By Rick Reeno
Las Vegas, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino - 2012 Olympic bronze medal winner Yamaguchi Falcao (16-0, 6 KOs) won a ten round unanimous decision over Elias Espadas (17-4, 12 KOs) in a middleweight contest. The scores were 95-93, 96-92, 96-92.
There were plenty of fouls throughout the fight - with Falcao doing most of the fouling. In the second, Falcao dropped Espadas. He jumped on him for the finish, but Espadas fought him off. In the third, they were trading punches at close range in spurts to get rise out the crowd.
During the fourth, Falcao finally lost a point for variety of fouls. They continued to trade punches throughout the fight, with Falcao holding the advantage in the middle rounds. Espadas found success late in the fight when it appeared that Falcao's gas tank was a bit light.
In the tenth, Falcao had a surge of energy and connected with numerous flush shots that Espadas was able to absorb without going down.
Hot Puerto Rican prospect Carlos Caraballo (8-0, 8 KOs) broke down and stopped Jesus Martinez (24-4, 12 KOs) in five rounds.
Caraballo is promoted by Miguel Cotto Promotions.
The fight started very slow, which forced a shower of boos from the crowd. Caraballo opened up in the second, with power punch combinations to the head and body. Martinez was rocked several times.
The end finally came at the end of the fifth, when Martinez had taken enough punishment and decided to retire on his stool.
“From the first bell I knew that I could manage this fight,” said Caraballo. “I had him measured from the start. But I needed to fight intelligently because I knew he was a tough opponent. Right now I want to talk with my team to see what’s next, but I’ll be back soon.”
In a welterweight contest, undefeated prospect Blair Cobbs (9-0-1, 6 KOs) stopped Emmanuel Valadez (5-5, 4 KOs) in two rounds.
At the start of the first, Cobbs came flying out of his corner like a man on fire. He was throwing numerous combinations to push Valadez back. Cobbs would eventually settle down and started picking his punches with more care.
Cobbs scored a flash knockdown in the first minute of the second. Once Valadez got back to his feet, Cobbs overwhelmed him with power punches until the referee stepped in to wave off the fight.
“I felt great,” said Cobbs. “I’m ready to move up. I’m ready to start calling out names. I’m ready to move up the ladder and one day be a contender in the welterweight division. We’re just starting, but in the ring I said ‘now is the time.’ I had just fought earlier this month, but I said ‘the time is now,’ took a day of rest and came back.”