Diego Elizondo heads south for Saturday night fight

Diego Elizondo goes out of state Saturday for the first time to face Desmond Lyons.
Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

Diego Elizondo doesn’t know much about his next opponent other than he is the favorite.

On Saturday, the 135-pound lightweight boxer from Carson City faces Desmond Lyons, who has won six of his seven professional bouts. Elizondo, 21, has a 2-2-2 record and is seeking his first win since November 2017. The venue is the Staples Center in Los Angeles, making it Elizondo’s first fight outside of Nevada. It will also be his first six-round bout. The card is headlined by undefeated middleweights Amilcar Vidal and Edward Ortiz. It will be broadcast starting at 5 p.m. on FS1 and FOX Deportes.

“I’m considered the underdog and at this point of my career, they’re trying to use me,” Elizondo said on Wednesday. “That gives me motivation. I am going to prove you wrong.”

Once a fighter suffers a loss, it’s difficult to get a fight with an opponent with a lesser record. Most undercard bouts feature a favorite and an underdog. If he’s labeled a working fighter, Elizondo doesn’t mind. After all, he has a day job, wife and baby daughter and no compunction about taking on anyone in the ring.

Diego Elizondo connects in his October 2019 bout with Mike Sanchez.
Michael Smyth / Tahoe Onstage

After winning his first two fights, Elizondo has had four close matches. His losses were by majority decision to undefeated Eric Puente and by unanimous decision to undefeated Mike Sanchez, with two of the judges scoring it 38-37. Sanchez scored a knockdown with a body shot in the third round and that was the difference in the fight.

Elizondo has had some growing pains as a pro, in which judging differs from the amateur ranks. Tall and lanky, Elizondo, a left-hander, has a classic boxer style, using a jab to score points. A fighter with a slugger style goes for powerful knockout punches. As a pro, Elizondo has lost some rounds despite landing more punches.

He took his last fight on three weeks notice, and he faded in the final two rounds and lost the decision. This time, he’s had six weeks to prepare. He recently sparred 13 rounds in one day.

“My condition feels good, Elizondo said. “I’ve trained differently. More explosively with sprints and stairs and hills. But everything is different under the lights. Come Saturday night, I just plan on doing a great job.”

Father and son, Diego and Jose Elizondo. Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

Elizondo’s father, Jose, and nephew, Christian, will be the cornermen.

Elizondo said he knows little about Lyons, and an internet search revealed no fight video but two newspaper articles.

Lyons, 22, is a right-hander from North Augusta, South Carolina, which is north of the Savannah River that serves as the flowing Georgia state line. He lost his only fight to the one opponent he’s faced with a winning record, Joshuah Hernandez, who scored the win in his hometown Chicago on May 18, 2019.

Lyons wins have come against dubious opposition. He scored unanimous decisions over Michael Doyle (2-14-1) and Matt Murphy (3-29-3) and he won by knockout against Gabriel Braxton (2-25).

An article published before his pro debut in 2018 in his hometown news source WRDW, reported that Lyons started boxing at the age of 6 and had more than 100 amateur bouts. He is trained by Charles “C.J.” Jones. His strength and conditioning coach, Abrian “Abe” Medlock said, “I think the sky is the limit with him, just because of his personality, just because of his physical ability. His mental capacity is astronomical.”

Lyons boxes out the of the North Augusta Boxing Academy, which was co-founded by his father, Nicholas Lyons.

Lyons has 32 rounds of professional experience compared to Elizondo’s 24. However, the Carson City fighter has the experience of fighting in a Covid-19 “bubble.” Lyons’ last bout was Oct. 4, 2019, before the pandemic, a unanimous decision in Houston over Omar Garcia (6-9).

Boxing with no fans in arena is “definitely weird,” Elizondo said. “You still enter with music but (normally) you hear people cheering. It’s an awkward silence. You can hear the corners talking. I can hear my dad very clearly and you can hear the other corner. You can hear the promoter and matchmaker talking on the sidelines.”

  • FS1 PBC Fight Night
  • 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 14
  • Staples Center, Los Angeles
  • Broadcast: FS1 and Deportes
  • Amilcar Vidal, 11-0, 10 KOs, vs. Edward “The Hunter” Ortiz, 10-0-2, 4 KOs, middleweights, 10 rounds
  • Efetobor Apochi, 9-0, 9 KOs, vs. Joe Jones, 11-2, 8 KOs, cruiserweights, 10 rounds
  • Henry “World Star” Arredondo, 7-0, 4 KOs, vs. Eros Correa, 9-0, 7 KOs, featherweights, 8 rounds
  • Desmond Lyons, 6-1, 2 KOs, vs. Diego Elizondo, 2-2-2, lightweights, 6 rounds*

ABOUT Tim Parsons

Tim Parsons
Tim Parsons is the editor of Tahoe Onstage who first moved to Lake Tahoe in 1992. Before starting Tahoe Onstage in 2013, he worked for 29 years at newspapers, including the Tahoe Daily Tribune, Eureka Times-Standard and Contra Costa Times. He was the recipient of the 2011 Keeping the Blues Alive award for Journalism.


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