By Keith Idec
VERONA, N.Y. – It was obvious from the beginning of their fight Saturday night that Yves Ulysse Jr. was much stronger than Zachary Ochoa.
By the seventh round, their power disparity became scary.
Ulysse hurt Ochoa with a right hand with just over two minutes to go in the seventh round, which initiated a brutal assault of mostly unanswered punches that should’ve caused referee Gary Rosato to stop their scheduled 10-round, 140-pound fight at Turning Stone Resort Casino. A courageous Ochoa never went down and never stopped trying, but took entirely too many clean head shots for the fight to have continued.
The 24-year-old Ochoa made it to the end of the seventh round, but his trainer, Kelly Richardson, wisely decided that the Brooklyn native shouldn’t start the eighth round
Montreal’s Ulysse (13-0, 9 KOs) won by technical knockout on the David Lemieux-Curtis Stevens undercard and captured the previously vacant NABF super lightweight championship in what was considered a step up in competition for both unbeaten boxers. Brooklyn’s Ochoa fell to 16-1 (7 KOs).
Ochoa kept the fight reasonably competitive through five rounds, but the light-punching Ochoa couldn’t keep the stronger, faster Ulysse off of him.
By the end of the second round, there already was swelling and a noticeable mark under Ochoa’s right eye.
Ulysse landed a hard right hand about 40 seconds into the fourth round. The punch backed Ochoa into the ropes, but he quickly countered with a left hook to keep Ulysse from following up.
Ulysse connected with another hard right hand just after the two-minute mark of the fifth round, but again didn’t follow it up. A flush left hook by Ulysse got Ochoa’s attention just after the midway mark of the sixth round and kept him moving backward for the rest of the round, which Ulysse won easily.
The 28-year-old Ulysse didn’t hesitate to pounce on Ochoa at the beginning of the seventh round, which he eventually dominated in frightening fashion.
Earlier on the undercard, super bantamweight prospect Diego De La Hoya remained undefeated by pounding out an eight-round, unanimous-decision victory over Roberto Pucheta. De La Hoya won by the same score on all three cards (80-71).
A win in this stay-busy bout enabled Mexico’s De La Hoya, a cousin of Oscar De La Hoya, to improve to 17-0 (9 KOs). Mexico’s Pucheta lost for the fifth time in six fights and slipped to 10-10-1 (6 KOs).
De La Hoya hurt Pucheta with a combination early in the sixth round. A stunned Pucheta backed into the ropes, but survived the round.
The 22-year-old De La Hoya hit Pucheta with numerous power punches over the final 2½ rounds, but Pucheta remained on his feet and made it to the final bell.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.