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Bay City fighter improves to 2-0 in split decision

Aug. 13, 2011 at 3:13 a.m.
Updated Aug. 14, 2011 at 3:14 a.m.

Francisco Arellano, of Bay City, left, fights Ricardo Avila, of San Antonio, during their match Saturday night at the Victoria Community Center. Arellano won the fight in a split decision 39-37, 39-37, 37-39.  ANGELI WRIGHT/AWRIGHT@VICAD.COM

Francisco Arellano, of Bay City, left, fights Ricardo Avila, of San Antonio, during their match Saturday night at the Victoria Community Center. Arellano won the fight in a split decision 39-37, 39-37, 37-39. ANGELI WRIGHT/AWRIGHT@VICAD.COM

Francisco Arellano pointed to a welt under his left eye and smiled.

"It's a war scar," Arellano said. "This is the sport I love so I know it comes with it."

Arellano took some lumps, but won his second straight professional fight with a split decision over Ricardo Avila at Saturday Night at the Fights at the Victoria Community Center.

Arellano, 18, of Bay City captured 39-37 decisions on two judges' cards, while the third judge awarded Avila of San Antonio a 39-37 decision.

"That was not a split decision," protested Mike Zavala, Arellano's trainer at Soldiers for Christ Boxing Club in Bay City.

Arellano (2-0) prevailed because of his speed and ability to counter punch.

"That was my game plan," Arellano said. "They told me he was hard to stop. He's fought really tough fights. My (left) leg was kind of hurting every time I stepped to box. The main thing was to get the victory."

Arellano won his professional debut via first-round knockout 10 days ago. But Zavala had him back in the gym sparring and doing a lot of running to make weight.

"We knew the guy was just going to keep coming," Zavala said. "He was just like we thought he would be. We didn't know he'd be able to take all Francisco's shots to the body "

Avila (1-4) continually pursued Arellano around the ring and was able to land some right hands, but missed the majority of the time.

"With fighters like that, he was a typical Mexican fighter," Arellano said. "He comes at you strong. He never stops coming. He was slower than me so coach was telling me to counter him. You got to listen to your corner man."

Zavala was proud of Arellano's ability to adjust during the fight.

"Our plan was to go to the body because if he ain't been knocked out maybe we can stop him to the body," Zavala said. "When I noticed Francisco was a lot faster than the guy, I told him every time he misses make him pay for it."

Arellano was happy to come away with a win, and he learned an important lesson in the process.

"You can't knock everybody out," Arellano said. "You've got to be physically conditioned and mentally ready for every single fight."

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