LOS ANGELES-Former Olympian Gary Russell Jr. put on a dazzling exhibition of speed in dispatching former world champion Mauricio Pastrana on Thursday in front of a boxing crazy audience.
If ever you see a sure thing it?s the flashy southpaw Russell (11-0, 8 KOs) from Capital Heights, Maryland whose blinding punches set down yet another opponent quickly at the Club Nokia Theater in front of more than 1,500 fans.
The crowd seemed awestruck.
Pastrana (35-15-2, 24 KOs) is no longer a minimum weight prizefighter but he?s a canny boxer who can upset a fighter or two that?s not careful. In this match he was absolutely out-classed and in every aspect of the game.
After some tenuous exchanges Russell cornered Pastrana and unloaded about 14 punches that were so quick and powerful that the Colombian fighter simply sunk to the canvas with a stream of blood dribbling down his firehead. The fight was called off at 1:46 of the first round for a knockout win for Russell.
?I felt really strong. I was expected tougher competition. I knew he came with his A game but I worked hard in the gym and God has my back,? said Russell. ?I knew I hurt him with the right hook and just went in and finished him.?
NestorRocha (22-2, 8 KOs), who fought for the bantamweight world title a year ago, made short work of San Diego?s Benji Garcia (14-16-3). A left hook to the head wobbled Garcia and then a left hook to the body collapsed Garcia. Referee Jack Reiss counted out Garcia at 45 seconds of the second round.
?I want to fight Jose Navarro next, then Abner Mares, and then another world title shot,? said Rocha.
A junior welterweight fight between two East Los Angeles prospects erupted immediately into a slugfest between Oscar Andrade (2-0) and Ramon Valadez (1-1). The taller Andrade used his powerful left hand to land uppercuts and multiple left crosses. In the third round Valadez, who?s a stable mate of super prospect Frankie Gomez, caught the left-hand crazy Andrade with a right counter that wobbled him. Valadez attacked and nearly had Andrade stopped but the taller fighter returned fire in the final 20 seconds though he lost the round. Referee Lou Moret saw that Andrade was still firing and let the fight continue. In the fourth and final round Andrade dominated with multiple left hands until the final bell. It was one of the best four round fights of the year so far.
All three judges scored it 39-37 for Andrade.
?It is totally different than the amateurs,? said Andrade. ?It?s much more difficult fighting without the head gear.?
Long Beach?s David Morales (1-1) dropped John Willoughby (2-4) in the first round with a left hook and cruised to victory after four rounds of a lightweight bout. It was Morales first win as a professional.
San Diego?s Angel Estrada (5-0-1) used combinations and movement to win by unanimous decision over Texan Raul Tovar (7-4-1) by unanimous decision 39-37. Tovar slipped into overdrive a little too late when he captured the last round with some solid right hands and more pressure. But the Mission prizefighter seems to be more comfortable in longer fights.
East L.A.?s Xavier Montelongo used his snapping jab and quick fists to beat Stockton?s taller Jose Iguinega after three rounds in a lightweight clash. Montelongo was able to land my score combinations and avoid Iguinega?s big counter blows to win by decision.
East L.A.?s Rogelio Ramirez outscored Pasadena?s Gerardo Hernandez in a junior lightweight fight that was void of jabs. Both simply unloaded.