Late replacement Erik “El Trumpo” Ruiz upset Hanzel Martinez in tonight’s “Knockout Night at the D” main event in front of another sold-out crowd at the outdoor Downtown Las Vegas Events Center.
The “Knockout Night at the D” series, presented by the D Las Vegas and Downtown Las Vegas Events Center, is promoted by Roy Jones Jr. (RJJ) Boxing Promotions. Hall Of Fame announcers Jim “J.R.” Ross and Al Bernstein called the action from ringside with Sean Wheelock on CBS Sports Network in North America and internationally via ESPN.
Ruiz (16-5-1, 6 KOs) replaced Emmanuel Quartey, who was unable to secure a visa, and he was rewarded with a 10-round majority decision victory over fellow Mexican fighter Hanzel Martinez (23-3, 19 KOs) for the vacant World Boxing Association (WBA) International super bantamweight title.
“El Trumpo,” fighting out of Oxnard, California, put on a clinic, avoiding the lunging Martinez, who was frustrated throughout the fight by Ruiz’ slickness. Martiniz lunged, Ruiz countered and then he slightly moved to the side, avoiding any potential. Defensively, Ruiz was far superior, keeping Martinez off balance through out the majority of rounds.
“I feel great,” Ruiz exclaimed. “I took this last minute fight but I was ready for it. Hanzel is a tough fighter. He has guts. I didn’t think he’d to the full 10 rounds. This is an opportunity that will open a lot of doors for me. He knew he was coming to fight and I as ready for him.”
In a good technical fight with a lot of give-and-take action from start to finish, unbeaten Stephon “Showstopper” Young (15-0-3, 6 KOs) defeated Tony Lopez, Jr. (11-2, 4 KOs) in a battle of gritty southpaws. Fighting out of St. Louis, Young’s quickness prevailed over Lopes’ toughness, as both fighters put on a show for the vacant North American Boxing Association (NABA) bantamweight title in the co-feature. Young won a 10-round majority decision.
“It was a hard fight,” Young commented. “My coach said, if you wan it, go get him. And I did. I knew what I was coming to get. People want to see me fight in this division.”
In the television opener, NABA USA super welterweight champion John “The Phenom” Vera (15-0, 10 KOs) made another strong statement under the neon lights, stopping challenger Milorad “Micko” Zizic (12-2, 7 KOs) in the second round. Making his second title defense, Vera, a southpaw, served notice to all super welterweights, dropping Zizic twice and then staggering him again before referee Kenny Bayless called an end to the fight.
“I came out here to put on a show,” Vera said after the fight. “I dropped him (first) with a left-right. The second knockdown I feinted and hit him with a hard right jab. I then turned right-handed because I knew my right was working. I knew I had him.”
Las Vegas junior lightweight Randy Moreno cruised to his fifth win without a loss, unloading an unanswered barrage of punches on Fabian “El Suavecito” Alanez (1-1) until referee Jay Nady halted the fight in the second round.
Popular Las Vegas welterweight Jeremy “J-Flash” Nichols improved to 7-0 with a totally in control 4-round decision over Marquis “The Hawk” Hawthorn (4-5, 1 KO).
Las Vegas’ 18-year-old bantamweight Max “The Baby Faced Assassin” Ornelas (5-0, 2 KOs) remained unbeaten, winning a a 4-round unanimous technical decision over Mulapi Enjani (2-3-2, 1 KO). Ornelas hurt Enjani near the end of the fourth round. Enajani hurt his knee and he was unable to continue, resulting in a technical decision
Las Vegas junior lightweight Sal Lopez (4-0, 0 KOs) pitched a shutout, winning all four rounds on the judges’ scorecards, over previously undefeated Kenneth “Scrappy” Taylor (2-1, 2 KOs).