By Jake Donovan
Golden Boy Promotions had the Telefutura Solo Boxeo series all to itself for the past couple of years, but agreed to let go of its exclusive deal with the network once 2012 began. The results haven’t been promising for the series thus far – moved to Saturday evenings and the contributing promoters not offering very compelling shows.
With that in mind, it was nice to see an old friend back in town.
Golden Boy returned to the circuit, delivering a solid show on Saturday evening at the Phoenix Club in Anaheim, California. Topping the bill was rising prospect Ronny Rios, who looked impressive in scoring a fourth round stoppage of Jeremy McLaurin.
No knockdowns were scored in the bout, but Rios had McLaurin on the verge at several points. The unbeaten Californian was selective with his punches, not wasting any energy nor did he squander any opportunities when they were presented.
McLaurin was game but couldn’t come up with a way to disrupt Rios’ rhythm. Fighting in his birth town (though now based out of Minnesota), the 30-year old found himself in trouble in round four and proved to be game for his own good.
A Rios left hook caught McLaurin flush on the temple, igniting the rally that proved to be the point of no return. Rios was relentless in his attack, trapping his opponent along the ropes and throwing power shots on his near defenseless opponent before referee Raul Caiz Jr. stepped in to rescue McLaurin (9-3-1, 4KO) .
The official time was 2:31 of round four.
Rios improves to 17-0 (8KO) with the win. While it sounds odd for an undefeated fighter to bounce back from anything, it was in fact a turnaround of sorts for the 22-year old, who struggled mightily in an eight-round war with veteran Roger Gonzalez last September. Rios emerged by decision in a poorly scored fight that could’ve went either way.
It’s clear that Rios wisely treated the fight as a learning experience, precisely why he was matched so tough early in his career. His performance against McLaurin provided such evidence.
Rios first cut his teeth on the televised stage in the Club Nokia circuit during the infancy of Golden Boy Promotions “Fight Night Club” televised club shows on Fox Sports. One of the biggest moments of that series was the major upset pulled off by Derrick Wilson, who blitzed once-promising prospect Charles Huerta in one round.
The upset win was supposed to launch Wilson’s career to new heights, but instead it’s almost served as an aberration to what has otherwise become a journeyman. The latest descent into obscurity came in his co-feature appearance, suffering an eighth-round knockout at the hands of Alejandro Lopez.
The bout was bombs away from the opening bell and appeared to be a night in which Wilson would resurrect his waning career. It held up for about 1 ½ rounds before he sent to the canvas courtesy of a left hook.
It was the first of four times in which the Floridian was sent to the canvas, though to his credit never stopped fighting back and swung momentum back in his favor nearly every time he rose to his feet. However, a final right hand at the start of the eighth and final round was enough to put him away for good, with referee Ray Corona seeing no reason to allow the bout to continue.
The official time was 0:27 of the eighth round.
Perez improves to 16-3-1 (11KO) with the win, his first since scoring a first round knockout of Antonio Escalante in a major upset last March.
Meanwhile, Wilson’s career is teetering on life-support as he falls to 9-3-2 (3KO). While the 25-year old is right there in every fight, the amount of punishment he absorbed on Saturday coupled with his near-.500 record since knocking out Huerta is a tell-tale sign that his remaining days as a fighter will be spent at best as a spoiler, but most likely as a journeyman.
Both bouts aired live on Telefutura.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter at twitter.com/JakeNDaBox or submit questions/comments to [email protected]