Teofimo Lopez, Shakur Stevenson, and Felix Verdajo all victorious at Madison Square Garden
Confident rising lightweight Teofimo Lopez broke down and stopped former world title challenger Edis Tatli in round five at Madison Square Garden in New York City Saturday night.
Lopez (13-0, 11 KOs) stalked and rocked from the opening bell, but found Tatli (31-3, 10 KOs) a little difficult to hit with clean shots. He still had his way with his taller opponent, clipping him with hooks every round.
The end came in round five when Lopez nailed Tatli with a thudding lead right to the rib cage. Tatli grimaced and went down. He was unbale to beat the count.
The time was 1:32.
“This wasn’t the best camp we had, but we still came out victorious,” said Lopez. "Asked to elaborate on what he meant; Lopez refused.
Before he fought world title challenger Christopher Ruiz, promoter Bob Arum and a few pundits said that rising featherweight Shakur Stevenson was biting off more than he could chew. Trainer Freddie Roach said that Ruiz should be able to beat Stevenson easily.
Roach was right except it was Stevenson who won easily, dominating Ruiz over 10 rounds to win by decision. The scores were 100-90, 99-91 and 98-92.
Stevenson (11-0, 6 KOs) boxed smartly from the opening bell. The 21-year-old southpaw pumped his jab and clipped the aggressive Ruiz with shots. Ruiz (24-2, 16 KOs) tried to bait Stevenson into exchanging.
The smiling youngster complied, strafing Ruiz with shots the slower man couldn’t avoid. Stevenson, who earned a silver medal at the 2016 Olympics, came close to flooring Ruiz when he landed a whistling left hand in round six. Ruiz buckled for a second, but remained standing.
Ruiz tried to land a home run in the last round but Stevenson stayed out of harms way. The fight was his, and he knew it, even if the crowd didn’t like it.
Lightweight Felix Verdejo won a workmanlike 10 round unanimous decision over a determined Bryan Vasquez. The scores were 97-93, 97-93, and 98-92. Verdejo (25-1, 16 KOs) was hoping to score an explosive knockout, but a win is a win. Vasquez (37-4, 20 KOs) did his best, and stayed competitive throughout the 10 rounds.