By Francisco Salazar
INGLEWOOD - Junior welterweight contender Marcelino Lopez (34-2-1, 19 KOs) dropped Breidis Prescott twice en route to a fifth round knockout victory. Both fighters traded punches at the center of the ring, giving the fight fans filing into The Forum much to cheer about.
Lopez's punches began to take their toll, as Prescott (30-12, 22 KOs) slowed down considerably, likely from fatigue. A counter right hand to the head in the middle of round five dropped Prescott to the canvas.
Prescott fought back, but was dropped by another right hand to the head. Prescott remained on the canvas on both knees as referee Thomas Taylor counted him out at 2:59.
Hard-hitting lightweight Romero Duno (16-1, 14 KOs) of the Philippines claimed another knockout victim Saturday night, ending matters in the opening round by knocking out Yardley Armenta. A right hand to the body caused Armenta to slump to the canvas. Referee Jerry Cantu counted Armenta (21-10, 12 KOs) out at 1:01.
In a clash of unbeaten featherweights, Francisco Esparza (7-0-1, 3 KOs) stopped Tenochtitlan Nava in the sixth round. It took Esparza a round to get going, but as the bout progressed, he was able to break Nava (7-1, 1 KO) with each punch. Nava had to deal with a bloody nose and a cut underneath his right eye, but was hurt by lead or counter right hands to the head in round five. Esparza landed two overhand right hands in round six that stunned Nava, prompting referee Thomas Taylor to step in and stop the bout at 1:43.
Junior middleweight Ferdinand Kerobyan had to overcome a late rally from Lucious Johnson to win a six round unanimous decision. Kerobyan (8-0, 4 KOs) battered Johnson for five rounds, landing repeated right hands to the head. Johnson was deducted a point late in round five for repeatedly spitting out his mouthpiece. In round six, Johnson landed a counter right cross that staggered Kerobyan. Johnson (4-2-1, 3 KOs) tried to load up on one punch, allowing the opportunity to hurt or drop Kerobyan slip away. All three judges scored the bout 59-54 in favor of Kerobyan.
Middleweight Daquan Pauldo (formerly known as Daquan Arnett) won a six round unanimous decision over Osbaldo Gonzalez. Both fighters were on the attack from the opening bell, with Gonzalez (6-2, 4 KOs) having his moments in the first half of the fight. By the midway point of the fight, Gonzalez slowed down considerably, allowing Pauldo (17-1, 9 KOs) to land repeatedly. Scores were 58-56, 58-56, and 59-55 for Pauldo.
In the opening bout of the Golden Boy Promotions card, featherweight Javier Martinez survived a first round knockdown to win a hard-fought six round unanimous decision over Danny Flores (11-10-1, 5 knockouts). Scores were 58-55, 58-55, and 59-55 for Martinez, who goes to 5-0, 3 KOs.
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 covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper, RingTV.com, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing