Results from Reno, Nevada – Top Rank Boxing
From the Reno-Sparks Convention Center in Reno, Nevada, WBO featherweight world champion Oscar Valdez made the sixth and potentially final defense of his world title before he moves up to super featherweight against undefeated Jason Sanchez.
The first two rounds were close with the champion Valdez getting the slight edge, the third saw Valdez find a winning formula in attacking Sanchez body with a right hand in that round a cut opened up under Sanchez’s left eye. The fifth round saw Oscar Valdez drop Jason Sanchez with a left hook to start the round.
Sanchez in middle rounds didn’t show urgency until getting rocked in the seventh and the two stood toe-to-toe with Sanchez landing his signature overhand right. The two continued their exchanges with a spirited and memorable exchange of the two trading punches coming at the end of the ninth round. No matter how much punishment Valdez gave Sanchez, Sanchez refused to retreat yet the left hook of Valdez proved to be the answer all night long
“The Fighting Pride of Stockton, California” Gabriel Flores Jr. (14-0 6KOs) defeated Salvador Briceno (15-4 9KOs) in Flores’ first eight-round professional bout after a little over a month since his stunning one-punch knockout victory in his homecoming bout in Stockton, Ca.
Flores was consistently first landing the right hand at will and the hook whenever Briceno decided to come forward and swing with Flores Jr. Briceno was the first fighter to try to attack Flores Jr.’s body, but Flores Jr. rallied each time with shots of his own. In the later rounds, they fought in spurts inside and on the outside Flores Jr. getting the best of it. Briceno landed a few good shots, but was predictable and not tricky enough to catch the young Stockton, Ca fighter. By the end of the seventh round, Flores Jr. had rocked back Briceno’s head multiple times as Briceno was just unable to land, but kept coming forward.
The judges saw it 78-74, 78-74 and 79-73 for Flores Jr.
After the fight, Flores Jr. hinted that he could return in a month or two potentially setting up for him to be on the world title unification card between super lightweight world champion Maurice Hooker and his stablemate, Jose Ramirez, who he shares an advisor, Rick Mirigian, as well as a promoter, Top Rank, with.
2016 Brazilian Olympic Gold Medalist and Top Rank featherweight Robson Conceicao (13-0 6KOs) picked up an eight-round decision over Carlos Ruiz (16-7-2 6KOs). Conceicao made a concentrated effort to focus upon a solid body attack and would jump in and out of punching range as well as punching with Ruiz at times.
This win now puts Conceicao within arms reach of a title shot, Conceicao finished his amateur career with an impressive record of 405-15. A name that comes to my mind for a step-up bout would be undefeated twenty win pro out of Arizona Francisco De Vaca.
The judges saw the bout 80-72, 80-72 and 79-73.
Nearby boxer Diego Elizondo (3-0-2 1KO) of Carson City, Nevada and Sergio Vega (2-0-1 2KOs) of Sacramento, Ca battle to a four-round draw. Elizondo was too fast to start the bout as Vega who had a limited amateur career seemed in over his head in the early going as Elizondo who was fast and active consistently being first. The fight switched in the third when Elizondo’s foot speed slowed a bit and Vega was able to catch up to him and landed the much harder punches as well keep Elizondo on the ropes for the entire fourth round.
The judges saw the bout 38-38 on all three scorecards
Light heavyweight contender Michael “Canon Hands” Seals (23-2 17KOs) lived up to his nickname knocking out Christopher Brooker (14-7 5KOs) in the second round of a scheduled ten-round bout.
The bout was tactical, but Brooker kept Seals off balance, and though Brooker never really sat on his punches, Brooker outboxed Seals for the first round. Seals knocked out Brooker brutally with a single overhand right that folded Brooker at 2:00 of the second round. Brooker’s corner thought the punch was in the back of the head and made mention of it multiple times after the bout.
Seals is a suitable dancing partner for either Sergey Kovalev or Oklesandr Gvozdyk, as he is a big puncher with twenty plus fights, but has lost in his only really major step-up in competition to Edwin Rodriguez in 2015.
In the opening bout, super lightweight J.J. Mariano (1-0 1KO) of Reno, Nevada picked up a fourth-round technical knockout over William Flenoy (0-1) of Fresno, Ca in a four-round bout. Mariano had the faster hands and more tools in his boxing arsenal to win the fight. Both fighters looked tense as Mariano looked to have exerted a lot of energy and excitement in making his debut in his hometown, but used mid-range which caused a knockdown in the third round. Flenoy was noticeably hurt by a body shot at the end of the third round, in which he circled away from his opponent without engaging. In the fourth round, Flenoy suffered a shoulder injury halting the bout at 0:45 of the fourth round.