By Francisco Salazar
GLENDALE, Calif. - It was not spectacular, but junior welterweight Pedro Campa did what he had to do to get the win on Saturday night.
Campa beat Aaron Herrera in every facet of the game in their 10 round bout, winning a one-sided decision before an almost-sellout crowd at the Civic Auditorium.
Campa was making his United States debut after fighting all of his bouts in Mexico.
After an even opening round, it was all Campa, as he outlanded and outboxed Herrera during most of the exchanges.
Herrera was not able to put together any consistent offense. Anytime he would throw, Campa put him in the defensive with numerous combinations.
As the bout progressed into the later rounds, Campa looked as though he wanted to stop Herrera. He would land more hooks and crosses with regularity, but Herrera was able to hold on or land a punch to throw off Campa.
All three judges scored the bout in favor of Campa, 100-90, 100-90, and 98-92.
Campa improves to 19-0, 14 KOs, while Herrera drops to 21-4-1, 12 KOs.
Unbeaten Sullivan Barrera stopped Karo Murat in the fifth round. With the win, Barrera became the IBF mandatory challenger to Sergey Kovalev. Both fighters had their moments early on, but as the bout progressed, Barrera (17-0, 12 KOs) began landing the more telling blows. Murat attempted to counter, finding some success, but Barrera continued pressing the action.
At the end of the fourth round, a right-left combination dropped Murat (27-3-1, 17 KOs) to the canvas. Murat stood up on wobbly legs and made it back to his corner, but Barrera went in for the kill at the beginning of the fifth round. Barrera stunned Murat with a right hand, following up with a barrage of punches. Referee Wayne Hedgpeth stepped in at 25 seconds, while Murat stood in disbelief because of the stoppage.
In the opening bout of the HBO Latino broadcast, middleweight Arif Magomedov stopped Jonathan Tavira in the seventh round. Magomedov (17-0, 10 KOs) had Tavira on the defensive during a majority of the fight. He scored repeatedly with right hands to the head of Tavira (12-4, 9 KOs), eventually throwing and landing left hooks to the head by round three. Magomedov dropped Tavira in round four, courtesy of a right hand to the head.
Tavira attempted to mount a rally during the middle rounds, gaining momentum in the sixth round when referee Zac Young deducted a point from Magomedov for repeatedly holding him behind the head. However, Magomedov hurt and dropped Tavira with a barrage of punches in round seven. Tavira beat the count, but referee Zac Young waved the fight over at 55 seconds.
Junior middleweight Aleksandr Besputin stopped Fernando Palizo at the end of the second round. Besputin, who was making his pro debut, stunned Palizo (4-2, 4 KOs) multiple times in the opening round. Palizo came on in the second round, but Besputin stunned him again with about 30 seconds left in the round. Besputin landed repeatedly until Palizo dropped to the canvas. Referee Sharon Sands waved the fight over at 2:59.
Fringe welterweight contender Francisco Santana stopped Armen Ovsepyan (14-6, 11 KOs) in the sixth round. It was Santana's first bout since losing a close 10 round decision to Sadam Ali in April. Both fighters had their moments early on, but Santana's strength and accuracy began to take its toll. Santana (23-4-1, 12 KOs) walked Ovsepyan down, attacking the body with left hooks as well. In the sixth round, Santana landed a left hook to Ovsepyan's head, stunning him in the process. Santana was about to follow up, but Ovsepyan's corner threw in the towel, prompting referee Zac Young to stop the bout at 2:37.
Welterweight Egidijus Kavaliauskas (11-0, 10 KOs) stopped Pablo Munguia in the second round. A right hand staggered Munguia (21-10-1, 12 KOs) across the ring. Moments later, a barrage of punches from Kavaliauskas dropped Munguia to the canvas. Referee Raul Caiz, Sr. stopped the bout immediately at 1:10.
In the opening bout of the Top Rank/ Main Events card, junior middleweight Konstantin Kupianskii was successful in his pro debut, winning a one-sided four round decision over Reggie Young (0-2). All three judges scored the bout 40-36 in favor of Kupianskii.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for BoxingScene.com since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (CA) Star newspaper, RingTV, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing