PHILADELPHIA – Romuel Cruz capitalized on the national television exposure he received Saturday night.
The young junior featherweight from Philadelphia wasted little time in impressively getting rid of Julio Garcia in a scheduled four-round fight FS1 televised as part of the Julian Williams-Jeison Rosario undercard. Philadelphia’s Cruz (4-0-1, 2 KOs) dropped Garcia twice in the first round and stopped him 2:56 into their fight at Temple University’s Liacouras Center.
Garcia (3-4, 2 KOs), of Madison, Wisconsin, lost a fourth straight fight, all by knockout.
Cruz’s right uppercut caused Garcia to go down with 1:20 to go in the first round. Garcia got up in time to beat referee Benjy Esteves’ count, but a straight right to the body by Cruz made Garcia take a knee with just under 20 seconds remaining in the opening round.
Garcia beat Esteves’ count again, but Esteves determined that the battered Garcia shouldn’t continue.
Earlier Saturday, 154-pound prospect Paul Kroll knocked down fellow Philadelphian Marcel Rivers three times before their scheduled eight-round fight was stopped 49 seconds into the fourth round. Kroll (7-0, 6 KOs) dropped Rivers (7-3, 4 KOs) once in the third round and twice in the fourth.
Also on the undercard, heavyweight Norman Neely improved to 5-0 and record his fifth knockout by stopping Larry Knight just 1:21 into their scheduled four-rounder.
Neely, of Paterson, New Jersey, knocked down Knight (4-23-1, 1 KO), of Birmingham, Georgia, with a body shot and Knight couldn’t beat the count. Knight is 1-7 in his past eight fights.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.