By Francisco Salazar
Joseph Diaz, Jr. displayed an arsenal of weaponsnight against Juan Luis Hernandez.
It was impressive coming from a fighter who may be coming into his own in the next year or so.
Diaz stopped Hernandez after the end of the third round before a sold-out crowd at the Belasco Theatre.
The 2012 United Stated Olympian is one of Golden Boy Promotions' top prospects. Not only has he made the transition from the amateurs to the pro ranks successfully, but he has displayed remarkable punching power in his last couple of fights.
In his last bout on February 7, Hernandez lost a 12 round unanimous decision to Genesis Servania.
From the opening bell, Diaz had his way with Hernandez. The southpaw Diaz landed punches at will, putting Hernandez on the defensive. Diaz set up his punches well, finishing each combination with hooks to the body.
Diaz stunned Hernandez on a few occasions in the second round. He would hit pay dirt towards the end of the second round, flooring Hernandez with a left to the body. Hernandez beat the count.
Diaz continued to have his way in the third round. Midway through the round, a barrage of punches dropped Hernandez to a knee. After getting up, Hernandez fought back bravely, throwing wild punches to the head of Diaz.
Right before the bell sounded, Diaz landed a body shot that dropped Hernandez. Referee Jack Reiss initially waved did not count it as a knockdown, believing the punch landed just after the bell. As Hernandez laid on the canvas in pain and was not able to continue after returning to his corner, Reiss waved the fight over, declaring Diaz the winner.
"I wanted to cut him off and break him down with body shots," said Diaz after the fight. "That's what i did. It feels great to still be unbeaten."
Diaz improves to 15-0, 10 KOs, while Hernandez drops to 17-5-1, 9 KOs.
Middleweight Jason Quigley (4-0, 4 KOs) stopped Lanny Dardar in the first round of a scheduled four round bout. Quigley dropped Dardar (2-3-2, 1 KO) twice in the round before referee Raul Caiz, Jr. stopped the bout at.
Lightweight Christian Gonzalez stopped Julio Cesar Sarinara in the sixth and final round.
Gonzalez (9-0, 9 KOs) pressed the action early on, finding some success in the first round. It was Sarinana who surprised most by scoring a knockdown of Gonzalez in the second round, courtesy of a right-left combination.
During the middle rounds, a punch from Gonzalez caused a brutal swelling above Sarinana's right eye. As the bout progressed, Sarinana's right eye closed, allowing Gonzalez to attack the eye with more lefts to the head. Sarinana was docked a point in the fifth round due to butting Gonzalez with his head.
With a minute left in the sixth round, referee Raul Caiz, Jr. called the ringside physician to look at Sarinana's eye. The physician recommended for Caiz to stop the bout, which he did at.
Junior lightweight Carlos Morales (8-1-3, 2 KOs) won a hard-fought six round majority decision over Santiago Guevara.
Early on, Guevara (8-1, 3 KOs) was the busier fighter, landing the more-telling blows. Despite a cut over his right eye from an accidental head-butt in the second round, Morales was undaunted and slowly began to swing momentum in his favor. Morales began throwing his hands more and by the fourth round, was setting up repeated right hands to the head. Morales' best round was in the fourth when he landed counter right hands to the head.
Both fighters had their moments in the final two rounds, but Morales looked as though he was the fresher fighter of the two.
One judge scored the bout 57-57, while the other two judges scored the bout 58-56 in favor of Morales.
"I trained 365 days. I came to fight (tonight). Guevara was tough. It was a close fight. If he wants a rematch, I'll give it to him."
Junior featherweights Roy Tapia and Ali Gonzalez fought to a six round majority decision draw. Tapia (10-0-2, 5 KOs) started out strong, pressing the action and landing the more telling blows. As the bout progressed, the southpaw Gonzalez (6-5-1, 1 KO) used angles to effectively counter Tapia to the head and body. Both had their moments in the final round, trading punches until the final bell. One judge scored the bout 59-55 in favor of Tapia, while the other two judges scored the bout 57-57.
Lightweight Cesar Quinonez won a four round unanimous decision over Oscar Rojas. Quinonez (2-0, 1 KO) could not miss, landing mostly counter left hooks or rights to the head of Rojas. Quinonez dropped Rojas (0-2) with a counter right to the head in the opening round and dropped Rojas again, this time with a counter left to the head. The action slowed down in the second half of the fight, but Quinonez controlled the action.
All three judges scored the bout in favor of Quinonez, 40-34, 39-35, and 38-36.
Lightweight Jesus Delgado won a workmanlike four round unanimous decision over Rocco Espinoza. Delgado (4-0-1, 1 KO) landed the more telling blows throughout the fight. At times, Espinoza had his moments, countering Delgado with counter right hands to the head. But Delgado did enough to win each round, winning the fight 40-36 on all three judges' scorecards.
Opening the 'L.A. Fight Club' card, featherweight Emilio Sanchez (7-0, 6 KOs) dropped Luis Cosme three times in the first round in route to a technical knockout win. Sanchez dropped Cosme with a barrage of punches, followed by a right hand to the head. Cosme got up, but was dropped to a knee courtesy of a left hook. Cosme tried to fight back, but was dropped a third time by a left hook to the body. Referee Raul Caiz, Jr. waved the fight over at 2:00.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene.com since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Salazar also covers boxing for the Ventura County (CA) Star newspaper, RingTV, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing