LAS VEGAS – Raymond Muratalla made the most of his first opportunity on a huge stage Saturday night.
The lightweight prospect picked apart Elias Araujo in the first of three pay-per-view fights on the Terence Crawford-Shawn Porter undercard and stopped him during the fifth round. The 24-year-old Muratalla remained unbeaten and was well on his way to an easy victory before referee Allen Huggins stepped between them and stopped their scheduled eight-rounder at 2:20 of the fifth round at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino’s Michelob ULTRA Arena.
Argentina’s Araujo (21-4, 8 KOs) vehemently protested Huggins’ decision to stop the bout, but he was taking a beating to his head and body when Huggins halted the action. The 34-year-old veteran had not lost by knockout or technical knockout before Saturday night.
Muratalla (13-0, 11 KOs), of Fontana, California, has won eight straight bouts by knockout or technical knockout.
Muratalla battered Araujo throughout a one-sided fifth round, both to his head and his body. Huggins had seen enough with about 30 seconds to go in that round and stepped between them when Araujo was still trying to come forward.
Araujo was aggressive in the fourth round, but Muratalla made him pay with counter punches to his head and body. Araujo landed a flush right hand to Muratalla’s head with just over 10 seconds to go in the fourth round.
Muratalla hammered Araujo with a left to his body barely a minute into the third round. Just before the third round concluded, Muratalla caught Araujo with a left hook up top.
Muratalla landed a hard left to Araujo’s body with about a minute to go in the second round. A counter right hand by Muratalla connected as Araujo pressed forward with about 20 seconds to go in the second round as well.
Muratalla landed a right and a left to Araujo’s body in the second half of the first round.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.
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