By Jake Donovan
Once upon a time, Antonio Lozada Jr. was a gifted knockout artist on his way towards title contention. The 24-year old still has time to live up to that promise, but for now continues his rebuilding campaign. The latest effort came Saturday evening, as he scored a 5th round stoppage of Cristian Solano in Rosarito, Mexico.
The bout - which aired live on Cadena Tres in Mexico - was competitive in an odd way; Lozada Jr. was clearly the better of the two and winning the rounds, but both seemed to pick it up a notch towards the end of each round, particularly at the 10-second mark, fighting as if it were the last ten seconds of the fight.
Solano's plan to go toe-to-toe were well-intentioned, but the journeyman eventually found himself in over his head. Lozada Jr. dialed it up on the power-punching front in round five, forcing the referee to stop the fight.
The win is the second straight for Lozada Jr., who advances to 34-2 (28KO); Solano falls to 28-22-4 (20KO).
Lozada Jr. was 23-0 before running into Roberto Ortiz in June '11. The knockout loss wasn't without merit, as the Tijuana native showed his grit and ability to rise from adversity, dropping Ortiz after suffering knockdowns in every round before eventually succumbing to the now top-rated super lightweight contender.
A nine-fight win streak followed, with all but one win coming by knockout. However, the second half of 2013 proved to be a setback.
Lozada Jr. spent the year tangling with countryman Ramiro Alcazar. A surprise loss in September was avenged three months later, but still served its damage as the rangy puncher has to wait that much longer in an already-deep 140 lb. division.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBoxTags: Boxing Television , boxing