada fought at close range throughout and accidentally butted the other numerous times while leading with their heads.


            “It feels great to finally beat Estrada,” Walker said.  “All of the hard work finally paid off.  It was the hunger that drove me to finally get to the top.”


                Farhood said things changed after the first six minutes.


“For two rounds, Estrada was the quicker, better boxer and had the edge,” Farhood explained.  “He was unable to maintain that edge.”

Nick Charles called the action from ringside with boxing historian Farhood serving as expert analyst. The executive producer of “ShoBox” is Gordon Hall with Richard Gaughan producing