By Jake Donovan
Fidel Maldonando Jr. picked up his fifth straight win - including two in a row at Cowboys Dancehall in San Antonio - with a four-round stoppage of John Nater.
The welterweights headlined Monday evening on Fox Sports 1, though the main event was never competitive. Maldonado feasted on Nater, a late sub filling in for former 130 lb. titlist Steve Forbes, who was medically disqualified to perform on the card.
Nater did the best he could to prevent the fight from serving as a lopsided affair, but simply lacked the fire power to fend off his foe. Maldonado picked up steam with each round, offering a disciplined performance before exploding in round three.
A body shot had Nater in trouble, with an ensuing volley of left hands producing the first of two knockdowns on the evening. Maldonado scored a second knockdown late in round four, the lingering pain enough to prompt Nater's corner to inform the referee and ringside physicians that their charge was done for the evening.
The official time was 3:00 of round four.
Maldonado cruises to 18-2 (15KO), cruising to five straight victories following back-to-back losses in 2012. Nate falls to 13-5 (10KO), suffering just the second stoppage defeat of his career.
Errol Spence impressed in the televised co-feature, breaking down Peter Oloush en route to a 4th round knockout.
Spence outperformed his 2012 Olympic teammate Terrell Gausha, in that the unbeaten welterweight was precise with his punches and building towards a knockout rather than punching just for the sake of moving his hands.
Oloush was a tough nut to crack, but Spence found an opening early in round for to produce the first of two knockdowns. The rising prospect from Desoto, Texas saw the finish line within his sights and pounced on the visiting Kenyan, sending him to the canvas in a heap.
Referee Rafael Ramos had given Oloush (12-7-2, 6KO) every chance to fight his way out of trouble but saw no need in allowing the bout to continue following the second knockdown.
The official time was 1:39 of round four.
Spence rolls to 11-0 (9KO) with the win, surprisingly his first fight of the year following a hectic 2013 campaign. The southpaw puncher, who just turned 24 last month, won all eight of his fights last year, a campaign that was good for top runner-up honors to Felix Verdejo for Boxingscene.com's 2013 Prospect of the Year.
Terrell Gausha cruised to an eight-round unanimous decision over George Sosa in the FS1-televised opener. Scores were 80-72 (twice) and 79-73 in their middleweight bout.
Gausha, a member of the 2012 U.S. Olympic boxing squad, had Sosa badly hurt in round four, with an overhand right beginning a rally that saw the Ohioan score at least six unanswered blows. Sosa's face began to cut and bleed, but his glove somehow began to slip loose, resulting in a well-timed break.
The fight never came closer to a stoppage, despite Gausha's best efforts to close the show, complete with grunting sound effects with every power punch thrown.
Depending on which set of records you believe, Gausha is either 8-0 (5KO) - his record since turning pro following the 2012 London Olympics - or 13-2 (6KO), which would include a 5-2 run during his time spent on the World Series of Boxing circuit.
Tags: Golden Boy Promotions , Errol Spence , Terrell Gausha
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of the Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox