Sunday, June 23, 2024  |



John Vera stops Sunday Ajuwa, calls out Miguel Cotto

John Vera (left) vs. Joey Ruelas. Photo credit: Manny Murillo/RJJ Boxing Promotions
Fighters Network

Junior middleweight contender John Vera scored a decisive victory Friday night. Then he proceeded to call out WBO titleholder Miguel Cotto.

Vera stopped Sunday Ajuwa near the end of Round 3 before a partisan crowd at Gilley’s in Dallas, Texas.

After a feeling-out opening round, the southpaw Vera (18-0, 11 knockouts) found his rhythm. Utilizing his reach and a four-inch height advantage, the home fighter rained punches down on Ajuwa.

With less than a minute left in the second round, a two-punch combination dropped the visitor. Ajuwa, who hails from Nigeria and was making his U.S. debut, fought back, but he was sent down again by a barrage of power punches.

Vera ended matters in the following round, dropping Ajuwa (13-3, 10 KOs) face-first to the canvas with a right hook to the head to the top of the head. Ajuwa beat the count but he was in no condition to continue. The official time of the stoppage was 2:59.

With December 2 the likely date when Puerto Rican legend Miguel Cotto fights for the final time as a professional, Vera was eager to throw his name in the mix of potential opponents.

“I’m half Mexican and half Puerto Rican. I would love the opportunity to face Miguel Cotto,” said Vera, who resides in nearby Fort Worth. “I knew that Ajuwa was a strong fighter, but I had to pick my shots.”

Vera is currently ranked No. 7 by the WBA.

In the co-feature, light heavyweight prospect Adrian Taylor won a six-round split decision over Ronald Mixon (8-2, 7 KOs).

One judge scored the bout 58-56 in favor of Mixon, while the other two judges scored the bout 58-56 for Taylor (5-0, 3 KOs).

In a battle of featherweights, Gabriel Flores Jr. (4-0, 3 KOs) overwhelmed Donnie Reeves, stopping him in the second round.

Reeves (1-1, 1 KO) never went down, but he was hit repeatedly throughout the fight, prompting referee Neal Young to step in and stop the bout at 1:25.

Heavyweight Ivan Dychko of Kazakhstan won his professional debut, stopping overmatched Aubur Wright (2-2, 1 KO) at 2:05 of the opening count.


Francisco A. Salazar has written for 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,, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing