Elnur Abduraimov came within mere seconds of matching his quickest win to date.
The 2020 Olympian from Uzbekistan enjoyed a statement making, first-round knockout of Guadalajara’s Leonel Moreno in his latest outing. A left hand to the solar plexus forced Moreno (11-2-1, 9KOs) to the canvas, where referee Edward Hernandez Jr. counted him out at 1:14 of round one Thursday evening on DAZN from Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California.
It has become an increasingly difficult task to find opponents for Abduraimov. Several turned down this assignment before the team settled on Moreno even as the Mexican was more than five pounds over the junior lightweight limit. Abduraimov (10-0, 9KOs) was unbothered, all business from the opening bell and landing heavy leather at a controlled pace until forcing the bitter end. Part of a loaded stable that includes WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol (20-0, 11KOs) and unified junior featherweight titlist Murodjon Akhmadaliev (11-0, 8KOs) who all train under head coach Joel Diaz in this very town, Abduraimov continues to show that he’s well on his way to joining that elite level.
He didn’t give the local fans much time to appreciate his latest win. The 74-second hit was just five seconds shy of his fastest knockout as a pro.
The Diaz stable went 2-0 on the night, as locally-bred Manuel ‘Gucci Meny’ remained perfect following a sensational third-round knockout of Daniel Colula. A left hand following a flurry put Colula flat on his back and out for the night, prompting an immediate stoppage at 1:35 of round three.
Flores boxed smartly behind a long right jab out of the southpaw stance. The Coachella-based bantamweight cut off the ring effectively and boxing on the move on the occasions he would get touched by Colula’s right hand. A similar sequence drew a rise out of Flores, who let his hands go and forced Colula in a corner. A series of power shots concluded with a sweeping left hand that forced Colula flat on his back to produce the end of the fight.
Flores improves to 13-0 (10KOs), picking up his fifth consecutive knockout.
Eric Tudor resumed his knockout ways in a venue that saw him go the distance just two months ago. It was a different story this time around for the unbeaten Fort Lauderdale, Florida native, who earned a second-round stoppage of Edgar Valenzuela. Tudor floored Mexico’s Valenzuela twice, the latter forcing referee Edward Hernandez Jr. to halt the contest at 2:04 of round two in their junior middleweight contest.
Tudor was admittedly disappointed with his previous outing, a six-round decision win over Donte Stubbs on May 12 in this very venue. The 20-year-old had only fought a combined 5:20 in three previous fights before going all six. He was made to feel Valenzuela’s power early on before bringing his own heat.
Once Tudor hit his stride, Valenzuela was unable to keep pace. The second knockdown forced Valenzuela to spit out his mouthpiece, prompting the referee to stop the onslaught. It was met with a mild protest by the unbeaten Mexican, who suffered his first defeat in falling to 8-1 (7KOs). Tudor improves to 5-0 (4KOs).
Jasmine Artiga escaped her West Coast debut with her unbeaten record still intact. The crowd wasn’t exactly feeling the outcome, lustily booing the split decision verdict awarded in favor of Tampa’s Artiga over Amy Salinas (4-2, 0KOs) in their entertaining six-round battle.
Salinas managed to win 58-56 on the scorecard of Damian Walton, overruled by judges Daniel Sandoval (58-56) and Pat Russell (an absurd 60-54) who favored Artiga’s cleaner punching to Salinas’ relentless aggression.
Artiga—a former pro football player with LFL’s Tampa Breeze before taking on boxing at age 21—used every inch of the ring in her best effort to outbox the relentless Salinas. The size difference was quickly negated by the squat Salinas, who worked her way inside and applied constant pressure. Artiga (9-0-1, 5KOs) maintained her composure, connecting with long, clean punches but often outworked by Las Cruces, New Mexico’s Salinas, whose activity clearly resonated with the crowd.
Headlining the show, unbeaten Jousce Gonzalez (12-0-1, 11KOs) faces Ecuador’s Jose Angulo (14-2, 7KOs) in a scheduled eight-round lightweight bout.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox