By Keith Idec
MORE LIVE RESULTS TO COME..............
NEW YORK – In the first fight Showtime streamed Saturday night, junior welterweight prospect Richardson Hitchins had his way with Cesar Valenzuela throughout a completely one-sided six-rounder.
The 20-year-old Hitchins, a 2016 Olympian from Brooklyn, knocked down Mexico’s Valenzuela late in the first round and spent the rest of their bout backing up his game opponent with right hands, jabs and left hooks. The poised, skilled Hitchins (6-0, 3 KOs) won each of the six rounds on all three judges’ scorecards (60-53, 60-53, 60-52).
The sixth and final round mirrored much of the rest of the fight, as Hitchins hit Valenzuela at will. An active Hitchins spent much of the fifth round hitting Valenzuela (7-3, 2 KOs) with right hands and jabs.
Hitchins drilled Valenzuela with two straight right hands that backed him up early in the fourth round. Hitchins rocked Valenzuela with a left hook just after the midway point of the first round.
Hitchins scored a knockdown just before the first round ended. Valenzuela stumbled to the canvas after their feet got tangled, but he got right up and the bell sounded to end that round before the action resumed.
In the third fight Saturday, Brandon Quarles edged Marcus Willis by split decision in an eight-round middleweight match that seemingly could’ve gone either way.
Two judges scored the fight for Quarles (78-74, 77-75) and one judge had Willis in front, 78-74, when fight that featured several close rounds ended. Quarles and Willis stayed in each other’s chests for most of the fight, but neither boxer could hurt his opponent.
The 31-year-old Quarles, of Alexandria, Virginia, improved to 20-4-1 (10 KOs). The 31-year-old Willis, of Fort Myers, Florida, dropped to 18-6-2 (5 KOs).
After Quarles’ win, cruiserweight Marsellos Wilder stopped Ryan Williams in the first round of a scheduled four-rounder.
Wilder, the younger brother of WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, went to Williams’ body early in the fight. He wobbled Williams with a left hook and later landed a straight right hand that knocked Williams into his corner.
Wilder pounced on Williams and the fight was stopped 2:34 into it once he landed a couple more punches.
The 29-year-old Wilder improved to 2-0 and has won both of his professional fights by knockout. The 39-year-old Williams, of Turlock, California, is 0-2.
Following Torres’ victory, Ricky Lopez earned a hard-fought, unanimous-decision win against Ramsey Luna in an eight-round super featherweight bout. Lopez landed enough power shots to win their back-and-forth fight on all three scorecards (78-74, 78-74, 77-75).
The 31-year-old Lopez, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, upped his record to 20-4. The 26-year-old Luna, of Corpus Christi, Texas, fell to 14-6.
Lopez largely fought off his back foot, but exploited Luna’s defensive flaws with power punches that caught the judges’ attention, particularly during the second half of their fight.
Lopez drilled Luna with a three-punch combination as they stood in the center of the ring with slightly more than a minute remaining in the eighth and final round. Luna continued to come forward in the seventh round, but Lopez landed the harder punches during those three minutes.
Luna pressed the action throughout the sixth round and landed several hard body shots. Lopez managed to fire back just enough to keep Lopez honest, but he couldn’t hurt his aggressive opponent.
Luna hurt Lopez with a right hand to the body just over a minute into the fifth round. Lopez moved away from him enough to recover.
Lopez and Luna traded punches from close distances during the third and fourth rounds, both of which were competitive and entertaining.
Luna bullied Lopez in the first round and landed the more effective punches, but Lopez took control in the second round. Lopez’s straight right hand snapped back Luna’s head with about a minute to go in the second round.
Jeffrey Torres’ walk to the ring lasted almost as long as his fight Saturday at Barclays Center.
Philadelphia’s Torres needed just 1:58 to stop Emmanuel Valdez in a super lightweight fight scheduled for four rounds. Torres hit Valdez with an overhand right to left him slumped against the ropes with about 1:10 to go in the first round of the first fight on the Danny Garcia-Shawn Porter undercard.
Because the ropes held him up, it was counted as a knockdown. Once Valdez stood upright, the fight was stopped because he appeared badly hurt.
The 21-year-old Torres improved to 5-0 and recorded his third knockout. Mexico’s Valdez (5-6, 4 KOs) lost by technical knockout for the second time since July 21.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.