INDIO, CA.-Philadelphia’s Eric Hunter scored three knockdowns of El Paso’s Antonio Escalante in the first round and China’s giant Taishan followed suit with another first round knockout win on Friday at Fantasy Springs Casino.
In a neutral site, it was Philadelphia’s Hunter (21-3, 11 Kos) who took control immediately and connected solidly with a leaping left hook to knock down Escalante (29-8, 20 Kos) quickly in the first round. The audience was stunned.
Hunter wasted no time and walked in and delivered a right that floored Escalante for the second time in the first round. The Texan got up but was met with a barrage of blows ending with another right to the chin. Escalante was counted out at 2:45 of the first round.
Heavyweight colossus Taishan (5-0, 3 Kos) of China needed only 2:32 to land a crushing right to Lance Gauch’s (5-9-2, 3 Kos) chin. Referee Ray Corona didn’t bother to count and immediately waved off the fight. Gauch had been doing well and was possibly winning the first round, but Taishan landed the only punch necessary in impressive fashion. Gauch lay on the canvas for more than 10 minutes and was taken by stretcher to a nearby hospital.
Abraham Lopez (18-0-1, 9 Kos) beat Alfred Tetteh (19-4-1, 15 Kos) to the punch and scored a knockout win at 2:49 of round five in their featherweight showdown. A left hook to the ribs of Tetteh sent him down rolling on the floor. It was a perfect shot by La Puente’s Lopez.
A battle between Mexican middleweights ended with Santa Rosalia’s Paul Valenzuela (8-1-1, 5 Kos) handing Tijuana’s Antonio Gutierrez (18-1-1, 8 Kos) his first loss as a pro. Valenzuela landed more clean shots and was much more accurate. Neither fighter was able to hurt each other despite some big bombs landed. Valenzuela won by majority decision.
Joet Gonzalez (10-0, 4 Kos) cruised through eight rounds against Mexican veteran Jose Beranza (36-33-2, 28 Kos) to win by unanimous decision. There were no knockdowns but Gonzalez landed crisp right leads throughout the contest. Beranza has a solid chin and though staggered on occasion was never close to going down.
Darius Irvin (2-0) of Indio defeated Abraham Calderon (0-1) of L.A. by unanimous decision after four rounds of a junior middleweight bout.