Paul Mendez scored a minor upset with a seventh round stoppage win over DonYil Livingston in their super middleweight bout Saturday evening at the Woodland Community Senior Center in Woodland, Calif.
The bout was a game of cat and mouse early on, but Mendez eventually caught up to his prey. A big fourth round permanently swung momentum in Mendez' favor, hurting Livingston on several occasions and bringing the same level of power and intensity in the fifth.
Livingston attempted to turn things around in the sixth, boxing well and mixing in power. However, a badly swollen shut left eye hampered his performance, of which Mendez took full advantage.
The seventh and deciding round saw Mendez - not normally known for his knockout power - move in for the kill. A left hook to the body knocked the wind out of Livingston, sending him to the canvas face first and on all fours. The referee ultimately counted him out, amidst mass confusion.
The Livingston corner attempted to argue that their fighter was the victim of a low blow and not a body shot knockout. Replays showed a shot that hit the beltline and perhaps part of the thigh, but also showed Livingston pull down the back of Mendez' head, which helped alter the punch.
A lengthy discussion took place at ringside, at which point the decision was made to uphold the original ruling. The official time was 0:43 of round seven.
Mendez improves to 10-2-1 (4KO) with the win and is now unbeaten in his last five contests.
Livingston suffers his second straight loss in falling to 8-2-1 (4KO).
Manuel Avila remained unbeaten with an eight-round unanimous decision over John Alberto Molina (32-20-3, 20KO) in their televised co-feature.
Scores were 79-73 across the board for Avila (10-0, 3KO), who boxed well throughout was disciplined enough to not get discouraged by Molina's ineffective aggression.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor for Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox