By Francisco Salazar
Middleweight prospect Christian Mbilli remained unbeaten late Thursday night, stopping Luis Fernando Pina in the second round at the Palais des Sports in Orleans, France.
It was another impressive performance for the 23-year-old Mbilli in his toughest test to date as a pro.
Pina, who resides in Mexico City, came to fight from the opening bell, throwing multiple combinations to the head of Mbilli. A right hand to the chin momentarily stunned Mbilli about a minute into round one, but Mbilli was able to recover.
Pina kept applying the pressure in round two. Mbilli was able to weather the storm and quickly turned the tide in his favor by the midway point of the round.
Mbilli closed the distance while pinning Pina against the ropes, throwing and landing a series of hooks and crosses. A barrage of punches stunned Pina in a corner before Mbilli unleashed a right uppercut to the chin, dropping Pina to the canvas. Pina beat the count, but referee Christophe Fernandez stopped the bout at 2:09.
With the win, Mbilli (12-0, 12 knockouts) won a regional title belt.
Mbilli is originally from Cameroon, but represented France in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Mbilli is promoted by Montreal-based Yvon Michel.
Pina (20-2, 15 KOs) has lost two of his last three fights.
Light heavyweight Mathieu Bauderlique won a 10 round unanimous decision over Yann Binaga Aboghe (10-3-1, 1 KO).
Scores were 99-91, 99-91, and 100-90 for Bauderlique, who improves to 15-1, 7 KOs.
Middleweight Diego Natchoo (16-1-4, 6 KOs) stopped veteran Michel Mothmora (29-27-2, 10 KOs) in the seventh round.
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 (Calif.) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing