ARLINGTON, Texas – Vito Mielnicki Jr. looked like he would score a second straight quick knockout Saturday night.
Steven Pulluaim managed to go the distance with him, though, after Mielnicki scored knockdowns in each of the first two rounds of their six-round welterweight bout. Mielnicki still soundly defeated Pulluaim on all three scorecards, as judges David Jacobucci, Javier Alvarez and Javier Martinez scored it a shutout, 60-52, for Mielnicki on the Errol Spence Jr.-Danny Garcia undercard at AT&T Stadium.
Mielnicki, an 18-year-old welterweight from Roseland, New Jersey, improved to 7-0 (4 KOs). Pulluaim, of Riverside, Missouri, dropped to 5-3 (1 KO).
“It was a great learning experience,” Mielnicki told BoxingScene.com. “It’s the first time I saw rounds five and six. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. I have a lot to learn. On to the next learning-curve fight.”
Mielnicki, who is developing under trainer Joe Goossen, seemed overly reliant on his right hand in the final few rounds, as he tried to knock out Pulluaim. The 30-year-old Pulluaim, who hasn’t been knocked out in eight pro fights, attempted to rough up Mielnicki in the third and fourth rounds, when Mielnicki wasn’t as effective as he had been in each of the first two rounds.
Mielnicki cracked with Pulluaim with an overhand right early in the second round. A body shot by Mielnicki sent Pulluaim to the canvas for the second time in the bout with 1:10 to go in the second round, though Pulluaim claimed that shot hit him below the belt.
Mielnicki scored the first knockdown of the fight about 1:05 into it, thanks to a right hand that landed on the top of Pulluaim’s head. Pulluaim contended that shot him on the back of the head.
In the fight following Mielnicki’s victory, Mexico’s Isaac Avelar overcame game Namibian featherweight contender Sakaria Lukas in a 10-rounder.
Judges Robert Chapa, David Jacobucci and Javier Martinez all scored the action 98-92 for Avelar, who won a unanimous decision to improve to 16-3 (10 KOs). Lukas lost for the first time in nine years as a pro (23-1, 16 KOs).
Sakaria replaced Miguel Flores as Avelar’s opponent on about one week’s notice once Flores moved up on the undercard to face Eduardo Ramirez in a WBA world featherweight championship elimination match. Mexico’s Ramirez was supposed to face countryman Julio Ceja, but Ceja contracted COVID-19 and was forced to withdraw from their fight.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.