Raul Curiel landed the fastest win of his career in his most significant fight to date.
A left uppercut caused Brad Solomon to turn away as he fell to the canvas, where he remained for the duration of their DAZN-aired main event. Referee Ray Corona reached the count of ten, providing Curiel with a knockout win at 0:44 of round two in their welterweight bout Saturday evening at Commerce Casino & Hotel in Commerce, California.
The feat provided the normally soft-spoken Curiel with an extreme sense of confidence heading into the new year.
“I want everyone in my weight class,” Curiel told DAZN/Golden Boy’s Brandi Flores after the win. “I don’t fear anyone. I have a (regional) belt. I want everyone.”
Saturday’s win should help aid that cause. Getting to this point was more of a struggle than the fight itself. The 27-year-old Guadalajara native—who trains under Hall of Fame cornerman Freddie Roach—hadn’t fought in exactly 52 weeks, a letdown following a productive 2021 campaign that saw him post three knockout wins versus respectable competition.
Solomon represented the most experienced foe thus far for Curiel, though at age 39—despite entering the ring to Alphaville’s timeless classic ‘Forever Young’—carried a lot of miles on his boxing odometer. The veteran fringe contender from Douglasville, Georgia lost four of his last five starts, including knockout defeats to Vergil Ortiz Jr. and Blair Cobbs.
Curiel was able to stack up nicely against that class, boxing calmly in the opening round while making every punch count. He followed suit in round two, connecting with a jab and then following up with a perfectly placed left uppercut.
The shot caught Solomon on the nose, holding his face in pain as he went down. Solomon briefly rolled over as the count was being issued, unable to rise to his feet as Corona counted him out. The celebration was delayed as Curiel wanted to make sure Solomon was in good health—relatively speaking—before making his next move.
“This is as a sport,” noted Curiel. “We are men trying to feed our family. I wanted to make sure he was OK.
Solomon fell to 29-6 (9KOs) with the loss and likely used up even as a serviceable opponent on the televised circuit.
Curiel improved to 12-0 (10KOs). The win was his fifth career second-round knockout, beating his earliest finish by 32 seconds, which came last January 2 in Dallas, Texas.
The bout headlined the final DAZN show of 2022 for Golden Boy Promotions.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox
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