Lightweight prospect and amateur standout Ernesto Mercado knocked out journeyman Adolfo Blanco in the second round last Thursday night inside The Hangar at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa, California.

Mercado, who resides in nearby Pomona, improves to 7-0, 7 knockouts.

The 22-year-old was the aggressor from the opening bell, walking Blanco down as he unleashed vicious two and three-punch combinations. Blanco took them well, but was on the defensive throughout much of the fight.

Moments into the second round, a left hook landed to the temple of Blanco, dropping him to the canvas. Blanco was on wobbly legs as he beat the count, but was bombarded by combinations from Mercado, prompting referee Thomas Taylor to stop the fight at 45 seconds.

Mercado was coming off a second-round knockout win over Jose Zaragoza in his previous fight on May 12. None of his knockout wins have gone past the second round.

While he was disappointed he did not get enough rounds in, Mercado is pleased with the knockout win and hopes to return to action soon.

“This was my first (scheduled) eight-rounder and I was hoping to get to the second half of the fight, but I got him hurt and had to take him out,” said Mercado, who is trained and managed by his father, Ernesto, Sr. “I like to consider myself as a true closer, one who, once I have my opponent hurt, will always look to close the show with a knockout. After the first knockdown, I knew It was just a matter of time before I got him out of there.

“I was born with power in both hands, and I can take you out with a variety of punches. I know as my opponents get tougher, adjusting to different styles will be key when I go to the later rounds. Going the distance is something I know I’ll have to handle at some point in my career, but right now I’m enjoying ending fights early.”

Blanco, who resides in Buenos Aires, Argentina, drops to 22-11, 11 KOs. The 32-year-old has lost four of his last six bouts.

Lightweight Rene Moreno, who is originally from Pachuca, Mexico and now resides in Las Vegas, Nevada, improved to 7-0, 4 KOs by defeating Dallas’ Charles Clark (3-11-1, 1 KO). All three judges scored the out 40-36 in favor of Moreno.

The fight headlined a Roy Englebrecht Promotions card.

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 at or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing