by Francisco Salazar
It took him round or two, but once he got going, he was not about to stop.
Welterweight Chris Van Heerden stopped veteran Cosme Rivera after the fourth round of a scheduled eight round bout at the Florentine Gardens in Hollywood, CA on Thursday night.
The bout was also the United States debut for Van Heerden, who had fought all but one of his bouts in his native South Africa.
Van Heerden had not fought since March of last year, when he won a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision over Matthew Hatton.
Rivera has fought a who's who of world title holders, contenders, and prospects. He had lost his previous three bouts in a row prior to the Van Heerden fight.
Van Heerden, who is now being trained by Southern California trainer Manuel Robles, looked as though he had some ring rust as his timing was off. Showing his ring generalship, Rivera was able to counter the southpaw Van Heerden at times, especially with the right hand.
With each passing minute, Van Heerden looked as though he found his rhythm. He was able to land repeatedly with left hands to the head of Rivera. Van Heerden punished to the head, particularly in the fourth round. After the round ended, Rivera's face was noticeably red from the abundant of punches Van Heerden had landed.
After consulting with a ringside physician, referee Raul Caiz, Jr. stopped the bout, even though Rivera protested the stoppage.
Van Heerden, who hails from Meyerton, South Africa, improves to 20-1-1, 11 KOs. Rivera, from Sun Valley, CA by way of Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico, falls to 35-18-3, 24 KOs.
Johnny Quigley (11-0, 2 KOs) won a six round unanimous decision over Alejandro Ochoa (3-8-2) in junior welterweight action. All three judges scored the bout 59-55 in favor of Quigley.
Junior middleweight Urmat Ryskeldiev (7-3-1, 5 KOs) won a six round unanimous decision over Moses Alvizo (3-7-1). Scores in favor of Ryskeldiev were 60-54, 60-54, and 59-55.
Heavyweight Charles Martin stopped Maurenzo Smith after the third round of a scheduled eight round bout. Martin (14-0-1, 12 KOs) dropped Smith midway through the first round, even though Smith complained that their feet tangled up. The southpaw Martin continued to impose his height and reach advantage on Smith, keeping him on the outside and not allowing him to mount any offense. In the third round, Smith (12-8-3, 10 KOs) was dropped by a left cross to the head. smith stood up, but did not look as though he wanted to continue. After the end of the round, on the advice of the ringside physician, referee Jack Reiss stopped the bout.
Middleweight Louis Rose won a six round unanimous decision over Fabian Reyes. Rose (9-1-1, 2 KOs) was much quicker then Reyes, consistently beating him to the punch. The southpaw Reyes (10-1, 6 KOs) would time Rose well, despite not having the best footwork. Reyes countered Rose with looping hooks to the head and the occasional uppercut. But, Rose landed significantly more, especially with one-two combinations or right uppercuts to the head. All three judges scored the bout 59-55 in favor of Rose, while Boxingscene.com scored the bout 60-54 for Rose.
Cruiserweight Vyacheslav Shabransky stopped Lamont Williams in the seventh round of a scheduled eight round bout. Shabransky (7-0, 6 KOs) dropped Williams with a counter right hand to the head in the second round. Anytime Shabransky was able to get on the inside, Williams (5-4-1, 2 KOs) immediately tied him up. As the fight progressed, Williams looked as though he was in survival mode. It was more evident after Williams was knocked down in the fifth round, courtesy of a barrage of punches from Shabransky. In the seventh round, Shabransky mounted an attack, prompting Williams to take a knee. It did not look as though any punches connected, but it did not stop Reiss from waving the fight over at 1:37.
Welterweight Zachary Wohlman won a hard-fought four round majority decision over Luis Hernandez. Wohlman (7-1, 1 KO) spent most of the fight trying to counter an aggressive Hernandez. Wohlman was able to stun Hernandez in the second round with a counter right to the head. To his credit, Hernandez (2-6) was able to recover and landed the more telling blows in the round. Momentum continued on Hernandez's side in the third as he landed repeatedly to the head of Wohlman. Both fighters had their moments in the fourth, trading and landing until the final bell sounded. One judge, along with Boxingscene.com, scored the bout 38-38, while the other two judges scored the bout 39-37 in favor of Wohlman.
Cruiserweight Deon Elam stopped Michael Glenn in the second round of a scheduled four round bout. Elam (13-1, 7 KOs) had a significant size and strength advantage over the stockier Glenn. Near the end of the first round, Elam dropped Glenn (3-8-2) with a counter right hand to the head. Glenn was able to survive the round and tried to fight back, but was unable to keep Elam off of him. Near the end of the second round, Elam dropped Glenn with a right to the body, followed by a right hand to the head. Glenn got up, but was dropped again by another right hand. Referee Jack Reiss saw enough and waved the fight over at 2:54.
Featherweight Erik Ruiz won a four round unanimous decision over Victor Capaceta. Ruiz (11-1, 5 KOs) looked to connect with hooks and crosses while the southpaw Capaceta was able to counter with left hooks. In the second half of the fight, Ruiz took initiative, which allowed him to beat Capaceta (3-6-3, 2 KOs) to the punch. All three judges, including Boxingscene.com, scored the bout 39-37 in favor or Ruiz.
Lightweight Minju Shin won his professional debut, defeating Devo Donaldson by unanimous decision over four rounds. Shin dropped Donaldson (1-3) in the third round. All three judges scored the bout in favor of Shin, 38-37, 38-37, and 40-35.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene.com since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. He also covers boxing for the Ventura County (CA) Star newspaper, Knockout Nation, and RingTV. He could be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing