By Miguel Rivera & James Blears
Plaza Mexico, Mexico City - Former interim junior middleweight world champion Nobuhiro Ishida of Japan stopped Mexico's Edson Espinoza in the first round. Ishida caught Espinoza right on the chin, who went down and couldn't get to his feet. Ishida raised his record to 23-6, 9KOs. Ishida in his first bout since stopping James Kirkland in a shocking first round knockout in April.
Meanwhile, the Mexican-American Leo Santa Cruz needed three rounds to stop Jorge Romero, who took a lot of damage to the body. Romero went down the canvas after receiving a powerful hook to the body in a junior featherweight match. Leo Santa Cruz remains undefeated, raising his record to 18-0-1, 10KOs.
Also on the card, Salvador Sanchez II won a split decison against Alexander Monteroza from Colombia. In the opening three rounds young Sal did most of the attacking, forcing the pace, but Alex was catching him particularly with precise jarring straight rights, and countering with precision.
The tempo of the fight changed during the fifth round as the snap seemed to slowly to drain out of Alex who was picking up a heavy punishment via combos to the body and head, but with few connecting with sufficient crispness. The tide turned drastically in the opening seconds of the eighth when a big short right hook dropped Sal hard. He went to get up, but stayed down to take advantage with a few seconds of the count, and then weathering the ensuing onslaught.
Sal upped the tempo and pressure against an opponent who was in pot shotting mode and doing a fair bit of grabbing, pulling down and clinching. In round eleven Sal's agression finally paid off. Trapping Alex on the ropes, he downed him with a sharp left hook, but Alex got up without a count and fought on fiercely until the end.