Felix Jimenez wasn't expecting a third round, but in the end, what he did in the first two spoke for itself.
Jimenez beat Wade Baldwin by unanimous decision in an all-Estevan main event at Hard Knocks 28 on Saturday at Spectra Place.
After holding the upper hand in the first two rounds, Jimenez (2-2) said he was surprised that the fight went the distance.
"He was ready for my guillotine chokes, I guess. In training, I used to do it to him all the time. He was ready for that," Jimenez said.
"I know he was tired. I was tired too, but I know he was more tired than I was."
Jimenez had Baldwin (1-3) in a deep choke a couple of times, but wasn't able to close the deal.
"The first one, I had it pretty deep there. I thought he was going to (go) limp there, but I guess the only way they were going to stop that one was if he passed right out, because the ref, I think was on his side, but that's all right."
Baldwin said he was trying to wait out the chokes in the hope of tiring out Jimenez.
"He was really playing that choke pretty heavy, but he never really had it sunk in, so I was just hoping he'd gas his arms out."
Baldwin conceded that he lost the first round, but thought the second round was even, partly due to Jimenez being deducted a point.
"I think I started out good and then it seemed like I was a little hesitant to engage after awhile. I think I was applying lots of pressure, and then I kinda just gave up on it and stood back and let him dictate where the fight went," he said.
"He countered most of what I was trying to do to him. He had a good game plan."
Other than a late flurry of strikes, there was little action in the third round as both fighters were worn out. That led to booing from the crowd.
"It's expected. I'd boo (us) too. You want to see action non-stop when you're in the crowd, so I don't blame them for that at all," said Baldwin.
Still, the audience was fired up for the fight, with both locals getting their share of support.
"They were going for both, for me and him, so it was good," said Jimenez. "I could hear the crowd in the third round (chanting), 'Felix! Felix!' and I dug down a little bit deeper after that."
There were five other Estevan fighters on the card, with two of them winning.
Matthew McCormick won his first bout, needing only 53 seconds to defeat former Estevan Bruin Lee Ruff by technical knockout, using a choke.
Derek Daku (3-1) was not tested in his fight against Allan Bogle of Toronto, who was clearly overmatched.
Daku needed just over a minute to win by TKO, knocking Bogle down with a left and using the ground-and-pound to end the fight.
"He was a big dude, he had just about 40 pounds on me, but I don't know if he was quite prepared for the fight. Maybe he figured (with) my age, he'd have a chance to do a little better, I don't know," said Daku.
"The way I got him with that left hook was exactly what I was shown last weekend (while training in Las Vegas)."
After his fight, Daku publicly challenged Devon Smith, who was in the building as a corner for a La Ronge fighter, to a rematch. Smith defeated Daku in a heavyweight title fight at Hard Knocks 24.
"I don't care if it's in Langbank, Saskatchewan in the back alley, I don't care, I just want a chance," Daku said in an interview later.
Kurt Bailey (9-7) lost in the second-last fight of the evening, with Humboldt's Corey Atkinson defeating him by TKO via rear naked choke midway through the first round.
Craig Gaudry (2-2) lost to Meelad Hashtee of Toronto, tapping out during a guillotine choke with just three seconds left in the first round.
Mike Geib (0-3) pulled out of his fight with Brandon's Kevin Taylor after the first round, when he incurred a knee injury.
Sandy Lake's Ian Abbott had the only knockout of the night against Nic Dupasquier of Winnipeg. Abbott landed a solid kick to the head, followed by a blow to the neck area that ended the fight with 22 seconds left in the first round.
In other action, it was Ryan Starkell over Zachary Atkinson (referee stoppage) in an all-Winnipeg bout; Christian Olson of La Ronge over Nic Grandbois of Kenora, Ont. (injury); Brandon's Ethan Cornect over Calgary's Chris Wilson (TKO); Harold Brun of Kenora over Miguel Tock of Lethbridge, Alta. (tapout);
Curtis Richard of Thunder Bay, Ont. over Joshua Ferguson of Brandon (TKO); Calgary's Justin Hill over Kenora's Cody Puls (submission); and Derek Lapierre of Brandon over Kenora's Madison Mejia (tapout).