By Cliff Rold
Ranked #14 by the WBO at Jr. Welterweight before Friday night, 30-year old Jesus Pabon (17-1, 11 KO) of Carolina, Puerto Rico, took a step closer to a possible alphabet title shot with a walkover first round stoppage of 27-year old Americo Santos (26-4, 22 KO) of Garland, Texas on Friday night at the Palm Bay Center in Palm Bay, Florida.
The bout marked Santoss second consecutive first round defeat and Pabons third straight win inside the distance. Santos came into the contest at the divisional limit of 140 lbs., Pabon just under at 139 ½.
The referee was Frank Gentile.
Fighting largely from his back foot, the southpaw Pabon used his right jab to measure distance as the taller Santos came forward winging wild leather. Pabon absorbed and slipped blows with his back to the ropes, slowly asserting himself with jarring lefts. Santos was undeterred, a fatal error.
With approximately a minute to go in the first round, Santos stepped forward following a clinch and break by the referee. Tensing his shoulders as he began to prepare a punch, Santos walked into a perfectly timed right hand bomb, hurtling to the floor with a speed not seen since the final launch of the Discovery space shuttle on Thursday.
Gamely, Santos rose as the referee counted six and seven in Spanish and then, picking up the count at ringside, tolled six and seven again in English while taking a look at the dazed Santos. Nodding once, hard, that he could continue, Santos slipped the first left Pabon threw but ate three after that, their bodies tangling as Santos headed to the floor a second time. The referee ruled a slip and Santos rose only to be felled again with a whipping left to the face. This time, the referee began his count, Santos up by four but swaying and unable to collect his balance.
It was enough to draw the stoppage at 2:45 of round one.
It would not be the nights only impressive knockout.
Also on the card, 18-year old Cuban Featherweight Hairon Socarras (1-0, 1 KO), 125, of Miami, Florida, made an impressive professional debut by eviscerating 24-year old Carlos Bruno (0-1), 124, of San Juan, Puerto Rico. A single left hook from Socarras sent Bruno to the floor and apart from his conciousness for several minutes afterwards at 2:21 of round one. Referee Frank Santore didnt have to bother with the count.
In Lightweight action, a pair of paid novices put on a spirited show as 20-year old Jorge Maysonet (2-0, 1 KO), 135, of Puerto Rico posted a four-round unanimous decision over 26-year old Lightweight Farkhaed Sharipov (2-1, 1 KO), 135, of Orlando, Florida.
Sharipov, four inches shorter at 56, was dropped with a sharp right hand inside the opening minute, his glove touching the floor even if the rest of his body stayed off the floor. Sharipov was face to face with referee Frank Gentile by the count of two and ready to go on when the mandatory eight count was finished. By the final minute of the round, Sharipov was able to gain a measure of revenge with a right hand followed by two strong lefts that drove Maysonet to the ropes. Swinging with abandon, Maysonet bounced back with a looping right while Sharipov would add two more lefts before the bell to close the opening frame.
The action was tense, if sloppy, over the remaining three rounds with Sharipov pressuring but unable to effectively close the gap on a taller Maysonet whose jab and looping right continued to work for him. Maysonet stayed undefeated with scores of 39-37 twice and 40-36.
At Featherweight, 20-year old Camilo Perez (1-0, 1 KO), 124, of Carolina, Puerto Rico, scored another successful professional debut for the evening, dropping 18-year old Jaime Gonzalez (0-1), 122, of Aguada, Puerto Rico, once in the first and twice in round number two to draw a stoppage from referee Frank Santore at 30 seconds of the second.
Middleweights: Francisco Ginorio (8-7-2, 2 KO) UD4 Franklin Gonzalez (13-8, 9 KO)
The card was televised in the U.S. on Telemundo, promoted by All-Star Boxing.
Cliff Rold is a member of the Ring Magazine Ratings Advisory Panel and the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at email@example.com