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Avila goes for first title August 8

Image by icheehuahua
Image by icheehuahua

By John J. Raspanti

Manual “Tino” Avila has engaged in 17 professional fights. He’s won them all, scoring seven of those wins by knockout.


On August 8, Avila, still considered a prospect, will step up in class when he meets Yoandris Salinas at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California.


Up for grabs is the vacant NABF super bantamweight title.


The Cuban-born Salinas (21-2-2, 14 KOs) came within a couple of points of upsetting WBA super featherweight champion Scott Quigg in 2013, but had to settle for a majority draw.


Salinas, 29, lost his next bout, but rebounded three months ago by knocking out Ricardo Alvarado in the opening stanza. In the course of his five-year career, he’s held the WBC Latino Super Bantamweight title and the WBA Fedebol Super Bantamweight title.

Avila, 23, handily defeated Eric Ruiz by unanimous decision last May. In 2014, he knocked out one-time title challenger David De La Mora and Sergio Frias. He also got the better of the only fighter to defeat Salinas, Enrique Quevedo. Avila cemented his victory by flooring Quevedo with a perfect left hook in the last round.


A pro since he was 18, Avila has steadily improved, showing an inner toughness and cool exterior whenever things have gotten anxious in the ring. He’s had to battle through hand injuries and other distractions.


Fighting for a title has been a burning desire of Avila’s since he first laced on a pair of boxing gloves.


“I’m very excited about this fight,” Avila told this writer via email. “It felt like it was never going to happen. It’s finally here.”


Avila has a pretty good idea what to expect from the heavy-handed Salinas.


“He throws a lot of punches,” said Avila. “He’s fast and likes to use his right hand.


Avila, from Fairfield, Calif., extended his training camp for his fight against Salinas. He knows what he’ll have to do to come out victorious on August 8.


“I have to use my jab,” Avila said. “And stay busy and use my foot work.”


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