Santa Ana's Ronny Rios and Coachella's Julio Diaz both moved up in weight and found success before a loud crowd at Fantasy Springs Casino on Saturday.
Rios (19-0, 9 KOs) move up a weight division to face Oxnard's veteran David Rodela (16-7-3, 7 KOs), a fierce warrior known for giving 100 percent every time. Though Rodela had the height advantage he just couldn't keep the pace against the younger Rios.
The Orange County prizefighter found it very tough for the first six rounds with Rodela never stepping back an inch. But after six rounds Rodela just couldn't maintain the firepower to match Rios and slowly the momentum edged more and more toward Rios.
In round nine Rios took a more aggressive approach and though Rodela tried to match the output, he simply covered up and found himself battered with a dozen blows. Referee Jerry Cantu wisely stopped the fight at 1:14 of round nine.
In the semi-main event Diaz (39-7, 28 KOs) proved moving to welterweight is a good thing in knocking out hard-hitting Colombian Henry Aurad (14-5-1, 11 KOs) with some rocket right hands on Saturday.
Diaz was the local hero at Fantasy Springs Casino and gave his fans hope that he's still a force in the professional boxing business. Diaz had claimed losing weight was becoming an obstacle and showed that fighting at 147 pounds conserved his energy level.
After a slow first round Diaz attacked and evaded all of the incoming bombs from Aurad in round two. Round three saw Diaz lose some of the ring rust and drop Aurad with a short right cross. From then on the Coachella prizefighter was in control and Aurad tried his best to stay away from Diaz. Nothing worked.
As Aurad circled rapidly around the ring Diaz caught the Colombian with every punch thrown. Finally, at 54 seconds of round five, three jaw-breaking right hands knocked down Aurad for good.
During the introduction both fighters Angel Osuna and Eddie Hunter shoved each other, then the official fight began and Coachella's Osuna (9-3-1, 5 KOs) got his revenge with two knockdowns of Seattle's Hunter (6-8-2) and a knockout in round one. Osuna knocked down Hunter with a three-punch combo. He beat the count but a follow-up battering by Osuna saw Hunter look for cover but it was too late. A right hook connected and Hunter went down face first for a knockout at 2:00 of round one.
Portland's southpaw junior middleweight Willie Williams (5-1, 3 KOs) knocked out Palm Springs' Kenny Williams (3-1-1) at 1:37 of round two. The taller left-handed Williams floored Williams at the end of the first round with a left-right-left combination . The final knockout came from a right hook-left cross combination that forced referee Eddie Hernandez to stop the fight without a count.
Julian Ramirez (3-0, 2 KOs) used a body attack and aggressiveness to defeat fellow East L.A. featherweight Christian Navarro (0-1) after four rounds. All three judges scored it 40-36 for Ramirez.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV