Monday, March 27, 2023  |


Ferdinand Kerobyan drops late sub Daniel Evangelista 4 times, wins by TKO in 2


Welterweight prospect Ferdinand Kerobyan dropped late sub Daniel Evangelista four times en route to a second round knockout victory Friday night at City Hall in Pasadena, California.

With the win, Kerobyan improves to 12-1 (7 knockouts).

Kerobyan was fighting for the first time since losing a hard-fought decision to Blair Cobbs in a clash of unbeaten fighters on Mar. 21. The 21-year-old Kerobyan, who is originally from Armenia and now resides in nearby North Hollywood, took time off to recover from cuts from accidental head-butts over both eyes in the fight.

Evangelista took the fight on three days’ notice after original opponent Oscar Molina withdrew from the fight.

Kerobyan was the aggressor from the opening bell, backing Evangelista up while throwing and landing hooks and crosses to the head. With less than a minute remaining in the round, a Kerobyan punch landed on the temple and after a barrage of punches, Evangelista dropped to the canvas. Evangelista beat the count, but a two-punch combination dropped him again to the canvas moments later, barely beating the count as referee Jack Reiss told the timekeeper to sound the bell to end the round.

Evangelista continued to fight back despite being outgunned, but Kerobyan’s power and strength was too much to overcome. A barrage of punches dropped Evangelista about a minute into round two, again beating the count. Kerobyan notched a fourth knockdown, prompting Reiss to stop the fight at 1:54.

“I’m ready for whatever Golden Boy has next for me,” said Kerobyan, who is managed by WWE star and MMA fighter Ronda Rousey.

Evangelista, who resides in Mexico City, falls to 20-11-2 (16 KOs).

In the co-feature bout, featherweight Emilio Sanchez defeated gatekeeper Jose Gonzalez by unanimous decision over eight rounds.

Scores were 77-75, 77-75 and 80-72 for Sanchez, who improves to 18-1 (11 KOs).

The 25-year-old Sanchez was fighting for the first time since Nov. 8, but displayed no ring-rust as Sanchez was the busier and more effective fighter during the first three rounds of the fight.

By the fourth round, Gonzalez found success by landing series of left hooks and uppercuts to the head of Sanchez. Gonzalez continued to get on the inside of Sanchez guard during the middle rounds, mixing his attack to the head and body.

Just when it looked like Gonzalez was outboxing Sanchez and controlling the tempo of the fight, Sanchez used his athleticism and higher punch volume to swing momentum his way. During the eighth round, Sanchez unloaded a series of combinations that had Gonzalez covering up and fighting defensively, especially during the last 90 seconds.

“I was feeling him out early on in the fight, but I did listen to my coach (Joel Diaz) at the end,” said Sanchez, who has now won his last three bouts since his knockout loss to Eugene Lagos on Mar. 22 of last year.

Gonzalez, who resides in the boxing hotbed of Guadalajara, Mexico, drops to 23-8-1 (13 KOs).

In light heavyweight action, former amateur standout Bektemir Melikuziev of Uzbekistan dropped Adrian Luna twice en route to a first round knockout victory.

The southpaw Melikuziev, who is trained by Joel Diaz in Indio, California, landed a left hand to the body, prompting Luna to turn away from the impact of the punch. Melikuziev thought Luna was going to go down from the punch, but referee Jack Reiss told both fighters to continue fighting.

Moments later, a left hand to the body did force Luna to go down to the canvas. Luna beat the count, but would go down again from another vicious left to the body, writhing in pain as Reiss counted him out at 2:13.

Luna, who resides in the Mexico City area, falls to 22-7-1 (14 KOs). 

Preliminary action

Lightweight prospect Jousce Gonzalez, the younger brother of featherweight contender Joet Gonzalez, outboxed veteran Miguel Angel Mendoza (23-17-2, 22 KOs) over six rounds to win by unanimous decision. Scores were 59-55, 59-55, and 60-54 for Gonzalez, who improves to 10-0-1, 9 KOs.

In a clash of unbeaten welterweights, Eben Vargas (11-0, 5 KOs) of Mesa, Arizona defeated Washington, DC’s Cornell Hines (5-1, 2 KOs) by unanimous decision. All three judges scored the bout 59-55 in favor of Vargas.

The outdoor fight card, which was promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, was free to the public and was highlighted by the $100,000 donation Oscar De La Hoya, a Pasadena resident, made to the city of Pasadena, which would be distributed to programs that serve the youth of the city.

Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring 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 He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing