by Francisco Salazar
LOS ANGELES - Junior welterweight Arnold Barboza Jr. (17-0, with 6 KOs) survived a knockdown to outpoint Jonathan Chicas over eight rounds. Early on, it was Barboza who was more-effective fighter. Barboza dropped Chicas (15-3, with 7 KOs) near the end of round three with a right-left combination to the head. The knockdown seemed to awaken Chicas, who pressed the fight in round four. He was rewarded in round five, knocking Barboza down with an overhand right to the head. Both fighters had their moments in the final two rounds, taking the fight to one another until the final bell sounded. Scores were 78-72, 77-73, and 76-74 in favor of Barboza.
Junior welterweight Maxim Dadashev (8-0, with 7 KOs) stopped Jose Marrufo (9-7-2) in the sixth and final round. Marrufo came to fight, connecting to the head and body as he attempted to walk down Dadashev. However, Dadashev broke Marrufo down with each round. Referee Zac Young stopped the bout at 1:32 of the sixth round, as Marrufo protested the stoppage, believing he was still competitive enough to continue.
Unbeaten middleweight and 2012 Olympic Silver medalist Esquiva Falcao of Brazil won a one-sided eight round decision over Norberto Gonzalez. The southpaw Falcao (18-0, with 12 KOs) was the busier and more-effective fighter, sitting down and connecting power punches on Gonzalez (23-10, with 13 KOs). All three judges scored the bout 80-72 in favor of Falcao, who is now being trained by Robert Garcia.
In her highly-anticipated pro debut, amateur standout and junior lightweight Mikaela Mayer knocked out Widnelly Figueroa in the opening round. A right hand to the head stunned Figueroa (0-2) midway through the round. Mayer followed up with a barrage of punches, forcing Figueroa to take a knee. Referee Dr. Lou Moret stopped the bout at 1:15.
Junior lightweight prospect Erick De Leon improved to 17-0, with 10 KOs, defeating Adones Aguelo by unanimous decision over six rounds. Aguelo (27-16-2, with 18 KOs) came to fight, but De Leon (17-0, with 10 KOs) was the stronger and more talented of the two fighters. Scores were 60-54, 60-54, and 59-55 for De Leon.
Junior lightweight Andy Vences remained unbeaten, knocking out Eliseo Cruz in the third round. Vences (19-0, with 11 KOs) dropped Cruz with a right hand in round two. Vences staggered Cruz (11-4-1, with 7 KOs) with another right hand in round three and moments later, another right hand dropped Cruz to the canvas. Referee Zac Young waved the fight over at 2:21.
In the opening bout of the Top Rank card, welterweight Artemio Reyes (25-2, with 20 KOs) broke down Steve Marquez with each passing round before knocking him out in round four. A left hook to the body dropped Marquez (16-19-2, with 10 KOs) to both knees, where he remained as referee Eddie Hernandez counted him out at 1:54.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene.com since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also cover boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper, RingTV.com, and FightNights.com. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing