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Provodnikov Stops Popoca; Quintero Halts Santiago German and Paty Villasenor
(Photo © German Villasenor)

Super lightweight Ruslan Provodnikov 19-1 (13), made a successful yet methodical return to the ring following his first pro loss to Mauricio Herrera last January, breaking down and stopping a very tough, game Ivan Popoca in the eighth round of the ESPN2-televised main event on Friday night at Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, California.

Provodnikov went through a slow first round, with Popoca, 15-1-1 (10), showing no respect for the Russian fighter. Popoca stepped up the attack, landing some jarring shots to the head in the third round. Provodnikov found his distance, going to the body at the cost of counter shots by Popoca’s slightly unorthodox stance.   Both men, with faces bruised, went to total war in the fifth, taking turns tagging each other at will.

Provodnikov seemed to gas out and took the next round to mostly backpedal. That would only recharge his battery, as Provodnikov came out hard in the seventh, sending the Mexican banger down to the canvas with a right to the head. Judge Pat Russell was on the verge of stopping the fight but Popoca somehow managed to withstand the barrage to the bell.

The end came as Provodnikov battered his foe unmercifully in the eighth round. Having seen enough, Russell stopped the bout at 2:15 of the round.

Quintero KOs Santiago in Three

In the co-featured bout, Marvin Quintero, 22-3 (18), scored a stoppage over late sub Juan Santiago in the third round of a scheduled ten-round lightweight contest.

Quintero, hailing from nearby Tijuana, Mexico, went toe to toe in the first round against the Puerto Rican Santiago, landing hard shots to the body. After rocking each other through the first two rounds, Quintero found his timing, getting the better of the taller Santiago by the end of the second.

Quintero wasted no time picking up where he left off in the third, not letting Santiago off the hook. Still dazed from the previous round (in which he seemed to throw up into the spit bucket between rounds) Santiago was in no shape to withstand the heavy artillery coming his way as he lay against the ropes.

Due to Santiago’s inability to properly defend himself, referee Tom Taylor halted the bout at 12 seconds into the stanza. Santiago, now 13-7-1 (8), took the fight on a few days notice, as Quintero’s original opponent, former world title challenger Ji Hoon Kim pulled out due to an eye problem early this week. Another opponent, Gabriel Tolmajyan was selected as Kim’s initial replacement but that fight fell through as well, opening the opportunity for Santiago.

The card was presented by Artie Pellulo’s Banner Promotions along with Ringside Ticket.

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