By Christopher P. Cook at ringside
Undefeated Anthony Mercado (7-0-0, 7 KOs) continued his knockout streak, dominating Javier Perez (8-8-0, 5 KOs). Mercado exploded at the opening bell, pummeling Perez with solid 1-2 combinations. The toll of Mercado’s aggressiveness was clearly evident in the middle of the rounds, with Perez spitting out gobs of blood. In the third round, Marcado landed a hard right to the body, causing Perez to wince and pull away from the action. The corner of Perez immediately stepped in, calling the fight at 0:34 of the round.
In a battle of unbeaten junior featherweights, Samuel Rodriguez (3-0-0, 3 KOs) defeated crowd favorite Jayron Santiago (2-1-0, 1 KO). Santiago took the early advantage, catching Rodriguez with a glancing shot that caused Rodriguez to touch his glove on the canvas for a standing 8 count. Santiago, only 18 years of age, could not keep up with the scrappy Rodriguez. Santiago walked into a solid right hand in the second, leading to a relentless onslaught to end the round. Santiago quit on his stool after the second.
In a one-sided bout, Emanuel DeJesus (11-0-0, 7 KOs) stopped Juan Aguirre (6-13-1, 0 KOs). DeJesus outclassed the journeyman Aguirre, outworking him each round. After four rounds of punishment Aguirre’s corner called off the bout, giving the undefeated DeJesus his eleventh straight victory.
The opening bout showcased Lazar Stojadinovic (1-1-0, 0 KOs) earning his first victory as he squared off against Julio Santos (0-2-0). Santos never found his rhythm and turned to holding early in the bout to stop the cleaner punching Stojadinovic. The referee stepped in during the second round, deducting a point from Santos for excessive holding. Santos also treaded close to another deduction when he threw a cheap shot at the opening bell of the final stanza, where the boxers came together to touch gloves. Scores for the bout were split, 38-37 for Santos, while the other scores favored Stojadinovic 39-36 and 40-35.
Juan Castillo (3-2-0, 2 KOs) took the second bout fairly easily from Luis Rodriguez (1-3-0, 0 KOs) in a four round contest. Castillo began the action with punishing body shots to the midsection of Rodriguez, only to get caught inside by an uppercut in the first, stunning him. Castillo controlled most the pace of the remaining rounds, out throwing and out landing Rodriguez. All three judges were unanimous for Castillo, 39-37 and 40-36 twice.
In a battle of debuting fighters, Moises Hernandez took care of Asaac Smith within two rounds. After a nondescript first, Hernandez took to the offensive in the second, catching Smith with a clean right hook at the 2:40 mark.