Junior welterweight Joel Diaz battered Saul Banos, dropping him three times en route to a knockout win Saturday night at the Salon CTM in San Luis Rio Colorado, Mexico.
With the victory, Diaz improves to 25-2, 21 knockouts.
Saturday marked the first time Diaz appeared in the ring since February 10 of last year. In that bout, Diaz was knocked out in round 3 by Argentina’s Cristian Coria. Diaz’s previous loss was to Regis Prograis in a clash of unbeaten junior welterweight prospects in June 2017.
The bigger and stronger Diaz was the aggressor from the beginning. With each passing minute, Banos was in survivor mode, backing away against the ropes as Diaz continued walking him down. Diaz dropped Banos twice in round 2, but Banos was able to beat the count each time and survived the round.
The 28-year-old Diaz continued to walk Banos down in round 3. About midway through the round, Diaz landed a straight right to the body, dropping Banos to one knee against the ropes. Banos beat the count, but referee Enrique Penato waved the fight off at 1:40.
Banos, who resides in Loreto, Mexico, drops to 14-19-2, 7 KOs. He has lost 13 of his last 14 bouts.
Amateur standout Fidencio Hernandez of Oxnard, California was successful in his professional debut, knocking out Jose Pedro Loreto (1-1) in round 2.
Hernandez, who is trained by Gilbert Perez, dropped Loreto a total of three times before the fight was stopped at 2:05.
Both Diaz and Hernandez are managed by Sam Contreras.
Heavyweight prospect and 2016 Olympian Bakhodir Jalolov improved to 7-0, 7 KOs by dropping Wilfredo Leal three times, winning by knockout at the end of round 1.
The taller and southpaw Jalolov, who is originally from Uzbekistan and now resides in dropped Leal with a right hook to the body, followed by a left hand to the head. Moments later, Jalolov dropped Leal a second time, this time by a lead left cross to the head. Towards the end of the round, Jalolov backed Leal against the ropes, dropping him with a barrage of punches. The fight was then waved off.
Jalolov had not fought since April 10 of last year. All of his previous bouts had been against fighters with winning records.
Leal (10-18-3, 8 KOs), who resides in nearby Mexicali, has now lost 9 of his last 10 bouts.
In a clash of unbeaten lightweights, Elnur Abduraimov knocked out Abraham Oliva (4-1, 3 KOs) of Nuevo Laredo, Mexico in the opening round.
The southpaw Abduraimov (6-0, 6 KOs) connected with a counter left cross to the head, dropping Oliva flat onto his back in a corner. The fight was immediately waved off.
Both Jalolov and Abduraimov, who are originally from Uzbekistan and now reside in Brooklyn, New York, are managed by Vadim Kornilov.
Welterweight prospect Sergey Lubkovich (12-0, 8 KOs) of Los Angeles, who is managed by former world junior welterweight titleholder Eduard Troyanovsky, stopped Mauro Loreto in round 3.
Loreto, who resides in Agua Prieto, Mexico, dropped 20-12-2, 8 KOs and has now lost seven of his last 10 bouts.
Cachanilla Promotions promoted the card.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for BoxingScene 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. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing