Max Ornelas entered the ring Friday sporting scarlet and gray trunks with the letters UNLV stitched on the right side.
It was the perfect homecoming that ended with Ornelas strapping his first boxing belt over his stylish trunks.
Ornelas defeated Tony Lopez by unanimous decision (79-73, 80-72, 79-73) in the eight-round bantamweight main event at Cox Pavilion on the UNLV campus.
“A lot of people don’t like to fight in their hometown because they get nervous about not performing well, but Max loves it and thrives on it,” said Gil Martinez, Ornelas’ trainer.
The crowd erupted with approval after the ring announcer crowned Ornelas the new owner of the NABA United States title.
Ornelas, a criminal justice major at UNLV, controlled the pace with his jab and didn’t allow Lopez to muster any offense.
“What people need to realize and understand is that he’s still a kid,” Martinez said about Ornelas. “He’s only 19 years old and he is so poised for his age, and he’s only going to get better.
“In a couple years when Max gets his man strength, I don’t think anybody is going to want to face him.”
Ornelas, who graduated from Eldorado High, improved to 11-0-1 with four knockouts.