Tuesday, May 30, 2023  |


Orlando Cruz halts Gabino Cota in rematch

Fighters Network

Junior lightweight Orlando Cruz has displayed more power and aggression in recent fights and that continues to be a winning combination, which puts him closer to a world title challenge.

In a rematch, Cruz stopped Gabino Cota in Round 7 at the A La Carte Event Pavilion in Tampa, Florida, on Friday, improving upon the 10-round unanimous decision the Puerto Rico native secured in October of last year.

Cruz survived a scare early on, as Cota stunned him with a right hand near the end of the opening session but the veteran southpaw fighter responded well to score a knockdown in Round 2, courtesy of a left hand to the head.

Cota attempted to walk his opponent down in Round 5, but Cruz was able to create distance and countered from the outside with left hands.

It was a left on the inside that hurt Cota in the seventh and Cruz followed up with a barrage of punches which sent him to the canvas. Hurt badly, Cota beat the count but was in no condition to continue, prompting referee Andrew Glenn to stop the bout at 2:38.

Entering the contest, Cruz was ranked No. 4 by the WBO at 130 pounds. He has won his last five fights and improves to 25-4-1 (13 KOs), whereas Cota drops to 19-7-1 (17 KOs).


In a clash of unbeaten welterweight prospects, Sammy Valentin, who resides in Tampa, scored an impressive fourth-round knockout over Joaquin De La Rosa.

Valentin was the aggressor for most of the contest. The hometown fighter ripped combinations to head and body and although De La Rosa did land an occasional right hand or uppercut, he remained on the defensive.

Early in Round 4, a barrage of punches to the body hurt De La Rosa. Valentin seized the moment, landing a sweeping right cross that put him flat on his back and the fight was stopped at 0:44.

Valentin improves to 9-0 (7 KOs) while De La Rosa falls to 6-1-1 (3 KOs).


Junior welterweight Josue Loyola was stunned in Round 2 but responded well and dropped Tom Mills (1-5, 1 KO) in route to winning his pro debut. All three judges scored the four-round bout 39-36, 39-36, and 40-35 in Loyola’s favor.


Junior featherweight Orlando Gonzalez (2-0, 2 KOs) stopped Jonathan De La Paz (0-2) at 2:29 of Round 1.


Francisco A. Salazar has written for RingTV since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper, Boxingscene.com, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @FSalazarBoxing   


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