MGM Grand Conference Center, Las Vegas - Gabriel Flores Jr, the junior lightweight sensation from Stockton, California, made an emphatic statement, knocking out former world title challenger Jayson Velez in the sixth round. Flores (20-0, 7 KOs) knocked down Velez twice in the sixth, punctuating the victory with a left hook.
Flores (20-0, 7 KOs) became only the second man to stop Velez (29-8-1, 20 KOs), who was knocked out in 10 rounds by Oscar Valdez last July.
Flores would love to get the winner of next month's WBO super featherweight world title fight between Jamel Herring and Carl Frampton.
But, he will have to wait for that particular opportunity, as the victor of Herring-Frampton will have to make an immediate mandatory defense against Shakur Stevenson.
Flores said, “I could’ve done it earlier. I was playing with my food. [Trainer Gabriel Flores Sr.] told me I just gotta press it. Nothing was really going on those first five rounds, to be honest. I was just feeling him out.
“I would love to get the winner of Jamel Herring and Carl Frampton. I’d love that. I’m going to keep on working, and my performances are going to get better and better.”
Also on the card, middleweight contender Esquiva Falcao (28-0, 20 KOs) took down Artur Akavov (20-4, 9 KOs) in four rounds.
Falcao, a 2012 Olympic silver medalist from Brazil, picked up the most significant win of his career with a one-sided drubbing of two-time middleweight world title challenger Akavov.
After a rough opening round, Falcao was in command until Akavov's corner stopped the fight following the fourth round. All three judges had Falcao ahead 39-37 at the time of the stoppage.
And unbeaten junior welterweight: Elvis Rodriguez (11-0-1, 10 KOs) went the distance for the first time in winning an eight round unanimous decision over Luis Alberto Veron (18-3-2, 9 KOs). Scores: 79-73, 79-73 and 78-74.
Rodriguez made his name as an explosive puncher, but showed his maturity and boxing acumen against Veron, a former WBO Latino belt-holder who has never been stopped as a pro. Rodriguez stunned Veron several times.