Super lightweight sensation Mario Barrios (24-0, 15 KOs) scored a devastating second round knockout victory over Juan Jose Velasco (20-2, 12 KOs) in the co-feature to Jarrett Hurd v Julian Williams.
Barrios of San Antonio, Texas kept his undefeated record intact when he landed a crushing body shot that sent Velasco to the canvas midway through the second round. Referee Hugo Spinola counted out Velasco at 1:16 of the second round as the Argentine was on his hands and knees trying to catch his breath.
Barrios said he was trying to be patient and use his jab to set up the perfect shot.
“I saw him opening up every time he would step in. I knew one of the body shots was going to do it and I found the sweet spot,’’ Barrios said. “We weren’t expecting it to end that quickly. I wasn’t predicting a knock out, but I knew I had the power to do it and stop him.”
“I was very confident. I had a great camp. I can’t thank Virgil Hunter and the team for the preparation for this fight. We knew he was vulnerable with body punches and that was something I work on regardless. It is one of my favorite shots. I have been working on it since the amateurs.”
Barrios said he would build on the victory over Velasco and continue to climb the ladder at 140 pounds.
“I want a world title shot. I am always in the gym. I am always ready. I want all the smoke at 140. I want any of the champions. And I’m ready to bring a big fight to all my hometown fans in San Antonio.’’
In the opening television bout middleweight contenders Matt Korobov of Orotukan, Russia and Immanuwel Aleem of East Meadow, N.Y. stalked each other for 10 rounds. They took turns pressing the action and playing the aggressor, dishing out and absorbing the best that each had to offer. In the end Korobov (29-2, 14 KOs) and Aleem (18-2-1, 11 KOs) had fought to a majority draw. One judge had Korobov winning 97-93 and two judges scored it 95-95.
In the sixth round Korobov landed a combination that rocked Aleem and had him in trouble momentarily. But Aleem weathered the storm. Aleem came out strong in the ninth round, practically running across the ring to meet Korobov, who had slowly raised his 36-year-old body off the corner stool at the last second. Sensing the close nature of the fight, both Korobov and Aleem unloaded and landed some heavy shots seeking to keep the outcome away from the judges’ scorecards.
Aleem said he thought he won the fight.
“I didn’t feel like he was doing enough. I was trying to use my range. He was just touching me. I realized when I started hitting him that he didnt have the gas.,’’ Aleem said. “I am faster than people think. I see open shots better than people expect. I made a statement tonight and I want to keep making statements.”
Korobov , who lost a unanimous decision to Jermall Charlo in his last fight, said he felt sluggish during the match against Aleem.
“I felt heavy and not totally sharp enough. It was hard to react and stop him from going inside. I have things to work on.,’’ Korobov said. “He was tougher than I expected. He wasn’t as strong as Charlo, but he is a really good fighter. He kept coming forward. He wasn’t afraid. He just kept throwing punches.”