by Francisco Salazar
Someone must have forget to give Romero Duno a memo that he was supposed to be just an opponent for unbeaten Christian Gonzalez on Friday night.
Instead, he remained focused and eager to prove many people wrong at the expense of Gonzalez.
Duno dropped Gonzalez twice en route to a second round knockout victory before a shocked crowd at the Belasco Theatre in Los Angeles.
With the win, Duno improves to 13-1, 12 KOs and wins a regional lightweight title. Gonzalez suffers the first loss of his career, falling to 16-1, 14 KOs.
Gonzalez, who resides in nearby Buena Park and had a partisan crowd in his corner Friday night, was the house fighter who had mostly decimated his opposition early on as a pro.
He was coming off a third round knockout victory over veteran Jonathan Perez in his previous bout on December 17.
Duno, who resides in Tagum City in the Philippines, entered the bout having won his previous three bouts.
It was Gonzalez, who is the half brother of former world champion Alejandro Gonzalez, had the upper hand early in the first round. It was towards the end of the first round when a short right by Duno dropped Gonzalez to the canvas. Gonzalez stood up on wobbly legs and was barely able to make it out of the round.
Gonzalez again pressed the action to open the second round, but Duno countered with a right cross that dropped Gonzalez a second time in the fight. Gonzalez stood up, but referee Thomas Taylor waved the fight at 57 seconds. Gonzalez collapsed in his corner and had to be carried out on a stretcher as a precaution.
In the co-feature, junior middleweight Alexis Rocha (7-0, 5 KOs) won by knock out when his opponent Marcus Beckford did not come out for round five.
Rocha, who is the younger brother of Ronny Rios, dropped Beckford with a right hand moments into the fight. Rocha dropped Beckford (3-6-3, 1 KO) again near the end of the second round, this time by a barrage of punches to the body.
Beckford was deducted a point from referee Jack Reiss for holding excessively in round four. It was only a matter time before the fight would get stopped, which may have prompted Beckford's corner to throw in the towel at the end of round four.
In a clash of unbeaten fighters, Jhon Leon (2-0) won a four round unanimous decision over Angel Bojado (1-1), who weighed four pounds heavier than Leon. All three judges scored the bout 39-37 in favor of Leon.
Featherweight Francisco Esparza (6-0, 2 KOs) won a six round unanimous decision over Emmanuel Castro (2-4, 2 KOs). Scores were 60-54, 60-54, and 59-55 for Esparza.
Super middleweight Niko Valdes (4-0, 4 KOs) knocked out Alejandro Osuna (1-3, 1 KO) at 2:16 of the fourth and final round.
In a bout featuring unbeaten middleweights, Marvin Cabrera (3-0, 3 KOs) knocked out Saadallah Aitameemi (2-1-1, 2 KOs) at 2:35 of round three.