Josh Brueckner didn’t get the knockout he sought Saturday night.
He did leave the ring with a fiancée.
Brueckner, a social media influencer, asked his girlfriend, Katie Betzing, to marry him after he was announced as the winner of his professional boxing debut at Staples Center. Betzing said yes to Brueckner’s proposal.
She sat ringside for his relatively easy, four-round, unanimous-decision victory over Tyler Smith on the Logan Paul-KSI undercard. Detroit’s Brueckner won all four rounds on each scorecard (40-36, 40-36, 40-36).
Smith, of Huntington Beach, California, also made his pro debut. He took this fight on five days’ notice and fought defensively throughout their bout.
Brueckner was the stronger, busier fighter from the beginning of their fight until the end. He mostly loaded up on power shots after drilling Smith with several right hands in the opening round.
Smith defended himself better in the final three rounds, when he picked off a lot of Brueckner’s punches with his gloves and arms. Smith just didn’t land nearly enough punches to keep their contest competitive.
In the fight following Ronny Rios’ knockout, 18-year-old super middleweight prospect Diego Pacheco continued the strong start to his pro career.
Pacheco knocked down Aaron Casper once in the first round and twice late in the fourth round on his way to recording a fourth-round technical knockout. Los Angeles’ Pachecho (7-0, 6 KOs) was declared the winner at 2:49 of the fourth round of a bout scheduled for six rounds.
Casper, of Augusta, Georgia, dropped to 5-4 (4 KOs).
The taller, stronger Pacheco clipped Casper with a right hand that floored him with 36 seconds to go in the fourth round. A courageous Casper got up, but another right hand by Pacheco sent him to the canvas again with 12 seconds left in the fourth round.
Referee Rudy Barragan stopped their fight as soon as Casper went down a third time.
Pacheco caught Casper with an overhand right that caused Casper to hold and a vicious right uppercut within the final minute of the third round.
Pacheco connected with a straight right hand about 1:10 into the opening round. He landed an overhand right that sent Casper to one knee several seconds later.
Earlier Saturday night, Ronny Rios scored another impressive knockout.
The longtime 122-pound contender drilled Hugo Berrio with a picture-perfect right hand that floored Berrio late in the fourth round of their scheduled 12-rounder on the Logan Paul-KSI undercard at Staples Center. Berrio answered referee Thomas Taylor’s count at eight, but Taylor didn’t think Berrio should continue.
Taylor stopped their fight at 2:56 of the fourth round.
Rios (32-3, 16 KOs), of Santa Ana, California, battered Berrio to the body and completely controlled their bout before he knocked down Berrio. His win marked Rios’ second straight knockout.
In his previous bout, Rios knocked out previously unbeaten Diego De La Hoya (21-1, 10 KOs, 1 NC) in the sixth round of another scheduled 12-rounder July 13 in at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
The 29-year-old Rios defended his WBA gold and NABF super bantamweight titles by beating Berrio (28-8-1, 18 KOs, 1 NC), who has been stopped four times in his 10-year pro career. His victory Saturday night, coupled with his win against De La Hoya, could lead toward Rios’ second world title shot.
In the first fight of the night, welterweight prospect Reshat Mati knocked out Cody Peterson in the second round of a fight scheduled for four rounds.
Mati, of Staten Island, New York, upped his record to 5-0 and produced his third knockout. Peterson, of Liberty, Missouri, slipped to 1-6 and suffered the second knockout defeat of his career.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.