Lightweight prospect Ruben Torres stays unbeaten with vicious KO of Cristian Baez
Lightweight prospect Ruben Torres overcame a knockdown to later knock out hard-hitting Cristian Baez in the seventh round of late Saturday night Thompson Boxing Promotions main event at the Omega Products International in Corona, California.
Torres, who resides in South Central Los Angeles, improves to 19-0, 16 knockouts.
The southpaw Baez hurt the taller Torres less than a minute left in the opening round. A left hand to the head sent Torres reeling back against the ropes before he grabbed onto Baez, allowing him to recuperate from the punch.
Both fighters were dropped during the first half of the second round. A short left hook dropped Baez to the canvas. After he beat the count, Baez dropped Torres with a right-left combination to the head. Torres did not go all the way down to the canvas as he stuck out his glove that broke his fall, but referee Thomas Taylor correctly ruled it a knockdown.
As the fight progressed, Torres began walking down Baez. He mixed his attack to the head and body, splitting Baez’s guard by landing straight right hands to head and connecting with overhand rights.
Baez’s punch output began to drop, mostly throwing one punch at a time. Torres continued throwing and landing two-punch combinations to the head of Baez.
About the midway point of the seventh round, Torres threw a left-right combination to the head. Baez went down to the canvas but complained to referee Thomas Taylor that he fell to the canvas after their feet were tangled up. After both fighters touched gloves, Torres landed a left hook to the head, dropping him flat onto his back. Thomas immediately waved the fight off at 1:53.
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“Number one rule in boxing is protect yourself at all times,” said Torres after the fight.
“It’s obvious we have some sharpening up to do. You go into the fight and your confidence is high, then you touch the canvas, then you think, ‘I have some work to do.’ We have to go back to the drawing board. We’re still undefeated and we’re still coming. I have to get sharper.”
Baez, who resides in San Juan, Venezuela, drops to 18-2, 7 KOs. The 30-year-old had not fought since December 2019, when he was stopped by current featherweight contender Luis Lopez.
In the co-featured bout, Luis Lopez of Corona defeated Elias Diaz by unanimous decision.
Scores were 77-75, 77-75, and 78-74 for Lopez, who improves to 12-1-1, 4 KOs.
Both fighters fought a competitive fight from the opening bell, connecting with two and three-punch combinations. One fighter would connect with a hook or cross, prompting the other two respond with the same combination. The fight had a great ebb-and-flow, but it was Lopez that did just enough landing the more-effective punches, especially in the second half of the fight.
Diaz, who resides in San Diego, California, drops to 11-1, 6 KOs.
In a clash of unbeaten lightweights, Pedro Valencia of Pacoima, California defeated Adrian Corona by unanimous decision. Scores were 78-74, 78-74, and 79-73 for Valencia, who goes to 11-0, 7 KOs.
Corona (9-1-1, 2 KOs), who resides in nearby Rialto, is the son of California referee Ray Corona.
In super middleweight action, Nelson Oliva of Los Angeles improved to 4-0, 4 KOs by knocking out journeyman Eduardo Rafael Reyes (10-18, 6 KOs) of Reynosa, Mexico in the second round.
Beto Duran, Ring Magazine Editor-In-Chief Dougie Fischer, and Rich Marotta called the action from ringside.
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.