Oscar Valdez 18-0 14KO’s answered the call when put to his most solid test to date by dismantling Chris Avalos 26-4 19KO’s inside five rounds tonight on TruTv’s Fight Night Friday series promoted by TopRank.
Valdez simply couldn’t miss with a speed advantage that was noticeable from the onset of the fight. At the end of the third round Valdez landed a left hook with ten seconds to go that shook Avalos prompting his legs to go wonky like a new born giraffe-as he went to the canvas.
Avalos would try to rally but there was no matching the power, speed, and combination punching of the young two-time Mexican Olympian. At 1:17 of the fifth round Valdez landed another hard left hook that shook Avalos badly prompting referee Russel Mora to jump in and mercifully call a good stoppage of the fight.
The stock for Valdez rose based on his performance tonight-and puts him in a position to step into a contender status. With make-able fights available in a loaded division Valdez who trains out of the The Rock gym in Carson, California is going to have options.
Following the fight Valdez said “everything we worked on in our camp-the preparation, countering you saw in the ring tonight.” “We had a perfect game plan, I really didn’t have any problems in the fight.”
Promoter TopRank currently holds Valdez’s contract and the contracts of Nicholas Walters, Vasyl Lomachenko, and Evgeny Gradovich. Outside of his own current stable Bob Arum could matchup Valdez with England’s IBF Champion Lee Selby whom Avalos recently sparred with at The Rock.
The co-main event was a dominant performance by Jesse “Hard Work” Hart 18-0 15KO’s as he beat Aaron Pryor Jr. 19-9-1 12 until referee Tony Weeks had seen enough and stopped the fight at 2:56 in the 9th round for a good stoppage.
Pryor wasn’t able to get off anything that could have slowed or discouraged Hart from throwing and landing virtually everything but the kitchen sink. The performance by Hart was impressive as he showed a nice repertoire of punches and combinations-but it was clear that Hart was fighting down to the level of his competition.
Hart has a lot of upside in an exciting division that could yield some big fight possibilities for the Philadelphia native.
140lb prospect Michael “Yes Indeed” Reed 16-0 9KO’s remained unbeaten as he pummeled Antonio Canas 10-3-1 4KO’s to a 5th round stoppage at 1:25 seconds.
Reed is a prospect to keep an eye on, he does a lot of small things well that will surely propel him to big fights in the future. Reed consistently got off his punches first, cut the ring, and threw punches in bunches.
Coming out the ability and talent difference was immediately clear and, in the 5th round Reed dropped Canas with a nice right upper-cut to the body. The knockdown was the beginning of the end as Reed pounced on Canas prompting referee Jay Nady to step in and call a halt to the action.
The second fight of the evening was a good back and forth fight between undefeated Egor Mekhontsev 10-0 7KO’s and Brazilian Jackson Junior 18-3 16KO’s. Junior dropped Mekhontsev in the 1st and 6th rounds only to lose a unanimous decision on scores of 77-74 by all three judges.
Despite being dropped twice Mekhontsev won the fight on activity over the slower-albeit more power Jackson. Mekhontsev has some more polishing to do but this was a good test against a big puncher with an 88% knockout ratio.
Thomas Smith 1-1 opened the night of action with a unanimous decision victory over Frankie Winton 1-1 1KO on scores of 40-35 on all three judges’ scorecards. Smith scored a knockdown at the end of the fourth to put a stamp on Winton and send him away with his first loss.