Miguel Berchelt defended his WBC super featherweight world title for a sixth time, stopping the game but overmatched former world champion Jason Sosa in the fourth round at Dignity Health Sports Park.
Berchelt (37-1, 33 KOs) knocked down Sosa (23-4-4, 16 KOs) in the second round and kept the pressure coming, ultimately forcing a corner stoppage with four seconds left in the fourth.
Berchelt has his eyes on lucky defense number seven. Former featherweight world champion Oscar Valdez is now on his radar.
“It was a great performance. I want to congratulate Jason,” Berchelt said. “He came to put on a great fight. I have a lot of love for him.
“I want to wait until Valdez fights on Nov. 30. If he wants this belt, come and get it.”
Said Sosa: “He’s a great champion. He’s defended it six times. He has serious power.”
Javier Molina (21-2, 9 KOs) seized the moment. The 2008 U.S. Olympian knocked down Hiroki Okada twice. He scored the knockout only 65 seconds into the scheduled 10-round super lightweight fight.
Molina knocked down Okada (19-2, 13 KOs) with a left hook in the opening minute, then finished things off with an overhand right.
Molina-Okada was elevated to co-feature status Thursday after Jonathan Rodriguez’s visa issue forced the cancellation of his junior bantamweight title challenge against IBF kingpin Jerwin Ancajas.
“I caught him early. When I had him hurt, I jumped on him,” Molina said. “Whoever’s next, we want to go for a world title. I showed everyone what I’m made of. This was my moment.”
— The return of super lightweight Alex “El Cholo” Saucedo (29-1, 19 KOs) was a triumphant one. The former world title challenger knocked out Rod Salka (24-6, 4 KOs) with a left hook to the body in the opening round. This was the first fight for Saucedo since falling short to then-champion Maurice Hooker nearly one year ago.
“It was great to be back. I wanted to get some rounds in, but the knockout came, so it is what it is,” Saucedo said. “I hope to be back in the ring very soon.”
— Crowd favorite Raymond “Danger” Muratalla (9-0, 7 KOs), from nearby Fontana, Calif., knocked out fellow Californian Arnulfo Becerra (7-3, 5 KOs) in the fifth round of a lightweight fight.
— Australian prospect Daniel Lewis (5-0, 3 KOs) cruised to an eight-round decision over Alexis Gaytan (6-5, 2 KOs) in his American debut. Scores for the middleweight bout were as followed: 80-72 2X and 79-73.
— In a fight featuring a pair of unbeaten super lightweights, Abram Martinez (8-0, 6 KOs) dropped Ruben Rodriguez (9-1, 3 KOs) twice in the third round en route to the stoppage.
— Freddie Roach-trained welterweight prospect Gor Yeritsyan (12-0, 10 KOs) defeated Shoki Sakai (23-11-2, 13 KOs) by eight-round unanimous decision (80-72, 79-73 and 77-75).
— Elvis “The Dominican Kid” Rodriguez (5-0-1, 5 KOs) opened the evening in fine fashion, knocking out Chilean veteran Luis Norambuena (4-5-1, 0 KOs) in the fourth-round of a scheduled six-round super lightweight bout.