LONGSHOREMEN’S HALL — Jonathan Chicas and Emmanuel Robles tangled in a close eight-round welterweight battle Friday night in Fisherman’s Wharf.
But one punch made all the difference.
Photos by Godofredo Vasquez/SFBay
Robles floored the San Francisco native Chicas with a counter uppercut in the seventh round en route to a split decision in the co-main event of a Bay Area edition of Golden Boy Live! presented by Fox Sports 1.
Judges Kermit Bayless and Marshall Walker scored the bout 76-75 in Robles’ favor, while Susan Gitlin had it 76-75 for Chicas.
SFBay had Robles winning 76-75.
When asked to assess his performance, Chicas told SFBay he gave himself a 7 out of 10 and acknowledged he could have been more aggressive:
“I had three people yelling at me (in my corner) and I think they were a little disorganized. Other than that, I felt good. I got a little tired at the end, but I felt good overall.”
Robles (11-0-1, 3 KOs) constantly moved forward throughout the fight, landing straight left hands and backing Chicas against the ropes. He also rocked Chicas with a counter left hook in the third round.
Robles’ ability to get on the inside also made it difficult for Chicas (13-2, 6 KOs) to land any significant body punches. But the 25-year-old Salvadorian-American adjusted to Robles’ southpaw style and found a home for his straight right cross.
Chicas even turned the tables on Robles in the fifth when he trapped him against a corner and buckled him with two crisp straight rights.
Chicas said he worked on sidestepping and landing his right hand throughout training camp to try and neutralize Robles’ awkward style:
“I got him a couple of times, and a few times I wobbled him. It’s just that I should have been backing him up because he doesn’t know how to fight going back.”
Robles changed the complexion of the fight by knocking Chicas down in the seventh. Chicas appeared hurt as he beat the count, but rallied back and scraped Robles with a straight right to end the round.
Chicas said the knockdown was unexpected and will work on not getting countered by the same punch:
“I guess I was susceptible for the uppercut. But other than that, I came back, I got up and I was able to recover. I actually felt that I came back stronger.”
The loss to Robles snapped Chicas’ five-fight winning streak since a third-round technical knockout loss to Moris Rodriguez in December 2012.
Chicas was not in poor spirits after losing his homecoming bout, saying he was excited to compete in his hometown for the first time since his 2011 pro debut:
“We’re trying to build a fanbase and have more people recognize me. It was a close fight, but I thank God that everything came out good as far as my health and that nothing serious happened.”
With his manager working on securing him another televised fight, Chicas hopes to rebound and still fight for a regional championship by the end of the year:
“This (loss) shouldn’t set me back too much and hopefully we can get a shot. I’m ready, I just have to tweak some little things and we’ll be there.”