VERNON, CA.-Urbano Antillon moved another step toward a world title fight with a convincing knockout win over Puerto Rico’s Juan Ramon Cruz in a lightweight fight on Friday.
A crowd of more than 2,000 appeared at the Alameda Swap Meet to see local favorite Antillon prove once again that he’s ready for a world title opportunity in dispatching the rugged Cruz (15-6-1, 11 KOs).
“That guy was tough,” said Antillon (25-0, 18 KOs). “In the first round I thought I had him but he came back and gave me some too. He was no pushover.”
Antillon, who fights at junior lightweight and lightweight, said this fight proves he’s comfortable at the higher weight class. Against Cruz, he seemed the stronger fighter from the first round when his first right hand counter dropped the Puerto Rican fighter to his knees for a knockdown.
Two more knockdowns followed in the third and the fourth round. By the fourth round it was evident that the brave Puerto Rican boxer was in way over his skill level. Finally, Cruz’s corner threw in the towel and referee Raul Caiz Jr. stopped the fight at 1:35 of the fourth round.
“It wasn’t a stroll in the park,” said Antillon who was tagged with a few punches in trying to end the fight. “But I think I proved I’m ready.”
Former world champion Brian Viloria (24-2, 14 KOs) was supposed to be facing a tough test against San Diego’s Benjie Garcia (13-11-3), whose record is very deceiving. That didn’t happen.
Viloria came out sharp with crisp left hooks and right counters that had Garcia reeling from the opening bell. A double left hook in the second round hurt Garcia who was eventually battered to the ground by a barrage of punches. Referee Jack Reiss counted Garcia out at 1:17 of the second round.
The former Olympian Viloria looked at his best since grabbing the junior flyweight world title several years ago against Erick Ortiz. Garcia had gone 10 rounds with Texas’s super tough Raul Martinez and had beaten former world champion Roberto “Mako” Leyva.
Viloria simply destroyed Garcia.
In a featherweight bout Jose Roman (3-0, 3 KOs) and Arizona’s Gabe Garcia (5-5-1) engaged in a firefight within seconds of the bell. Before the first minute had passed Roman was dropped with a left cross from the southpaw fighter. He got up and both resumed the slug out. A left hook dropped Garcia in the second minute of the first round. He got up but was caught again and battered. Referee Raul Caiz Jr. decided Garcia had taken too much punishment and stopped it at 2:49 of the opening round.
“I wasn’t warmed up,” said Roman who was told before that he would be the fifth bout, not the second. “I knew I could hit him.”
Carlos Molina (5-0, 2 KOs) kept his record perfect with fourth round stoppage over Miami’s Gernier Pit (1-1-1) in a four round lightweight bout. A perfect right hand caught Pit and a swarm of punches forced referee Reiss to stop the fight at 2:17 of the fourth round.
Glenn Gonzales (7-0, 4 KOs) of the Philippines proved too big and strong for Texan Lupe De Leon in a featherweight bout. The left-hander had some problems hitting De Leon but was seldom hit with big punches either. All three judges scored it 60-54 for Gonzalez.
Maywood’s Benjie Diaz (9-1-1) pulled out a split-decision against L.A.’s Alfredo Rivera (0-4) in a four round junior middleweight bout.
Junior middleweight Mario Evangelista (2-1-1) knocked out Mexico’s Jaime Ruiz (0-1) at 1:20 of the first round.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV