Junior welterweight prospect Ernesto Mercado dropped Jose Angulo twice en route to a seventh round knockout victory Saturday night at the LumColor Center in Ontario, California. 

Mercado, who resides in nearby Pomona, improves to 9-0, 9 knockouts.

The fight was fought at a tactical pace from the opening round as Angulo attempted to utilize his experience. Angulo tried setting traps in an attempt for Mercado to initiate punches and combinations, which would allow Angulo to counter with right crosses or left hooks to the head. 

That tactic rarely worked as the 21-year-old Mercado fought a disciplined fight, breaking Angulo down to the body by moving in and out, but connecting with straight right hands to the stomach and left hooks to the body. As the fight progressed, Angulo’s punch output dropped considerably and began fighting more defensively. 

About midway through the sixth round, Mercado dropped Angulo to the canvas. A right hand split Angulo’s guard, wobbling him back against the ropes. A barrage of punches to the head and body would drop Angulo to the canvas, eventually beating the count and making it out of the round.

Mercado was more on the offensive to begin the seventh round. He trapped Angulo in a corner and unleashed another barrage of punches, dropping Angulo to the canvas a second time. Referee Ray Corona counted Angulo out at 1:05. 

“The plan was to eventually get the knockouts,” Ernesto Mercado, Sr., father and trainer of Ernesto Mercado, told BoxingScene on Monday. “‘Tito’ was composed and was committed to the body in order to break Angulo down.”

In his previous fight on October 22, Mercado stopped former contender Jayson Velez after the sixth round. He was originally scheduled to fight former world title challenger Henry ‘Hank’ Lundy, but Lundy dropped out of the fight, reportedly due to a cut suffered in training camp, to then sign a contract to fight Adrien Broner later this month. That move brought an immediate suspension by the California State Athletic Commission, which affected Lundy’s ability to fight Broner or fighters in other states under the jurisdiction of the Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC). 

Mercado has utilized his celebrity in the Inland Empire of Southern California to speak to at-risk teenagers, inviting them to train at the gym he works out of. Mercado also appeared in a short documentary called “Will to Win,” which outlines Mercado’s mental state as he enters the ring. 

Angulo, who resides in Guayaquil, Ecuador, falls to 14-5, 7 KOs. The 26-year-old has now lost four of his last six bouts, including knockout losses to Jousce Gonzalez and Alberto Machado. 

Also on the Red Boxing Promotions card, hard-hitting middleweight Raul Lizarraga of Murrieta, California knocked out Saint Louis’ Ryan Adams (9-7-1, 6 KOs) at 40 seconds of the fifth round. 

Lizarraga improves to 11-0, 11 KOs.

In junior welterweight action, William King of nearby Perris improves to 5-0-1, 2 KOs by knocking out Tyjuan Townsend at 2:40 of the fourth and final round.

Townsend, who also resides in Saint Louis, falls to 1-4-2. 

Francisco A. Salazar has written for BoxingScene since September 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at santio89@yahoo.com or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing