Estrada Pummels Marquez to 10th Round TKO


Estrada (left) lands a sweat-flying left hook on Marquez (right)

Estrada (left) lands a sweat-flying left hook on Marquez (right)

Juan Francisco Estrada did his part in keeping alive a lucrative rematch with division rival Roman Gonzalez by pummeling former titlist Hernan “Tyson” Marquez to a 10th round TKO victory on Saturday.

Estrada (33-2, 24KO) scored seven knockdowns in what became a one-sided, albeit entertaining bout. Marquez (39-6-1, 28KO), a southpaw, started the fight well by countering Estrada whenever the champion initiated offense. Estrada used his jab to gauge distance and set-up his hooks to the body which would pay off in the later rounds.

The fight started to shift in Estrada’s favor in the fourth round as he found his range and began countering Marquez. Frustrated, Marquez’s attacks became more sloppy and predictable and Estrada made him miss with his right hooks and straight lefts. Estrada took complete control in the fifth by backing Marquez against the ropes and unloading with combinations to the head and body. Marquez fought back, but it looked like he was about to get knocked down until a break in the action by the referee stopped Estrada’s momentum. It looked like the referee wanted to warn Estrada for low-blows.

The knockdowns began in the sixth, as a right hook to the body froze Marquez in his place and forced him to take a knee. He beat the count and tried to fight back, but a barrage of punches from Estrada as Marquez was trapped against the ropes forced the challenger to the canvas for the second knockdown.

Having survived the sixth, Marquez came out of the seventh round looking to make a comeback. However, Estrada stuck to his gameplan and continued to pound Marquez’s body. A left hook to the body put Marquez down for the third time midway through the round. The same left hook dropped Marquez for the fourth time. Marquez’s persistence momentarily payed off at the end of the round as a counter-left backed Estrada off.

Both fighters exchanged furious blows in the eighth as Marquez tried to battle back and Estrada was willing to go to the trenches to get the knockout. The ninth round featured the fifth knockdown from another left hook by Estrada.

Marquez fought bravely throughout the entire fight, never giving up. But, the end finally came in the tenth round when a left hook to the head dropped him to his back. Marquez rose on unsteady legs and Estrada jumped on him, throwing punches and eventually finishing his opponent off with a straight right hand.

This was Estrada’s seventh win a row since losing a unanimous decision to Gonzalez in 2012 at the Light Flyweight division. There have been calls for a rematch between the two champions and it could very well happen as long as Gonzalez wins his scheduled bout with former titlist Brian Viloria on Oct. 17. Viloria lost his Flyweight belts to Estrada in 2013, so if Viloria were to upset Gonzalez another lucrative rematch could potentially happen for Estrada.

Marquez has now gone 5-4-1 in his last 10 bouts with all his losses coming by knockout. Although most of his fights have been exciting, action-packed affairs, they seem to have taken their toll on the 27-year-old and his time as a top contender looks to be on borrowed time.


Falk struggles in Cougar win

Quarterback Luke Falk struggled with decision-making throughout Washington State’s (2-1) 31-14 victory over Wyoming (0-3) on Saturday. The redshirt sophomore regularly held onto the ball to long, and was unwilling to stretch the field at times against the Cowboys’ porous secondary.

Luke Falk threw two touchdowns and one interception in the victory. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Luke Falk threw two touchdowns and one interception in the victory. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Dom Williams put the game away with his touchdown grab on a corner route with two minutes left to put the game away. Falk quickly tossed the ball to the wideout after the snap to take advantage of an obvious match-up advantage at the line-of-scrimmage. Williams caught three passes, including this ridiculous one-armed grab, on his way to 53-yards and two touchdown catches.

The touchdown came after a Jeremiah Allison interception on the preceding Wyoming drive. Allison jumped in the passing lane to intercept a pass from quarterback Cameron Coffeman, then he returned the ball for 44-yards.

Unlike the Rutgers game, the defense bailed out the offense in the second half as they shut down the Pokes’ offensive attack — outside of a couple of big runs by Brian Hill — to keep the Cougars in the lead. In fact, Hill was the only Cowboy running back to do any damage to WSU’s defense as none of the other tailbacks reached (positive) double digits. It was an encouraging performance from defensive coordinator Alex Grinch, but it was a discouraging performance when it came to the unit’s ability to tackle.

That being said, the defense did a fantastic job of shutting down Hill and Cameron in the second half…which is why WSU was able to pull away in the third quarter.

Before the halftime adjustments, the defense was absolutely gutted by Hill and the Pokes passing attack. Cameron hit Tanner Gentry for a 45-yard bomb for the first score of the game; Marcellus Pippins was torched by the wideout from the start of the play.

While the defense only gave-up one other big pass play, they were continually gashed by Hill throughout the game. Wyoming’s running back carried the ball 20 times for 139 yards, 6.9 yards per carry, and no touchdowns. The defense’s inability to wrap-up was continually exposed by the slippery running back. It’s a major concern going forward, but it isn’t the biggest concern Cougar fans should ave heading into Pac-12 play.

Cougar fans should mostly be concerned about the lack of improvement from Falk. The redshirt sophomore quarterback struggled with his progressions again as he refused to stretch the field throughout the night. Falk struggled to make quick reads against the three weakest secondaries WSU is going to see all game season long, which is highly concerning. Washington State’s offense functions best when it is able to stretch the field with passes over 15 yards…and the quarterback hasn’t really been able to do that so far in 2015.

It’s not all bad news for the Cougar offense as the team’s rushing attack looks fantastic for the second straight week. Keith Harrington has emerged as the team’s primary ball carrier during the non-conference schedule; he carried the ball six times for 68 yards and a touchdown (his touchdown run was 36-yards), and no turnovers in the victory.