Richard Torrez Jr. didn’t disappoint the fans from his nearby hometown who came to watch his pro debut Friday night in Fresno, California.
The 2021 Olympic silver medalist dropped Allen Melson three times and knocked him out in the second round on the Jose Ramirez-Jose Pedraza undercard at Fresno State University’s Save Mart Center. Referee Marcos Rosales stopped their scheduled four-round heavyweight bout at 1:23 of the second round.
The 6-foot-2, 228¼-pound Torrez, of Tulare, California, suffered a cut along his right eyebrow in the first round that could delay the 22-year-old prospect’s return to the ring for his second professional fight.
The 29-year-old Melson (6-4, 3 KOs), of Gadsden, Alabama, weighed in at 201¾ pounds, only one above the minimum for the heavyweight division. Melson lost by knockout for the fourth time in his three-year pro career.
Torrez’s left hand dropped an off-balance Melson with 2:16 to go in the second round. Melson got up and wildly tried to fight out of trouble.
Another short, left hand by Torrez sent Melson flat on his back with 1:44 to go in the second round. Rosales stopped the fight soon thereafter.
Torrez was the aggressor throughout the opening round.
A short left on the inside sent Melson to the seat of his trunks with just over 50 seconds to go in the first round. Melson struggled to get to his feet, but he continued.
Melson went down again with 29 seconds remaining in the first round. California State Athletic Commission inspectors and the ringside physician entered the ring because they thought Rosales stopped the fight, but they misunderstood him when he ruled Torrez pushed Melson to the canvas.
A clash of heads once the action resumed opened a cut along Torrez’s right eyebrow just before the first round ended.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.