Five promising young stars proved they’re fighters with big careers ahead of them as they made their pro debutsin the Ringstar Sports promoted Premier Boxing Champions showon FS1 & FOX Deportes on Sunday, April 9 from The Novo at L.A. Live.
The televised opener featured celebrated 2016 U.S. Olympian Karlos Balderas earning a powerful stoppage in his professional debut over Thomas Smith. Balderas stalked Smith with precision and forced Smith’s corner to throw in the towel following the first round.
Also featured that event evening were a slew of talented fighters who made their highly anticipated professional debuts including;
n 2016 Mexican Olympian and Bronze medalist Misael Rodriguez secured a unanimous decision over Brian True in a four-round slugfest.
n 2016 Lithuanian Olympian Eimantas Stanionis landed an array of big power shots and combinations against Rasheed Lawal. Stanionis put the pressure on with two swarming attacks in the first round, the second onslaught proved too much for Lawal and forced the referee to stop the fight in round one (2:35).
n Lindolfo Delgado stopped Luis Silva in round three (:33). Delgado knocked Silva down with a vicious uppercut in the second round and Silva never fully regained himself before his corner stopped the fight in the third frame.
n Money Powell IV used his height and reach advantage to dominate Todd Templeton, knocking Templeton down twice and then stunning him a third time before the referee stopped the action in the first round (2:55).
Here is what the media had to say following their bouts:
“Balderas made his pro debut and did what he was expected to do, which is look impressive against an overmatched opponent in Smith, 29, of Dallas. Balderas blasted away at Smith with head and body punches throughout the opening round, after which he retired on his stool.” – ESPN
“His [Karlos Balderas] career got off to a good start as he halted Smith in a single round, his opponent opting not to leave his corner for the second frame….He’s young enough to grow, get the right fights at the right time and then strike when his team feels he’s ready. And while Balderas showed in making it to the quarterfinals of the 2016 Rio Games that he had the potential to strike gold in 2020 if he stuck around the amateur ranks, he would rather join his teammates Shakur Stevenson, Nico Hernandez and Claressa Shields in chasing a pro title.” – Boxing Scene
“Balderas, along with silver-medalist Shakur Stevenson, was among the most sought-after recruits from the Olympics.” – LA Times
“Balderas has the electrifying athleticism and fights like a human hunter seeking missile. He quickly established his credentials with some flashy combinations that overwhelmed his opponent Thomas Smith in their lightweight fight” – The Sweet Science
“In his pro debut, 2016 U.S. Olympian Karlos Balderas (1-0, 1 KO) battered Thomas Smith (3-5-1, 2 KOs) for three minutes and got the TKO win when Smith opted to not come out for round two.” – Fight News
“The 20-year-old from Santa Maria made a huge statement in his professional debut. Fighting at the Novo in L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles, Balderas thoroughly dominated Thomas Smith.” – KEYT News
“The professional boxing career of Santa Maria native Karlos Balderas got off to a smashing start Sunday night at the Novo at L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles.” – San Luis Obispo Tribune
“Stanionis, also on the Novo card Sunday, is knocking out Miguel Cotto’s pro sparring partners at Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, according to Stanionis’ trainer Freddie Roach.” – LA Times
“2016 Lithuanian Olympian Eimantas Stanionis (1-0, 1 KO) landed punches in bunches against Rasheed Lawal (1-5-1). Stanionis applied pressure with two swarms of punches in the first round, the second barrage proving too much for Lawal and forced the referee to stop the fight in round one (2:35)” – Boxing Scene
“Most impressively, Lithuanian Olympian Eimantas Stanionis showed precision power in a destructive first-round stoppage of Ventura’s Rasheed Lawal.” – LA Times
“Stanionis, 22, was a highly sought-after Olympian. He has relocated to Los Angeles to live and train as he gets his career going. Roach has been impressed with him.” – ESPN
“Early into the fight Misael found himself feeling the pro punches as his opponent landed clean but Misael showed the ability to take them comfortably and return fire to gain the upper hand after the second round managing to work soundly and take home a unanimous decision for his pro debut in front of his supporters.” – Boxing Insider
“Misael Rodriguez is the future of boxing.” – World Champion Abner Mares
“Mexico’s Lindolfo Delgado followed with a third-round TKO stoppage of Tijuana’s Luis Silva. After dropping Silva late in the second round, super-lightweight Delgado unleashed his impressive power punches again to inspire Silva’s corner to throw in the towel 32 seconds into the third.” – LA Times
Junior welterweight Lindolfo Delgado (1-0, 1 KO), 22, a 2016 Mexican Olympian, dropped Luis Silva (3-10, 2 KOs), 30, of Mexico, with an uppercut in the second round before Silva’s corner threw in the towel at 33 seconds of the third round.” – ESPN
“Junior middleweight Money Powell IV (1-0, 1 KO), 19, of Fort Mitchell, Alabama, who would have been a top candidate to make the 2020 U.S. Olympic team, dropped Los Angeles’ Todd Templeton (0-1) twice before getting the knockout with five seconds left in the first round.” – ESPN