Vergil Ortiz looks to wrap up a Prospect of the Year-level 2019 campaign as the unbeaten welterweight faces veteran Brad Solomon in a scheduled 12-round scrap.
The bout streams live on DAZN from Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California.
Ortiz (14-0, 14KOs) enters on the heels of a 6th round knockout of former title challenger Antonio Orozco this past August in his hometown of Grand Prairie, Texas.
Georgia’s Solomon fights for the first time since last April, with two bouts falling through in leading to the near 20-month ring hiatus.
Alexis Rocha had to survive the toughest round of his career to pick up his most rewarding victory to date.
The unbeaten welterweight prospect rode out an early storm from Mexico’s Roberto Valenzuela Jr. to earn a stoppage win after five rounds of furious action,
Valezuela’s corner opted to not let their charge come out prior to the start of round six.
Rocha is the younger brother of Ronny Rios, who breathed new life into his career following an upset knockout win over Diego de la Hoya earlier this summer. The unbeaten 22-year old southpaw nearly landed on that wrong end of that type of upset on Friday, getting caught with a left uppercut by Valenzuela (17-2, 16KOs) who emptied his clip in hopes to scoring a knockout in that very round.
It wasn’t to be, as Rocha (15-0, 10KOs) turned the tide by the end of the round. From there came a dedicated body attack to gradually wear down his foe. The Santa Ana, California native was prepared to close the show in style, only to have to settle for a between rounds stoppage when Valenzuela Jr. was instructed to remain on his stool after a punishing 5th round.
Luis Feliciano perhaps got more than he bargained for in his latest win, but nevertheless ends 2019 with his unblemished record still intact.
A third round knockdown paved the way for the unbeaten junior welterweight prospect to score a 10-round unanimous decision over Herbert Acevedo. Scores were 100-89, 99-90 and 97-92 in favor of Feliciano in a bout littered with headbutts but also loaded with action.
Acevedo was game from the opening bell, outgunned but refusing to wilt. Feliciano (14-0, 8KO) did his best to break his foe’s spirit, sending Acevedo to the canvas courtesy of clean right hand in round three.
Both fighters were forced to contend with cuts from headbutts, but never easing off the gas in providing an entertaining scrap—and for Feliciano, his fifth win of a productive 2019 campaign.
“These are the fights you have to get through in order to progress,” Feliciano noted afterward. “It’s a process, I want to get to the big fights and these are the fights you have to get through.
“Props to (Acevedo), he’s a tough guy and he kept coming.”
By his own admission, Erik Bazinyan acknowledged he is not ready to exercise his position as the number one contender to Billy Joe Saunders’ super middleweight title.
He certainly had Saul Roman fooled by the news.
The unbeaten 168 pound rising contender ended his year with a bang, scoring a one-punch 3rd round knockout of Mexico’s Saul Roman in the opening bout of the DAZN livestream.
A right hand shot put Roman down and out 0:46 into round three.
Bazinyan (24-0, 18KOs)—a 24-year old Armenian based out of Canada–overpowered his seasoned foe from the opening round, remaining poised while also confident that the knockout would present itself.
That moment came early in round three. Roman (46-14) came in straightforward, throwing a jab and leaving his chin exposed for a counter punch. Bazinyan slid back a step and sized up his right hand, which landed flush on Roman’s grill, putting him down and out. Referee Jerry Cantu waved off the bout without issuing a count.
Bazinyan has been the challenger in waiting for Saunders’ title, but plans to take on at least two more developmental fights in 2020 before pursuing a title fight.
“I’m young, I’m only 24,” Bazinyan told DAZN’s Todd Grisham. “I have time, and want to be ready for that opportunity.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox