Aleem Jumakhonov enjoyed life in The Bubble far more the second time around.
Two months after dropping a heartbreaking eight-round decision to unbeaten Martino Jules, the 27-year old featherweight from Tajikistan return to the win column with a 3rd round knockout of Jorge Ramos. A left hook to the temple put Ramos down and out at 2:08 of round three in their ESPN+ streamed bout featherweight bout Saturday evening from The Bubble in Las Vegas.
Action was largely one way though Jumakhonov (9-3-2, 5KOs) was made to work early in the contest. Ramos (7-3-1, 4KOs)—who is trained by his mother, Mary—sought to put his three-inch height advantage to good use, effective at times but with Jumakhonov eventually working his way inside.
Round three took a turn for the worse for Ramos, who had never been stopped prior to Saturday evening. That dynamic changed in a hurry, as he was clipped with a left hook which forced him to his knees and from which he never recovered in time to continue.
Manuel Flores had never been past round four of any given prizefight. He only needed a minute or so beyond that point to remain unbeaten.
A solid showing was produced by the Coachella, California native, who scored a 5th round stoppage of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania’s Jonathan Rodriguez in their battle of unbeaten bantamweights. Flores knocked down Rodriguez in round three, pouring on the attack late in the fight before referee Robert Hoyle stopped the contest at 1:11 of round five.
A back-and-forth affair saw both unbeaten prospects have their say during several high-contact exchanges early in the contest. Rodriguez overcame an awkward opening round to connect with power shots throughout round two.
That same fighting spirit proved to be his undoing. Flores—who is trained by former lightweight titlist Antonio Diaz—landed a flurry of punches in round three, wobbling Rodriguez and causing both hands to touch the canvas which was ruled a knockdown. Flores dialed in with his left hook in round four, though eating a few right hands in return.
Flores entered round five for the first time in his career, but was in full control at the start of the bell to start the frame. Rodriguez was warned by Hoyle to show something to avoid a stoppage loss, though an ensuing attack by Flored forced the third man to intervene.
Flores improves to 9-0 (6KOs) with the win. Rodriguez suffers his first loss in falling to 8-1 (4KOs).
Anthony Chavez ruined any hopes of lightning striking twice for Adan Gonzales.
An entertaining junior lightweight clash which saw both boxers hit the canvas ultimately landed in favor of Chavez in a six-round unanimous decision. Judges Tim Cheatham, Chris Migliore and Dave Moretti all scored the contest 58-55 for Chavez.
Gonzales struck early, sending Chavez (8-2, 3KOs) to the canvas in the first minute of the contest. The sequence was eerily similar to the start of his eventual upset win over two-time Olympic Gold medalist Robeisy Ramirez, who was making his pro debut in their clash last August. Replays for this particular exchange showed that it was aided by a headbutt, but Gonzales masked the sequence by immediately following with a right hand to sell referee Robert Byrd on ruling the sequence a knockdown.
It was eventually overruled by the Nevada State Athletic Commission after an extensive review of the replay, though the ruling not coming until just prior to the start of the 6th and final round.
Chavez evened the score in round three, producing what would become the bout’s only official knockdown. Fighting through a bloody nose, the Southern California product connected with a left hook which sent Gonzales stumbling into the ropes and touching his glove to the canvas. The sequence was accurately ruled a knockdown, providing a much-needed momentum shift.
Chavez—who is trained by well-respected cornerman Henry Ramirez—controlled the action the rest of the way, walking down Gonzales whose offense suddenly shut down at the wrong time in the fight.
Gonzales (5-4-2, 2KOs) suffers his second straight defeat, having dropped a six-round decision to Robeisy Ramirez in their rematch this past July. Chavez improves to 9-1 (3KOs) picking up his first win since last June. In between came his lone career defeat, a six round decision to Jumakhonov last September in Ontario, California.
Eric Puente remains perfect as a pro, even if still in search of his first knockout win.
For now, pure boxing continues to get the job done as the San Diego-based lightweight scored a four-round unanimous decision win over Luis Norembuena. Judge Steve Weisfeld scored the contest 39-37, while judges Lisa Giampa and Chris Migliore both had Puente pitching a shutout at 40-36 each in the ESPN+ opener.
Norembuena (4-6-1, 0KOs) came to fight, attempting to force a slugfest and having his say throughout the contest. Puente (4-0, 0KOs) never took the bait, picking his spots and sticking to his game plan over the course of the four-round affair.
Headlining the show, Lithuania’s two-time Olympian and former welterweight title challenger Egidijus Kavaliauskas (21-1-1, 17KOs) faces Quebec’s Mikael Zewski (34-1, 23KOs) in a 10-round crossroads bout. Also on the show, former featherweight title challengers Miguel Marriaga (29-3, 25KOs) of Arjona, Colombia and Los Angeles’ Joet Gonzalez (23-1, 14KOs) collide in a 10-round bout. The winner will be first in line for the October 9 vacant featherweight title fight in this very venue between Emanuel Navarrete (32-1, 28KOs) and Ruben Villa (18-0, 5KOs).
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox