Bryan Chevalier is becoming a legit contender at 130 pounds.
Chevalier broke down Ranfis Encarnacion Wednesday night, earning a knockout win at the Wyndham Grand Rio Mar in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico. Chevalier, who resides in nearby Bayamon, improved to 20-1-1, 16 knockouts.
Encarnacion was game, but the sharper and more-polished Chevalier outboxed Encarnacion from the opening and throughout most of the fight.
As the bout progressed, Encarnacion’s punch output dropped. Chevalier varied his offense, landing combinations until the fight was stopped in the eighth round.
In his previous bout on April 22, Chevalier stopped Alberto Mercado in the seventh round. The win over Mercado came less than six months after Chevalier stopped former world title challenger Cesar Juarez, also in the seventh round.
The 29-year-old has displayed more power and aggression in recent fights, having now won six of his last seven fights by knockout.
Chevalier has won his last 12 fights since suffering his only defeat at the hands of Alcides Santiago in June 2017. Amongst his recent string of victories were wins over Luis Lebron, who was unbeaten entering the Chevalier fight, and Carlos Zambrano.
The 28-year-old Encarnacion, who resides in San Cristobal, Dominican Republic, falls to 21-4, 17 KOs. He entered the Chevalier fight having won four of his previous five bouts with the only blemish coming on April 2 of last year at the hands of Edixon Perez.
In the co-feature, junior featherweight prospect Jose Sanchez of Cathedral City, California knocked out Carlos Caraballo in the third round.
Sanchez, who improved to 11-0, 7 KOs, landed two right uppercuts, followed by a left hook to the head, sending Caraballo flat onto his back, prompting the fight to be stopped.
Caraballo, who resides in Ponce, Puerto Rico, falls to 15-3, 14 KOs. He has now lost three of his last four bouts.
Hard-hitting lightweight Yan Santana of the Dominican Republic stopped Jose Benitez (1-1, 1 KO) of Bayamon in the second round. Santana improved to 8-0, 8 KOs.
Light heavyweight Yair Gallardo-Lozano (4-0, 4 KOs) of Mexico stopped Puerto Rico’s William Lorenzo (3-37, 1 KO) in the opening round.
In a clash between lightweights from Puerto Rico, Yariel Santiago Hernandez of Toa Alta defeated Carlos Matos Ramirez (3-7) of Cabo Rojo by decision over six rounds. All three judges scored the bout 60-54 in favor of Santiago, who goes to 7-0, 2 KOs.
The card was promoted by Cotto Promotions.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for BoxingScene since September 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing