Dallas – The untelevised portion the Mikey Garcia vs. Juan Manuel Lopez card at the American Airlines Center Saturday night was packed full of prospects promoted by Top Rank.
Oscar Valdez (6-0, 5 KOs) continued his impressive rise up the professional ranks of the featherweight division with a swift demolition of Gil Garcia (5-5-1, 1 KO). Valdez looked as if he might be in tough against Garcia first, but then turned up the heat in the second round. Valdez dropped Garcia with a beautifully savage overhand right, then overwhelmed Garcia after he dared to get up from it. The fight was stopped by referee Laurence Cole in the second at 2:32 after a series of unanswered punches.
“Dangerous” Ryan Davis found himself in deep and dangerous waters against rugged talent Vanes “The Nightmare” Martirosyan (33-0-1, 21 KOs). Frankly, Davis isn’t the sort of the competition Martirosyan (pictured post-win, in Chris Farina-Top Rank photo) wants or needs right now in his career. Nonetheless, he did his part by making short work of Davis, who earned the distinction of being the only fighter this writer has ever seen to wear pink and black-striped leggings into a boxing ring.
It was clear from the beginning who’d be the victor. Martirosyan was the stalker, Davis, the prey. In the second round, Martirosyan landed three hard right hands in a row to send Davis to the canvas. He picked himself up back onto his feet but was pummeled back down again shortly thereafter. Davis’ corner did the right thing by asking referee Neal Young to stop it, who reluctantly obliged at 2:01 of round two.
“This was just a stay busy fight,” Martirosyan admitted afterwards. “I want big fights.”
Punishing bodywork did the deed for welterweight Mikael Zewski (20-0, 15 KOs) early on in his battle against Damian Frias (19-8-1, 10 KOs). The Canadian prospect landed a three-punch combination to Frias’s midsection to send him down to his knees in misery. Frias got up, but Zewski now knew the drill.
Zewski was aggressive but not wild. He worked his way in with good form and sent hard shots downstairs as much as he could get away with it. Hooks, uppercuts…even jabs went hard to the torso of Frias. That isn’t to say Zewski ignored Frias’ head. Rather, Zewski was intentional in his efforts to utilize the information presented to him in the first: Arias didn’t like getting hit to the body.
Arias did a good job of keeping covered. He was hittable but didn’t open himself up much by throwing anything significant. He mostly jabbed and threw arm punches. He did seem to feel he landed enough to showboat now and again, despite not doing much to win rounds.
The pace slowed after the fifth. Zewski seemed to tire a bit, and some of the snap on this punches dwindled. He turned the dial back up in the eighth, only to be stunned himself by the now invigorated punching of Arias. The two finished the round like most hoped the entire fight would’ve gone: letting their hands go fast and furiously.
All three judges at ringside scored the bout 77-74 for Zewski.
Middleweight Kurtiss Colvin (8-1, 7 KOs) kicked things off by scoring a TKO in round five over Angel Sigala (8-4, 2 KOs). Both fighters came to fight and impressed the spectators who’d arrived at 6 pm for the opening bell.
John Karl Sosa (7-0, 5 KOs) used fast hands and terrific talent to knockout ill-fated Ramon Alejandro Pena (7-3, 5 KOs) in round number two of their welterweight encounter. The undefeated prospect from Caguas, Puerto Rico looks like he might have the goods to become a real force someday.
Undefeated super bantamweight prospect Tony Lopez was too much for game challenger Jonathan Hernandez. Lopez threw sharp, educated punches with real force until he obliterated Hernandez down to the welcoming canvas with a twisting overhand left. The highlight reel style knockout came at 33 seconds of round four. Hernandez did his best to match the hard-charging Lopez punch for punch, but it was to no avail. Lopez landed the cleaner, harder punches the entire night, at no time more apparent than in the final seconds.
Middleweight Matt Korobov (20-0, 12 KOs) lulled opponent Ossie Duran (27-11-2, 10 KOs) into thinking it’d be a slow and easy contest in the first round of their scheduled eight rounder. So much so, in fact, that one irate local Texan screamed at the men with a thick Texas twang to throw punches.
“You’re in Texas,” he admonished. “Throw some punches!”
It must’ve worked. Duran hit the canvas hard in the second after a hard left hook from Korobov detonated on his chin. He made it up and through the round, but was finished off in the third by an equally devastating left hook downstairs.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV