Abdullah Mason made the sacrifice of training and fighting through Ramadan to advance his young career.
The 18-year-old Cleveland-bred southpaw made count, and made it brief with his fastest win to date in a one-punch stoppage of Guadalajara’s Erick Garcia Benitez. A check right hook dropped Benitez, at which point the fight was stopped at just 1:32 of the first round in their ESPN+ aired lightweight contest Saturday evening from Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Benitez (4-4, 1KOs) opened the bout immediately racing towards Mason. That turned out to be his first mistake. Mason, a devout Muslim, remained cool and looked for the counter opportunities to make Benitez pay. That moment came midway through the opening round. Benitez was wide and wild with a right hand that never fully launched. Mason stepped back and immediately responded with a right hook that floored Benitez. The impact of the blow and Benitez’s reaction was enough to immediately halt the contest.
Mason advanced to 7-0 (6KOs) and picked up his third consecutive knockout. He now plans to resume his fasting period which he will extend beyond the holy season to make up for the time spent during training camp.
Dante Benjamin Jr. picked up his deepest knockout as pro, though he only needed two rounds to rid himself of Jasper McCargo.
The light heavyweight bout saw Cleveland’s Benjamin (6-0, 4KOs) floor McCargo (4-4-2, 2KOs)—a Richmond, California-based boxer and one-time sparring partner for Hall of Fame two-division champ Andre Ward—late in the opening round and four times in round two. The last knockdown was enough to prompt referee Gerald Ritter to stop the contest at 2:58 of round two.
Benjamin had a trio of first-round knockouts and a pair of decision wins prior to Saturday’s contest.
Rohan Polanco shook off eight months’ worth of ring rust to outpoint Ricardo Quiroz over six rounds. All three judges scored the contest 60-54 in favor of Dominican Republic’s Polanco in their junior welterweight contest.
Polanco was due to make his Top Rank debut on January 14, one month after signing with the Las Vegas-based promotional powerhouse. The fight fell through when scheduled opponent Julian Smith withdrew. The setback resulted in his longest inactive stretch to date preceding Saturday’s contest. It didn’t seem to affect Polanco (9-0, 6KOs), a 2020 Olympian for the Dominican Republic who turned away a stiff challenge from Oxnard, California’s Quiroz (12-2, 6KOs). The general absence of a jab impacted Polanco’s ability to put together a sustained attack, although he landed several crisp body shots along with flush right hands upstairs over the course of the six-round affair.
Headlining the show, Robeisy Ramirez (11-1, 7KOs) and Isaac Dogboe (24-2, 15KOs) meet in a scheduled 12-round vacant WBO featherweight title fight.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox