RINGSIDE IN STUDIO CITY — Prospects got their shot to prove their worth on Top Rank’s Southern California venue with Erick De Leon winning by knockout on Friday in the main event.
Detroit’s De Leon (15-0, 9 KOs) delivered a body shot in the fourth round to end the fight against Jose Salinas (10-3-1) in front of several hundred fans at Sportsman’s Lodge in Studio City. The super featherweight establishes himself as one of the top dogs in the Top Rank stable.
For those who are unaware, the Midwest is also home to many Mexican immigrants and De Leon happens to live in Detroit. Other cities like Chicago and Pittsburgh have seen Mexican kids fill their boxing gyms too. Atlanta and New York City have also seen big boosts in their areas too.
De Leon looks ready for some kind of title shot with his solid performance on Friday.
In a welterweight match South El Monte’s Arnold Barboza (15-0) started out quickly against Denver’s Johnny Rodriguez (8-2-1) and won the first two rounds with ease. But Rodriguez made adjustments by shortening his punches and began to catch the taller fighter repeatedly. In the end it was Barboza’s accuracy and combinations that gained him the victory by unanimous decision. Rodriguez proved to be a stiff test.
In three welterweight fights featuring Eastern European prospects: Russia’s Bakhram Murtazaliev (8-0, 6 KOs) beat down Josue Obando (14-13-1) and eventually won by knockout in the fourth round of their super welterweight match.
Russia’s Max Dadashev (6-0, 5 KOs) needed the six rounds to finish Jerome Rodriguez (7-5-3) at 1:14 of the round. Referee Jack Reiss stopped the pounding as Rodriguez stood against the ropes in their junior welterweight contest.
Russia’s Alexander Besputin (6-0, 5 KOs) was unable to win by knockout in his win over Gilberto Pereira Dos Santos (12-5) but scored a decision win after six rounds.
One local prospect who didn’t pass the test was Santa Ana’s Bryan Flores (5-1, 1 KO) who couldn’t find the range or the timing to beat El Paso’s Evan Torres (6-2, 5 KOs). Right from the start Torres seemed to have the better idea of what to do and managed a split decision win to end Flores undefeated streak in their middleweight fight.
Brazil’s Robson Conceicao (2-0, 1 KO), his country’s only Olympic gold medalist, blasted away on Aaron Ely (3-1) and knocked him down twice in the first round in a firefight. In the second round Ely was unable to recover from another assault and the super featherweight fight was stopped at 1:06 of the second round by referee Jack Reiss. The former Olympian suffered a cut during his exchange but was able to score his first knockout as a professional. He made his debut on the Manny Pacquiao-Jessie Vargas fight card in Las Vegas last November.
In other bouts Alexander Enriquez (3-0-2) and Josue Morales (4-4-3) fought to a draw after a four round super bantamweight bout; Devon Lee (2-0) knocked out Dean Risher (1-2) in a super lightweight match and Kevin Valle (3-0) defeated Gabe Gutierrez (4-5) by decision after a four round lightweight fight.
Photo credit: Mikey Williams
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