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Olivera Knocks Out Sanchez at Irvine

July 22, 1986|GERALD SCOTT | Times Staff Writer

The fight belonged to Joey Olivera but the night belonged to Canto Robledo.

The 73-year-old blind manager of Olivera, Robledo was honored in a prefight ceremony Monday night for his lifetime contributions to boxing at the Irvine Marriott Hotel Monday night in a prefight ceremony.

Olivera, of Pasadena, honored Robledo by knocking out Mexico City's Felipe Sanchez at 2:24 of the first round of the main bout.

The emotion of seeing his manager receive a plaque and an ovation from the crowd of 1,108 was more than enough to carry Olivera to the easy victory.

"I had pressure all over me," Olivera said. "I had to win."

Sanchez entered the match at 135 pounds with a 9-1 record. Despite the early knockout, Olivera remained impressed with his opponent.

"I've seen Sanchez train at the Main Street Gym in Los Angeles," Olivera said. "He's a game fighter. My strategy was just to stay all over him right from the beginning and not give him a chance to build his confidence."

The plan was nearly perfect. After two minutes of sparring, Olivera cornered Sanchez and continued to pummel him until the referee stopped the fight.

On the undercard, Franciso Chavez won a unanimous decision over Jerome Wilson at 112 pounds, Bruce Pearson won a unanimous decision over Art Lizarraga at 139 pounds, and Ernie Nava won a unanimous decision over Manuel Vallejo at 138 pounds.

Also, Greg Puente and Alex Vega fought to a split-decision draw at 130 pounds and Genaro Hernandez knocked out Terry Baldwin in a 130-pound bout.

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