By David A. Avila
LOS ANGELES-Lightweight challenger Jose Felix Jr. stopped Alan Herrera (33-9) with a barrage of blows to remain in title contention or at least maintain his place on the lightweight hierarchy on Friday.
Felix (35-1-1, 27 KOs) led a group of prospects at the Sportsman’s Lodge and was able to get a win, but did not seem to have the confidence he had three years ago. Instead, the Mexican from Los Mochis simply showed he was the more gifted fighter.
After two rounds of brief exchanges, Felix connected with a quick right cross that sent Herrera stumbling down. He got up but was unable to fend off another barrage of blows from Felix. Referee Raul Caiz stopped the fight at 1:42 of the third round.
Who knows what’s next for Felix?
One of Southern California’s top prospects, Victorville’s Ryan Garcia (6-0, 5 KOs), cruised to victory by knockout at the end of the second round against Chula Vista’s Mario Aguirre (2-5).
Garcia (pictured) had the height, speed and seemingly the power advantage against Aguirre who almost went down from a punch in the second round. He survived and kept his guard high as he looked for openings against the rapid combinations from Garcia. A few of Aguirre’s punches landed but not enough to deter Garcia from imposing his will. At the end of the second round Aguirre’s corner signaled the fight was over.
The fight probably did not last long enough to size up Garcia’s talent. It may take a while before the tall 135-pounder can be evaluated with a keen eye. What fans were able to see was Garcia proving to be a couple of notches above Aguirre talent-wise. Bigger and tougher tests remain ahead for Garcia. Promoters are gathering their assessments.
Lithuania’s Egid “The Mean Machine” Kavaliauskas (15-0, 12 KOs) nearly stumbled against Las Vegas welterweight tough guy Cameron “Kid” Kreal (8-12-2) but survived to win by unanimous decision. After two rather easy opening rounds, Kavaliauskas ran into a left hook and right uppercut and things suddenly turned around. But Kreal waited a little too long to take advantage and despite winning the last two rounds, all three judges scored it 77-75 for Kavaliauskas. It was the right score but the fight proved to be one of those struggles you had to see in person to understand. It was a very close fight.
Russia’s Maxim Dadashev (4-0, 3 KOs) won by unanimous decision after six rounds versus Compton’s Eddie Diaz (2-6-2) in a mostly one-side super lightweight fight. Dadashev used his jab perfectly and mixed in a withering body attack that kept Diaz from gaining any momentum. All three judges scored all six rounds for Dadashev.