Monday, September 25, 2023  |



Alan Picasso stops Sabelo Ngebinyana in six rounds in Mexico City

Alan David Picasso
Fighters Network

Alan Picasso broke down Sabelo Ngebinyana to remain unbeaten, ending matters in the sixth round Saturday night in a junior featherweight affair at the Restaurante Arroyo in his hometown of Mexico City.

After the southpaw Ngebinyana gave a decent account of himself during the opening round, it was all Picasso from the second round on. Ngebinyana chose to stay in the pocket, which made it easy for Picasso, as he connected with combinations, most of them ending with left hooks to the body.

The amount of energy he exerted along the impact of Picasso’s punches began to take their toll on Ngebinyana, as he looked exhausted by the fourth round. Ngebinyana’s punch output dropped and he began to breathe heavily through his mouth, gasping for air as he attempted to fend Picasso and his high volume offense.

After Ngebinyana took brutal punishment in the fourth round, the pace slowed at the beginning of the fifth round only to see Picasso unleash brutal combination after brutal combination.

Early in round six, Picasso hurt Ngebinyana with a combination to the head and body. Ngebinyana backed away, but Picasso continued battering him against the ropes. Picasso threw several punches until Ngebinyana’s corner threw in the towel, prompting referee Cesar Calderon to stop the fight at 1:24.

“We did all the work for this moment,” said Picasso, who is a neuroscience major at the local Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM) and has aspirations of being an astronaut and winning a Nobel Peace Prize. “We did a lot of sparring against southpaws leading up to the fight. This was the test and we passed it moving forward in my career. We hit him several times to the body and he wouldn’t fall. We took some punches, which is something we need to work on.”

With the win, the 22-year-old Picasso (25-0-1, 14 knockouts) won the right to dispute the WBC junior featherweight title in what was an elimination fight against Ngebinyana.

Picasso last fought on March 4, stopping fringe contender Kevin Villanueva in the sixth round. Including the knockout win over Ngebinyana, Picasso has now stopped nine of his last 11 opponents.

The 30-year-old Ngebinyana, who resides in Cape Town, South Africa, falls to 15-7-1, 11 KOs. He is now winless in his last three fights after defeating previously-unbeaten Mzuvukile Magwaca on July 28 of last year.

In the co-feature, featherweight Rafael Espinoza remained unbeaten, stopping Tanzania’s Ally Mwerangi in the second round.

Espinoza, who lives and trains in the boxing hotbed of Guadalajara, Mexico, improved to 21-0, 18 knockouts.

Despite giving up a height and reach disadvantage, the southpaw Mwerangi stood in the pocket with Espinoza, exchanging combinations. Espinoza varied his offense, throwing combinations to the head, following up an attack to the body, and vice versa.

Less than a minute into the second round, Espinoza threw and landed a combination, followed with a left hook to the body. Mwerangi immediately dropped to the canvas, prompting referee Alfredo Uruzquieta to stop the fight at 1:53.

The 30-year-old Mwerangi falls to 12-7, 8 KOs and has now lost six of his last seven bouts.

Super middleweight prospect Aaron Silva of Monterrey, Mexico knocked out Hassam Valenzuela in the first round.

The 32-year-old Valenzuela charged out of his corner, but was hit with a left hook to the stomach, dropping him to the canvas. Valenzuela writhed in pain as referee Sergio Infante counted him out at 15 seconds.

Silva improved to 13-0, 10 KOs. The 26-year-old, who recently signed a promotional deal with Golden Boy Promotions, has now stopped his last four opponents. Afterwards, he called out fellow unbeaten super middleweight Edgar Berlanga.

Valenzuela, who resides in Hermosillo, Mexico, falls to 20-5-2, 12 KOs. He is now winless in his last four bouts.

Junior featherweight Gregory Morales (15-1, 9 KOs) of San Antonio, Texas overcame a knockdown to stop late-sub Ernesto Salcedo in the fifth round.

Morales dropped Salcedo with an overhand right to the head late in round one, but was dropped by a jab early in round 2. Blood began coming out of the nose of Morales in round 3, due to the amount of punches Salcedo was landing.

Early in round 5, another overhand right dropped Salcedo to the canvas. Salcedo beat the count, but was still on wobble legs. After Morales landed a barrage of punches, referee Alfredo Uruzquieta stopped the fight at 52 seconds.

Salcedo, who resides in Mexico City, falls to 15-4, 12 KOs. He has now lost four of his last six fights.

In the opening bout, junior welterweight Jonathan Canas of Santa Ana, California improved to 2-0, 1 KO, knocking out Mexico City’s Hugo Vega (2-4-1) in the opening round. A left hook to the body dropped Vega to one knee, where referee Sergio Infante counted him out at 1:02.

The card was a co-promotion between Golden Boy Promotions and Zanfer Boxing that streamed live on DAZN and Golden Boy’s media platforms.


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 at [email protected]


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