Gonzalez-Martinez undercard: Diego Pacheco makes quick work of Genc Pllana
SAN DIEGO – Super middleweight prospect Diego Pacheco remained unbeaten Saturday night, dropping Genc Pllana twice en route to a second-round knockout victory on the undercard of the Roman Gonzalez-Julio Cesar Martinez main event.
The taller Pacheco (14-0, 11 KOs) was the aggressor from the opening bell, putting Pllana on the defensive. Midway through the first round, Pacheco dropped Pllana with a combination to the head, delighting the partisan crowd at the Pechanga Arena, who made the drive from Los Angeles, Pacheco’s hometown.
Pacheco continued fighting on his front foot, initiating exchanges while forcing Pllana to fight off his back foot. About midway through the second round, a left hook to the head followed by a right-left combination dropped Pllana to the canvas. Referee Jerry Cantu immediately stopped the bout at 1:29.
Pllana, who is originally from Kosovo and now resides in Hagerstown, Maryland, drops to 9-4-1, 5 KOs.
Lightweight prospect Marc Castro overcame a knockdown in the second round to defeat Julio Madera (3-2, 2 KOs) by unanimous decision. All three judges scored the bout 58-55 in favor of Castro, who improves to (6-0, 5 KOs).
After a competitive opening round, Castro was dropped early in second round from a check hook to the head. He got up on wobbly legs, and took vicious punches flush to the head. Despite leaving himself open to getting countered, he stood in the pocket and connected on his own series of punches.
Castro was the more-effective fighter during the second half of the fight, moving in and out of Madera’s range to land lead and counter lefts and rights to the head.
Madera, who resides in Mexico City, drops to 3-2 (2 KOs).
Junior lightweight Skye Nicolson, who represented Australia at the 2020 Olympic Games, was successful in her pro debut, defeating San Diego’s Jessica Juarez (3-1, 1 KO) by unanimous decision.
Scores were 60-54, 60-54 & 59-55 for the southpaw Nicolson, who utilized solid ring generalship to outbox Juarez throughout most of the fight.
In the opening bout of the Matchroom Boxing card, bantamweight Anthony Herrera of Los Angeles improved to 2-0 (2 KOs) by knocking out San Diego’s Jose Toribio (7-5, 1 KO) at 24 seconds of the fourth round. A left hook to the body dropped Toribio to the canvas, prompting referee Ray Corona to immediately stop the bout.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing