It was not the type of victory John Vera expected, but one he will take nonetheless.
Vera scored a bizarre knockout victory of Cleotis ‘Mookie’ Pendarvis in the opening round Thursday night at the Civic Center in Biloxi, Mississippi. Vera, who resides in Fort Worth, Texas, goes to 20-1, 12 knockouts.
Thursday’s fight marked Vera’s return to the ring since defeating Ravshan Hudaynazarov by unanimous decision in August 2019. Vera’s most notable fight took place almost a year and a half before the Hudaynazarov fight, losing by unanimous decision to middleweight contender Michel Soro.
If Vera wanted to get rounds in towards notching a victory against Pendarvis, he was disappointed about midway into the opening round. The southpaw Pendarvis threw a jab to the body of Vera, but dropped to the canvas in pain, prompting him to be counted out at 1:38. After the fight, Pendarvis complained about his head hurting.
Vera is promoted by Roy Jones Jr. Promotions and will likely wish to return to the ring sooner than later.
Pendarvis, who resides in Lancaster, California, drops to 21-8-2, 9 KOs. The 34-year-old has not lost his last four bouts.
In a competitive action fight, welterweight Christon Edwards of Houston, Texas defeated Jonathan Steele by unanimous decision.
Scores were 58-56, 58-56, and 59-55 for Edwards, who improves to 12-2, 6 KOs.
It was a toe-to-toe clash from the opening bell, both mostly fighting in the pocket. Despite being cut over his left eye in round 2, Edwards was the more-effective puncher during the first half of the fight. Sensing he was down in the fight, Steele landed the the more-telling punches during the last two rounds of the fight, but was not enough to overcome the early deficit against Edwards.
Steele, who resides in Duncanville, Texas, falls to 9-7-1, 6 KOs.
In a clash of unbeaten junior lightweights, Eridson Garcia improved to 11-0, 7 KOs by defeating Jose Diaz Valenzuela of Phoenix, Arizona by majority decision. One judge scored the bout 57-57, but the other two judges scored the bout 60-54 and 59-55 for Garcia, who is originally from the Dominican Republic and now resides in Houston.
Diaz Valenzuela drops to 6-1, 1 KO.
Junior welterweight Tyler Tomlin stopped Argentina’s Ricardo Ocampo (12-11, 7 KOs) at 55 seconds of the opening round. Tomlin, who resides in Ashland City, Tennessee, improves to 10-0, 6 KOs.
The card was promoted by Roy Jones Jr. Promotions and was streamed live on UFC Fight Pass.
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.