By Francisco Salazar
LOS ANGELES - Lightweight Diego Magdaleno was able to grind his way to a 10 round unanimous decision over Art Hovhannisyan before a sellout crowd at the Belasco Theatre.
With the win, Magdaleno improves to 29-2, 12 KOs. Hovhannisyan falls to 17-3-3, 9 KOs.
It was a must-win fight for both lightweights.
Magdaleno had not fought since Oct. 10 of last year when he was stopped in the second round by WBO lightweight titleholder Terry Flanagan. Hovhannisyan, who was born in Armenia and currently resides in nearby Glendale, fought to a draw against Fidel Maldonado in his last bout on May 20.
The southpaw Magdaleno, who resides in Las Vegas, landed the more-telling blows throughout the fight, particularly finding a home for short right hooks to the head.
Despite fighting through a cut over his right eye, Magdaleno was at his best when he initiated exchanges, scoring with repeated left hands to the head of Hovhannisyan.
The pace of the fight slowed down in the second round, but Magdaleno continued to score from the outside.
All three judges scored the bout 99-91 in favor of Magdaleno.
Super middleweight Maricela Cornejo (5-2, 2 KOs) won a six round unanimous decision over Eliza Olson, who falls to 9-7-3, 2 KOs. Olson pressed the action throughout most of the fight, finding success with a few lead right hands. Olsen found some success during the middle rounds, as she was able to bull her way inside Cornejo's guard and land various blows. Cornejo was able to offset Olsen's offense by peppering her with repeated jabs, following those up with right hands to the head. All three judges scored the bout in favor of Cornejo, 58-56, 58-56, and 59-55.
Lightweight Joseph Aguirre broke down Roberto Rivera, eventually stopping him in round five. After an even opening round, Aguirre (15-0, 9 KOs) pressed the action, walking Rivera down and putting him on the defensive.
A left to the body dropped Rivera to one knee almost at the midway point of round five. Rivera (6-3, 5 KOs) was able to beat the count, but Aguirre went in for the kill. Another left to the body by Aguirre dropped Rivera down to one knee again, prompting referee Zac Young to stop the bout at 1:45.
Welterweight David Mijares (4-0, 3 KOs) knocked out Jason Gavino (3-4, 2 KOs) at 2:42 of the first round. Mijares dropped Gavino, prompting referee Jerry Cantu to immediately stop the fight.
Highly-touted amateur Marvyn Cabrera made his pro debut a successful one, knocking out Jose Caro in the first round of a junior middleweight bout. A left hand dropped Cano to the canvas. Cano (0-4) beat the count, but referee Zac Young stopped the bout at 1:17.
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, RingTV, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing