Hairon Socarras has made his way back to the ring and to the win column.
The Miami-based Cuban featherweight had his way with late-assigned foe Julio Buitrago, stopping the fleshy Nicaraguan in the 3rd round of their curtain raiser Friday evening at Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, Florida.
No knockdowns were scored in the bout, with the fight stopped at the request of Buitrago’s corner at 1:53 of round three of their Telemundo-televised contest.
Socarras (23-1-3, 14KOs) fought for the first time in exactly 52 weeks, when he suffered his first career defeat in a 9th round stoppage loss to current featherweight contender Ryan Walsh last October in Bethnal Green, England. The return came complete with a new look, boasting a spectacularly styled purple and blue hairdo, and a reminder of what he’s capable of at his best in the ring.
Buitrago (13-24) was well out of his element in this contest, moving weighing in at a career heaviest 136 pounds in taking the assignment on short notice. Socarras exploited his opponent’s poor conditioning and preparation, touching the body as often as possible while also walked down Buitrago in each round.
An accumulation of punishment clearly caught up to Buitrago, who was simply moving in reverse around the ring while also contending with a cut over his left eye. Socarras landed right hands upstairs in targeting the wound, along with left hook to the chin and well-placed body shots. It was enough for Buitrago’s corner, who waved their arms to signal to the referee to stop the contest midway through round three.
Socarras is now 17-0-2 in his home state of Florida, having now won his last seven in the Sunshine State.
Miami-based Georgian lightweight Otar ‘Pitbull’ Eranosyan handed Puerto Rico’s Luis ‘Purin’ Valentin (3-0, 1KO) his first career defeat, scoring a six-round unanimous decision in their battle of unbeaten prospects. Eranosyan (2-0, 1KO) lived up to his ring moniker, relentless in his attack as he twice dropped Valentin who was fighting outside of P.R. for the first time in his young career.
The first knockdown came in round two, with Valentin hitting the deck after absorbing a left hook to the body. Eranosyan steadily remained on the attack, though Valentin did his best to make a fight out of it. His bravery came at a price, as he was dropped once again in the sixth and final round, courtesy of a right hand. The sequence wrapped up an already assured points win for Eranosyan, who won by scores of 58-53, 58-54 and 57-55.
Former amateur standout Omar Rosario (2-0, 0KOs) picked up his second win in Telemundo’s Kissimmee bubble, scoring a four-round unanimous decision over Matt Gavers (1-5-1, 0KOs). Scores were 40-36 acorss the board for Rosario, a 22-year old junior welterweight from Caguas, Puerto Rico who scored a four-round shutout of Solon Staley in this very venue just six weeks ago in his pro debut after declining an opportunity to represent his island next summer in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Rosario’s former amateur teammate, Bryan Polaco advanced to 3-0 (2KOs) following a four-round unanimous decision win over Jonathan Ryan Burrs (2-3). The bout marked the first time that Polaco was extended beyond the opening round in his young career. The 22-year old southpaw from Fajardo scored quick hit knockouts of Elliott Brown and Joshua Sikes in a pair of summertime appearances onsite.
Despite entering the pro ranks, Polaco still plans to represent Puerto Rico in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, serving as the island’s best shot at capturing a medal next summer.
All bouts served in supporting capacity to a Telemundo-headlining featherweight clash between Dennis ‘El Martillo’ Contreras and unbeaten Carlos Efrain ‘El Stich’ Flores.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox