Jadier Herrera demonstrated the skills and power Sunday night that have made him an intriguing prospect.
The 20-year-old Cuban southpaw dropped Venezuelan veteran Franklin Manzanilla four times on his way to a technical-knockout win on the Floyd Mayweather-Deji pay-per-view undercard at Coca-Cola Arena in Dubai. Herrera (9-0, 7 KOs) dropped Manzanilla once apiece in the first and second rounds and then twice during the fifth round before their scheduled 10-round junior lightweight fight was stopped.
The 35-year-old Manzanilla (21-9, 20 KOs) tried to rough up the younger, faster, slicker Herrera, but Herrera eventually became the fourth foe to stop Manzanilla inside the distance.
A right-left combination by Herrera sent Manzanilla to the canvas with 37 seconds to go in the fifth round. Manzanilla got off the canvas for the third time in their bout, but Herrera’s right hook dropped him to his gloves and knees again, this time with eight seconds remaining in the fifth round.
Manzanilla’s handlers stopped their fight following the fifth round.
Three rounds earlier, a left hand by Herrera sent Manzanilla to the canvas with 37 seconds to go in the second round. Manzanilla complained that Herrera pushed him to the canvas.
Manzanilla had a point deducted with just over a minute remaining in the second round because he hit Herrera twice while they were ordered to break.
Herrera’s straight left dropped Manzanilla only 23 seconds into their fight. Manzanilla made it to his feet quickly, though, and threw enough punches to prevent Herrera from hurting him again the first round.
Earlier on the show, a bout between former WBC lightweight titlist Delfine Persoon and Ikram Kerwat was ruled a no-contest after less than one round of action.
Belgium's Persoon was fortunate to avoid a disqualification after hitting Kerwat while she was on the canvas. Kerwat (11-3, 5 KOs, 1 NC), a Tunisian boxer based in Germany and trained by Hall-of-Fame former four-division champion Roy Jones Jr., couldn't continue after she was fouled.
The original ruling was a first-round knockout for Persoon (47-3, 12 KOs, 1 NC), but it was overturned by the commission.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.