The secret is out. Urbano Antillon is one of the best junior lightweights in the world and needed less than three minutes to prove it against gatekeeper Bobby Pacquiao on Thursday.
Antillon showed the sold out crowd at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino what many in Southern California already know, the Maywood boxer is ready for a world title shot against anybody in his weight class.
“I hope we did, if not, bring on the next one,” said Antillon (22-0, 15 KOs) in his low-key manner about deserving a title shot.
There wasn’t much to the fight. Both Antillon and Pacquiao (28-14-3), the younger brother of Manny Pacquiao, exchanged body shots and combinations. But every time Antillon landed a right hand you could see a reflex from the tough Filipino.
A counter right hand from Antillon made Pacquiao’s legs wobble slightly, but he regrouped. Then came some more right hands through the guard by Antillon, then left hooks to the body and a left uppercut and another left hook to the body crumpled Pacquiao. Referee Joe Cortez counted him out at 2:49 of the first round.
“I heard it from him,” said Antillon after landing the killing blow to the body. “I pretty much didn’t expect him to get up.”
Antillon has been hammering out foes in rapid order. During the last year the junior lightweight had three fights and three knockouts in less than two full rounds. Before that the Maywood boxer suffered numerous injuries that forced him to refrain from fighting much in 2006, but he’s healthy now and ready for a world title opportunity.
Another quick knockout over a quality fighter like Pacquiao proved Antillon is extremely ready.
“My trainer didn’t expect it,” said Antillon of his first round knockout. “Our opportunity has to come.”
Antillon is ranked number two in the WBC behind Manny Pacquiao.
In the main event Tye Fields had no contest, no danger and no opponent in Roderick Willis (13-3-1, 7 KOs) as he pummeled him in 1:37 of the first round of their heavyweight match.
Fields, a very amiable guy with a loveable personality, found Willis too easy to hit with that big left hand. In fact, he found them cheaper by the dozen and brought plenty of them on his opponent’s head to force referee Russell Mora to stop the fight.
“He wasn’t pulling in punches,” said Fields (40-1, 36 KOs) of his opponent who was pulled in as a replacement this week. “He hit me a few times.”
Perhaps Willis was gassed after those six or seven punches he threw because after that, Fields had his day with left after left after left.
Fields, a former basketball player at San Diego State, wants a legitimate threat for his next opponent.
“We want Hasim Rahman,” he said.
Bob Arum, his promoter with Top Rank, said the time is right for his mammoth 275-pound heavyweight.
“He takes a helluva punch,” crowed Arum. “I’d put him in there against Wladimir Klitschko.”
Hmmm. Not a bad idea.
Puerto Rico’s Gamalier Rodriguez (6-1-2) scored a unanimous decision over Mexico’s Jose Navarrete (9-14-2) in a six-round bout. Two judges had it big for Rodriguez 59-54 and 59-53 and the other 57-56. The question here is not the winner, but the judges. Both Patricia Jarman and Dalby Shirley scored it every round for Rodriguez. Plus, one deducted a point from the wrong guy for repeated low blows. It’s time to put these two judges in retirement. For years Shirley has robbed professional boxers of the correct decision. Jarman is another pretty horrible judge. Nevada State Athletic Commission needs to get these chronic bad judges off the rotation. They’re hurting guys who fight for a livelihood and believe me, it’s not fair to the boxers. Rodriguez won the fight, but not every round.
Ana Julaton (3-0) beat up New Mexico’s Clara De La Torre (1-4) in a four-round female junior featherweight bout. The Filipina was too accurate with that right hand and scored a unanimous decision 40-36 twice and 39-37.
Las Vegas bantamweight Alex Mercado (5-0, 4 KOs) didn’t get his knockout but scored a knockdown and won handily over Texan Jose Rios (3-2) in a four-round bout. The judges scored it 40-35 and 39-36 twice for Mercado.
Who will win the Sergey Kovalev vs Andre Ward fight?