Joet Gonzalez wins split decision over Rafael Rivera, moves to 20-0

Gonzalez prevails against Rivera, remains perfect (0:51)

Joet Gonzalez defeats Rafael Rivera by split decision in their featherweight bout and improves to 20-0. (0:51)

In a close bout featuring two-way action throughout, Joet Gonzalez remained undefeated with a 10-round split decision over Tijuana's Rafael "Big Bang" Rivera in a hard-fought featherweight bout.

The match was the main event of a Golden Boy on ESPN card Friday night at the Novo At LA Live in downtown Los Angeles.

Rivera (25-2-1, 1 NC, 16 KOs) got off to a good start, forcing Gonzalez (20-0, 11 KOs) into the ropes and attacking the body with both hands in an attempt to wear down his opponent.

Gonzalez, 24, of Glendale, California, got his jab working in the third, keeping Rivera, 24, on the outside. Gonzalez opened up even more in the fourth to have his best round so far.

Rivera appeared to outwork Gonzalez in the fifth round, and a slugging match broke out in the sixth, with both boxers hammering away at each other virtually nonstop.

The seventh round was also very close, but a left hook to the body and a right to the head near the bell by Rivera could have been the difference.

With the crowd cheering him on, Gonzalez swept the last three rounds, thanks to the better quality of his punches, which forced Rivera to grab and hold a number of times.

One judge scored the fight 96-94 for Rivera, but the other two judges scored it 96-94 and 97-93 for Gonzalez.

"I thought I dominated him," Gonzalez said. "I feel I won most of the rounds. I'm ready for anybody at 126 pounds."

In the co-feature, Seniesa Estrada (14-0, 4 KOs) stopped Jhosep Vizcaino (7-6, 3 KOs) 20 seconds into the third round of a scheduled eight-round flyweight bout.

Estrada, a 26-year-old from East Los Angeles, knocked down Vizcaino, 22, with a left hook to the head in the first round. She continued to punish her overmatched opponent in the second and knocked down Vizcaino, of Quito, Ecuador, again in the third with a left hook to the body.

Instead of counting, referee Zack Young immediately called a halt to the one-sided bout 20 seconds into the round.

"The more active I am, the better I get," Estrada said. "I'm ready [to box again] tomorrow."

In the TV opener, Maricela Cornejo (12-2, 5 KOs) stopped Samantha Pill (3-1) 41 seconds into the third round of a scheduled six-round super middleweight bout.

After a slow opening round, Cornejo, of Los Angeles, pelted Pill, of Fairmont, West Virginia, with a series of combinations in the second and increased her dominance in the third. After a number of hard punches landed flush, referee Jack Reiss stepped in and halted the one-sided bout.