Mayerlin Rivas found comfort in a new surrounding that could become her boxing headquarters moving forward.

The well-traveled boxer from Maracaibo, Venezuela did not show any signs of ring rust following a 28-month layoff, dominating Ciudad Juarez, Mexico’s Karina Fernandez in the first defense of her WBA junior featherweight title. Rivas floored the Mexican challenger in the opening round and busted open her nose in forcing the fight to be stopped one second into round four Friday evening at Domo Alcalde in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Rivas hadn’t fought since winning the title in a February 2020 ten-round decision over then-unbeaten Laura Ledezma on the road in Panama City, Panama. Friday’s bout in Guadalajara marked the fifth country in Rivas’ last six fights, though she came with boxing royalty. The Venezuelan is trained by Guadalajara’s own Rigoberto Alvarez, the oldest brother of four-division and reigning undisputed Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, and with the two immediately clicking in the ring.

Rivas sent an early message, flooring Fernandez in the opening round of the bout. Fernandez was able to beat the count, only to have to spend the rest of the fight contending with a broken nose. Blood continued to flow as the ringside doctor was twice summoned to examine the challenger.

The one-way action continued throughout round three, with Rivas landing at will and taking little punishment in return. Time was called at the start of round four as Fernandez (17-7-1, 3KOs) was ordered to a neutral corner. One final examination by the doctor prompted an immediate stoppage.

Rivas improves to 17-4-2 (11KOs) as she enjoys her first streak of two or more wins since 2017. Rivas also previously held a bantamweight title before moving up in 2019, winning a junior featherweight title on her second try.

The evening’s main event is a WBA junior flyweight title consolidation clash between “Super” champion Hiroto Kyoguchi (15-0, 10KOs) and secondary ‘World’ titlist Esteban Bermudez (14-3-2, 10KOs).

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for Twitter: @JakeNDaBox