Yan Pellerin is a realist.
He told announcers before his fight Friday night against Francisco Rivas that he simply isn’t good enough to be ranked in the top 15 among cruiserweight contenders. The awkward Canadian veteran was competent enough, though, to defeat Rivas by unanimous decision in their 10-rounder on the Artur Beterbiev-Marcus Browne undercard at Bell Centre in Montreal.
Pellerin (13-1, 5 KOs), of Granby, Quebec, Canada, was the busier, more aggressive, accurate puncher throughout their bout. He never really hurt the Mexican veteran, but he defeated Rivas (15-3, 5 KOs) by shutout on all three scorecards (100-90, 100-90, 100-90).
The final five rounds of their uneventful fight mostly mirrored one another, with Pellerin pressing the action and landing more consistently, yet never doing enough to take out Rivas. The shorter Rivas tried to make their fight competitive, but he didn’t have enough power, either, to make Pellerin think twice about constantly coming forward, often recklessly.
A right hand by Pellerin got Rivas’ attention about 50 seconds into the fifth round. Pellerin drilled Rivas with a right hand that backed him into the ropes 30 seconds into the fourth round.
A right hand by Pellerin backed up Rivas 1:20 into the third round. Rivas blasted Pellerin with a right hand as he walked forward with just over a minute on the clock in the third round.
Pellerin pressed the action throughout the first round, yet he often missed Rivas with his right hand.
In the bout before southpaw Pellerin’s win, Arthur Biyarslanov didn’t even need three minutes to knock out Alan Ayala.
The junior welterweight prospect dropped Ayala twice in the first round on his way to a first-round knockout. Biyarslanov, who settled for a majority-decision victory over Israel Mercado in his previous bout, improved to 9-0 and recorded his seventh knockout.
Ayala, of Guadalajara, Mexico, slipped to 9-3 (5 KOs).
Biyarslanov blasted Ayala with a right hook and then a straight left that backed up Ayala about 1:20 into the opening round. A right hook to the body and then a right hook up top by Biyarslanov sent Ayala to his gloves and knees with just over a minute remaining in the first round.
Ayala beat the count and tried his best to survive. A similar combination dropped Ayala to his gloves and knees again with 28 seconds remaining in the first round.
Referee Albert Padulo Jr. immediately waved an end to their scheduled eight-rounder as soon as Ayala hit the canvas for the second time.
In the first fight Friday night, junior middleweight Batyrzhan Jukembayev barely needed a minute to stop Mexican veteran Juan Jose Martinez.
A straight left hand by Jukembayev made Martinez stumble into the ropes, which held him up and counted as a knockdown 40 seconds into the opening round. Martinez tried to fight back once the action resumed, but Jukembayev overwhelmed him with power punches that disoriented Martinez and prompted referee Steve St. Germain to step between them and halt their scheduled six-rounder just 1:09 into the first round.
Jukembayev, a Montreal resident raised in Kazakhstan, upped his record to 19-1 and produced his 15th knockout. Mexico City’s Martinez (28-11, 20 KOs) lost by knockout or technical knockout for the seventh time in 11 years as a pro.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.