Pablo Cesar Cano gets off the canvas to knock out Roberto Ortiz in two
Fringe junior welterweight contender Pablo Cesar Cano overcame a knockdown to score a second-round knockout over Roberto Ortiz on Saturday night at the Plaza de Toros in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
With the victory, Cano improves to 33-7-1 (23 knockouts).
Cano was fighting for the first time since pulling off a shocking first-round knockout victory over former three-division titleholder Jorge Linares on Jan. 18 in New York City.
Ortiz had not fought since losing by knockout to Vergil Ortiz on Sept. 15 of last year.
Both fighters let their hands go from the opening bell, trading hooks and crosses at ring center. With over a minute remaining in Round 1, a counter overhand right to the chin dropped Cano to the canvas. The 30-year-old from Tlalnepantla, Mexico was not visibly hurt, however, and continued to trade when the action resumed.
Cano began to get the better of the exchanges in the second. His punches took a toll on Ortiz, who was backed up against the ropes towards the end of the round. A four-punch combination, culminating in a left uppercut to the chin, dropped Ortiz to the canvas and referee Jose Jesus Moreno counted him out at 2:55.
This was Cano’s third win in a row. It did not come easy, but he said a strong training camp was one of the main reasons he overcame the 33-year-old Ortiz.
“I’m happy that I was able to demonstrate my skills tonight,” said Cano, who twice challenged for a world title belt and lost. “I trained very well. Ortiz was a great opponent. We were aware of how strong he was and how much power he had in his shots. He caught me early, but because of my conditioning I was able to recover well and go for the knockout.”
Ortiz (35-5-2, 26 KOs), who is originally from Torreon, Mexico and trained in Indio, California, is now winless in his last five bouts.
In the co-feature, flyweight Ricardo Sandoval of Rialto, California improved to 17-1 (12 KOs) by dropping Gilberto Gonzalez twice before the fight was stopped in Round 5.
Sandoval, who had not lost since a majority-decision defeat to Alonso Ceja in November 2016, utilized his speed to outbox his opponent from the opening bell. The southpaw Gonzalez did land an occasional hook or cross, but Sandoval scored with more consistency and his aggression put Gonzalez on the defensive.
With a minute gone in Round 5, Sandoval landed a left hook to the body that dropped Gonzalez against the ropes. He survived, but later in the session, a right hand followed by a left-right combination to the head dropped Gonzalez again. He beat the count, but the fight was waved off at 2:30.
The 20-year-old Sandoval has now stopped his last four opponents.
Gonzalez, who is from Caracas, Venezuela, drops to 15-3-1 (12 KOs).
Flyweight Sulem Urbina remained unbeaten by scoring a third-round corner retirement over Luz Martinez (6-3, 3 KOs) of Ensenada, Mexico.
Martinez was game, but Urbina punished the 38-year-old throughout. Urbina’s more accurate and thudding punches began to take their toll as Martinez’s punch output dropped with every round. The end came when Martinez did not answer the bell to begin Round 4.
Urbina, who is originally from Hermosillo, Mexico and now resides in the Phoenix area, improves to 11-0 (2 KOs).
Hasanboy Dusmatov of Uzbekistan was successful in his pro debut, knocking out Jesus Cervantes (9-8, 7 KOs) of Guasave, Mexico in the second round.
Dusmatov, a former amateur standout who won a gold medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, ended matters with a left hand to the head, followed by a left to the body. The 19-year-old Cervantes writhed in pain on the canvas and was counted out at 2:36.