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DeLeon KOs Cruz, Matthysse stops Harris

21
Feb

Daniel Ponce-DeLeon (left) lands a clubbing left to a covered-up Orlando Cruz as the Puerto Rican boxer falls to the canvas during their featherweight bout that took place in Mexico City on Saturday. DeLeon scored a third-round stoppage, winning his fourth consecutive bout since losing his 122-pound belt to Juan Manuel Lopez in June of 2008. Photo / Francisco Vega – Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions

Former 122-pound titleholder Daniel Ponce DeLeon (38-2, 32 knockouts) scored a third-round knockout of of former Puerto Rican Olympian Orlando Cruz (16-2-1, 7 KOs) in the featherweight main event of a card held at the Auditorio Plaza Condesa in Mexico City, Mexico on Saturday.

The impressive stoppage was DeLeon's fourth consecutive victory since losing his junior featherweight belt to Juan Manuel Lopez via first-round KO in June of 2008. The southpaw slugger from Mexico has campaigned in the featherweight division since that embarrassing loss.

Cruz was probably the most talented of DeLeon's comeback opponents. The crafty Puerto Rican southpaw knocked out then-undefeated Mexican KO artist Leonilo Miranda (30-0, 28 KOs) last January, but he was coming off a fifth-round stoppage to Cornelius Lock last September.

In the co-featured bout of the Golden Boy Promotions card that was televised on HBO Plus (which broadcasts to Central and South America), junior welterweight prospect Walter Matthysse (26-0, 24 KOs) scored a third-round stoppage of former titleholder Vivian Harris (29-4-1, 19 KOs).

Harris, a seasoned but aggressive 31-year-old vet, took the fight to his lesser experienced foe in the first two rounds, snapping Matthysse's head back with a right in the second.

Matthysse, a 27-year-old boxer-puncher from Argentina, raged back in the third round with a brutal body attack punctuated with right hands that found the mark. Matthysse stayed on top of Harris in the fourth, backing the Brooklyn-based Guyanan with right hands and rocking vet near the end of round.

Referee Gelasio Perez Huerta quickly separated the fighters after Harris was rocked, stopping the bout at 2:44 of the round. Harris vehemently protested the stoppage and many observers believed the referee acted prematurely.

Matthysse is the younger brother of former welterweight title challenger Walter Matthysse.

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