Yves Ulysse Jr. and Ismael Barroso meet at the crossroads to determine who will go on to fight for a major title at some point in 2020.
Their scheduled 12-round junior welterweight bout tops a seven-fight card streaming live from The OC Hangar in Costa Mesa, California (Thursday, DAZN, 10:00pm ET/7:00pm PT).
Canada’s Ulysse Jr. (18-1, 9KOs) aims for his fifth straight win, while Venezuela’s Barroso (21-3-2, 20KOs) looks to regain his old form which once led to an interim lightweight title.
Also on the show, unbeaten prospect D’Mitrius Ballard (20-0, 13KOs) faces 2012. Olympic Bronze medalist Yamaguchi Falcao (16-1, 7KOs) in a pivotal 10-round middleweight contest.
Mihai Nistor enjoyed a successful pro debut, scoring a 3rd round knockout of Mexico’s Christian Mariscal.
The DAZN-opening contest saw Nistor—a former amateur standout who represented Romania in the 2016 Rio Olympics—was given a quick introduction to the pro ranks, as Mariscal (13-5, 6KOs) immediately took the fight to his foe, even if largely ineffective. Mariscal resorted to low blows when clean punching wasn’t working, at least providing Nistor with early fits and making him work for his first win.
Nistor eventually settled in, his own power shots quickly taking over the fight. The bout ended in a hurry when a left hand forced the fleshy Mariscal to the canvas. It was enough to produce the end of the fight, which came at 2:00 of round three.
The 29-year old Nistor owns a stoppage win over former unified heavyweight titlist Anthony Joshua in the amateurs, a storyline that figures to be shared often during his rise through the ranks.
George Rincon capped his 2019 campaign with his fourth knockout in as many fights on the year. The latest saw the Dallas native go deeper than has been required at any point in his young career before dusting off Antonio Flores in the 5th round of their junior welterweight clash.
Action was spirited early on, with Rincon establishing his left hand on the inside but the southpaw also forced to take a few more shots than necessary—or expected—as Flores (8-2, 2KOs) proved game.
The tide turned in round three, as Rincon did a better job of punishing the Colorado-based Mexican without absorbing return fire. The trend carried all the way through the early moments of round five, before referee Ray Corona waved off the bout at 0:34 of round five.
Rincon advances to 9-0 (6KOs), fighting past round four for the first time in his career but having now scored four consecutive knockout wins.
Irish middleweight Jason Quigley made the most of his fresh start with a new team, enjoying a one-sided 3rd round stoppage of Mexico’s Abraham Cordero.
Quigley was fighting for the first time since a shocking 9th round knockout at the hands of Tureano Johnson this past July. The 28-year old from Ireland—who now lives and trains in Woodland Hills, California—decided to make sweeping changes among his team, particularly in his corner where he now trains under the watchful eye of former middleweight titlist and Kronk disciple Andy Lee.
The pairing proved immediately successful, with Quigley boxing smartly in the early going and remaining mindful of the incoming. Cordero (13-5-2, 7KOs) did his best to force a slugfest, but proved too crude to disrupt the conscious rhythm of Quigley, who alternated between boxing and digging in on the inside.
A boxing match drastically transitioned into a one-way fight in round three, when Quigley saw an opening he could exploit. Cordero was forced to pay the price, as he was trapped along the ropes and absorbing punishment until referee Thomas Taylor decided he was done for the night.
The official time was 1:36 of round three.
Quigley improves to 17-1 (13KOs) with the win.
Baby-faced welterweight Aaron McKenna (10-0, 6KOs) celebrated his two-year anniversary in the pro ranks with his fourth win of 2019. The latest came in a 2nd round knockout of Mexico’s Victor Eddy Gaytan (6-5, 3KOs).
The 20-year old prospect continues to grow comfortable in his 6’1” frame, keeping the shorter Gaytan at bay and well within his desired punching range for much of the evening.
The bout took a drastic turn for the worse late in round two, when McKenna—a promising welterweight prospect from Ireland who now lives and trains in Los Angeles—found a sweet spot, gaining maximum leverage on a body shot to put Gaytan on the canvas. The 27-year old Mexican never made it to his feet as referee Rudy Barragan counted hin out at 1:58 of round two.
Opening the livestream—with the preliminary action streaming live on Golden Boy’s Facebook page—Rianna Rios earned a four-round decision over Washington’s Elizabeth Tuani in a battle of bantamweight debutantes. Scores were 40-36 across the board for Rios (1-0, 0KOs), a 25-year old southpaw from Upper Marlboro, Maryland.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox