LAS VEGAS – Last year’s Contender champion Sergio Mora wondered if he could take a punch and found out in the second round when he was knocked down and rallied to dominate Archak “Shark Attack” Ter-Meliksetian and eventually stop him.
With several thousand anxious fans waiting to see Mora and the other Contender reality show participants in action at the Aladdin Resort and Casino, the East L.A. fighter showed why he’s ranked number 10 by the WBC.
Mora showed a steady exhibition of speed and defense after hitting the canvas by a precise counter-left hook by Ter-Meliksetian (15-4, 12 KOs).
“I tried to find out if he had power and I found out,” Mora (18-0, 4 KOs) said. “My legs went right out from under me.”
After hitting the deck for the first time in his pro career, Mora proceeded to dominate that same round and slipped into another gear and left Ter-Meliksetian in the dust.
“Sugar Ray Leonard told me the best thing that happened to him was getting knocked down against Don LaLonde, he won it easier after that,” said Mora. “That’s what happened to me. It woke me up.”
Round after round Mora’s speed and defense proved to perplexing for his opponent. Ter-Meliksetian was taking a pounding. A strafing attack in the seventh round found Mora punishing his opponent and snapping his head back several times. Referee Robert Byrd stopped the fight at 2:44 in the round. Ter Meliksetian objected vigorously but offered little resistance during the pummeling.
“He’s a big puncher. He has a lot of pride,” said Mora on his opponent’s behalf.
The judges had Mora ahead 58-55, 59-55 twice into the seventh round.
In a fight destined for a rematch, Orange County’s junior middleweight Alfonso Gomez and Las Vegas fighter Jesse Feliciano fought to a brutal eight round majority draw. After two rounds Gomez seemed to be sliding away to an easy victory, then Feliciano began putting on more pressure and scored with right hands that snapped Gomez head back several times in the fourth and fifth rounds.
“I was never hurt,” said Gomez (14-3-2, 5 KOs), who tired visibly in the middle portion of the fight. “His style was awkward.”
Feliciano (14-5-3, 8 KOs) began to tire in the seventh after firing more than 50 punches in the beginning of the sixth round. Gomez, on the other hand, got his second wind and began landing more effective punches. He was satisfied with the result.
“If I win the fight it was good, if I get a draw it’s good,” Gomez said, adding that he would entertain a rematch. “We can fight again.”
It was Feliciano’s second consecutive impressive performance. He beat Vince “Cool” Phillips on national television and has made a resurgence under trainer Jesse Reid.
Jonathan Reid (34-4) used crisper punches against Ryan Davis (19-6-2) in winning a unanimous six round decision 60-54 twice, 59-55. Though neither fighter was dropped, Reid pressured Davis from the onset forcing Davis to slip into a hit and hold mode.
Miguel Espino (11-2-1) captured every round on the judge’s score cards 60-54 to take a six round decision against Gabriel Holguin (19-5) in a junior middleweight bout.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV