Monday, May 29, 2023  |


Rios stops Meza in five

Fighters Network

Lightweight prospect Brandon Rios (20-0-1, 13 knockouts) scored an impressive fifth-round technical stoppage of Oscar Meza (18-3, 16 KOs) in the main event of an Azteca America-televised card from Primm, Nevada on Saturday.

Rios had to overcome a rocky start as Meza, a sharp boxer-puncher from Sinaloa, Mexico, consistently beat him to the punch with well-timed body shots and right hands in the first round.

Meza continued to score in the second and third rounds, but Rios, a gutsy slugger from Oxnard, Calif. by way of Kansas, steadily increased his pressure and punch output and began landing uppercuts when in close. By the fourth round Meza abandoned his counter-punching strategy for a stick-and-move game, but Rios stayed on top of the Mexican prospect, nailing him with body shots whenever he backed him to the ropes.

It was a body shot — a short right to Meza's solar plexus — that abruptly ended the fight 24 seconds into the fifth round. Referee Tony Weeks waved the bout off during his 10-count when it was obvious that Meza couldn't get back on his feet.

In the co-featured bout of the Top Rank-promoted card, 21-year-old featherweight prospect Miguel Angel Garcia (16-0, 13 KOs) stopped Anthony Napunyi (14-6, 7 KOs) one minute and 4 seconds into the third round of their scheduled 10 rounder.

Garcia, the younger brother of former 130-pound titleholder Robert Garcia (who now trains his little brother and Brandon Rios), never floored Napunyi but landed a series of accurate power shots that convinced referee Robert Byrd to step in to save the dazed Kenyan journeyman from more punishment.

Junior middleweight prospect Vanes Martirosyan (24-0, 15 KOs) easily overwhelmed journeyman Harrison Cuello (18-10-2, 14 KOs) in the first round of their scheduled eight rounder. Martirosyan is already scheduled to face Andrey Tsurkan in Atlantic City on June 27.

Junior featherweight prospect Robert Marroquin (7-0, 5 KOs) gained valuable experience going six rounds with Robert DaLuz (12-18-2, 9 KOs), outpointing the capable journeyman by unanimous scores of 60-52.

Marroquin, a 19-year-old boxer from Dallas, Texas, dropped DaLuz twice in the second round.