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Avila wins NABF title by stopping Salinas


By John J. Raspanti

You can’t call him a prospect anymore.

Manual "Tino" Avila captured the NABF super bantamweight title by scoring a sixth round TKO over former world title challenger Yoandris Salinas at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, Calif. Saturday night.

Avila (18-0, 8 KOs) opened the fight fast. He tattooed Salinas with jabs and sneaky right hands. Salinas looked to counter, but missed most of his shots.

Salinas (21-2-2, 14 KOs) tried to be more aggressive in round two and paid for it. Avila timed his rush perfectly by letting fly with a lead right hand. The blow sent Salinas to all fours with a perplexed look on his face. Up at six, he didn’t have to wait long for Avila to launch an attack.

Avila, who resides in Fairfield, Calif., pushed Salinas into the ropes and let his hands go. A crisp left and right landed.

Salinas fought back in spurts, but it was Avila who was dominating.

Avila, 23, kept up his consistent punching in the next two rounds. Salinas, 29, connected with his best punch of the fight, but Avila took it with without incident. A left hook to the gut by Avila stopped Salinas in his tracks.

The quicker and sharper Avila clipped Salinas with more shots in round six. A combination seemed to stun Salinas, but within seconds he was returning fire.

As the round ended, the Cuban-born Salinas, who fought WBA champion Scott Quigg nearly two years ago, walked slowly to his corner. A few seconds later his team told referee Jack Reiss that the fight was over.

The victory was the most important of Avila’s young career. His dream of fighting for a world title could become a reality next year.


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