By Jake Donovan
Jonathan Gonzalez registered his first official win over 2013 with a third round stoppage of Joseph Rios in their main event Saturday evening in Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico.
The outing was a cleaner affair than the knockout artist's prior trip to the ring in 2013, when a rabbit punch left him unable to continue after just 73 seconds in his bout with Omar Salado in February. Gonzalez avoided such hazards this time around, inflicting all of the damage in a fight that never stood a chance of being competitive.
Rios was game, intent on offering a performance better than unspectacular record suggested of his talents. Gonzalez disallowed the American to enjoy any momentum, sliding back whenever Rios launched punches and immediately moving into firing range when ready to attack.
Gonzalez caused damage with his right hook, busting up the eye of Rios. The wound would ultimately dictate the outcome of the fight, as the ringside physician deemed to the injury too severe to allow the fighter to continue.
The official time was 1:01 of round three.
Gonzalez improves to 12-0 (11KO) with one no-contest. His last five wins have all come by knockout against a wide variety of competition.
Rios falls to 13-8-2 (4KO), snapping a modest three-fight win streak.
Felix Verdejo continues to enjoy a seamless transition from Olympic boxer to budding pro prospect. The rising 19-year old picked up his fourth win in as many fights with a second round knockout of Martin Quezada in their UniMas-televised co-feature..
Verdejo had no problem whatsoever in turning back the challenge of Quezada, a clubfighter based out of Denver. Two official knockdowns were registered in the bout, both as the result of the Puerto Rican's sharp punching and rapid fire hand speed.
Quezada was drilled late in the first round courtesy of a picture perfect left uppercut that split the guard. Verdejo remained poised as his challenger arose and made it out of the round, going back to work in round two. The incoming was too much for the American to handle, as Verdejo scored a second knockdown and punished him into submission.
The official time was 0:51 of round two.
Verdejo cruises to 4-0 (3KO) with the win, continuing to improve with each fight since turning pro last December in Las Vegas. The teenage sensation was one of two members of the 2012 Puerto Rico Olympic Boxing team to advance to the quarterfinals in London, falling short to eventual two-time lightweight Gold medalist Vasyl Lomachenko.
So far, Verdejo remains without peer as he continues to develop into one of the sport's brightest young prospects.
In a televised swing bout, Christopher Rivera scored a four-round unanimous decision over Jeffrey Ramos. Scores were 38-35 (twice) and 39-34. Ramos was competitive in terms of winning rounds, but suffered three knockdowns within the first two rounds to seal his fate.
John Sosa UD6 Samuel Santana, welterweights - scores were 59-55 (twice) and 60-54
Osenohad Vazquez UD6 Pascali Adorno, super lightweights - scores were 59-55 (twice) and 60-54
Regino Canales MD6 Rafael Gonzalez, lightweights - scores were 57-57 even, 59-55 and 58-56 Canales
Bernard LeBron KO1 (2:22) Nataniel Vazquez
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board, Yahoo Boxing Ratings Panel and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: