By Francisco Salazar

INGLEWOOD - Former world junior featherweight title challenger Ronny Rios stopped veteran Daniel Olea late Friday night.

The fight took place before a sparse crowd at The Forum after the main event bout between Srisaket Sor Rungvisai and Juan Francisco Estrada, which Estrada won by unanimous decision to win the WBC junior featherweight title.

Rios, who had not fought since his knockout loss to Azat Hovhannisyan on Mar. 9 of last year, was the aggressor from the opening bell, battering Olea throughout most of their exchanges. The 29-year-old Rios dug deep to the body of Olea, forcing the fighter from Ixtapa Zihuatanejo, Mexico to be on the defensive.

After taking a beating in round five, Olea went to his corner and told them he was not able to continue. Referee Ray Corona stopped the bout.

Rios, who resides in nearby Santa Ana, improves to 30-3, 14 knockouts. Olea falls to 13-8-2, 5 KOs and is now winless in his last five bouts.

Junior featherweight prospect Alberto Melian overcame two knockdowns to defeat fringe contender Isaac Zarate by unanimous decision over 10 rounds of an action fight.

Melian, who recently signed a promotional deal with Golden Boy Promotions, dropped Zarate against the ropes midway through the third round.

By the middle rounds, the southpaw Zarate, who trains alongside WBA and IBF junior featherweight titleholders Danny Roman, increased his aggression and punch output. His effort was rewarded as he dropped Melian in round seven.

Both fighters had their moments during the final two-three rounds, but a counter left hand from the southpaw Zarate dropped Melian to the canvas in round 10. Melian beat the count, and fought back, connecting with right hands to the head of Zarate until the final bell sounded.

Scores were 95-92, 95-92, and 94-93 for Melian, who goes to 5-0, 3 KOs. Melian is originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina and now resides in nearby Santa Monica.

Zarate, who resides in Southern California city of San Pedro, drops to 16-5-3, 2 KOs.


Francisco A. Salazar has written for since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing