In the FOX opener of Charlo vs Harrison II, Mexico’s Rene Tellez Giron (14-1, 8 KOs) scored a sixth-round knockout against 2016 U.S. Olympian Karlos Balderas (9-1, 8 KOs).
Giron handed Balderas the first loss of his professional career. The fight was scheduled for eight rounds, but Giron brought matters to a close at 2:59 of the sixth round when he landed a smashing left hook and caught Balderas on the chin and sent him falling flat on his back to the canvas.
Balderas made it to his knees, but couldn’t beat the count of referee Ray Corona.
Giron dropped Balderas with a left hook in the third round, but Balderas managed to beat the count and Corona let the fight continue despite the fact that Balderas stumbled backwards when Corona asked him to walk forward.
“After I knocked him down in the third round, I saw his eyes were rolled back like he was hurt, but he has the heart of a lion,” Giron said. “He didn’t want to lose his undefeated record in front of his people. When he got up, I was like, ‘Wow! He got up! He’s up!’ So, I kept on him and left everything in the ring. I’m really happy.
“Karlos had said he fought with the best and he was an Olympian. Well, I fought a lot of people too and you see the result”.
In FS1 action, rugged former title challenger Oscar Escandon (26-5, 18 KOs) stunned undefeated Filipino featherweight contender Jhack Tepora (23-1, 17 KOs) with a crushing first-round knockout in a scheduled 10-round bout.
Escandon landed a perfectly placed left hook to Tepora’s body, sending him to the canvas on his hands and knees. That is where he remained as referee Jack Reiss counted him out and gave Escandon the victory. The end came at 1:30 of the first round.
“This fight was very important to me because I know I needed to win if I wanted to continue forward with my career,” Escandon said. “I know I have a lot of fight left in me. I just want to thank my team. Ruben Guerrero, my trainer, was on me about listening to him in the corner and all his instructions worked perfect. I want to thank the PBC and Bob Santos for always believing in me. I give all the glory to God for this victory.”
Hugo Centeno, Jr. (27-3-1, 14 KOs) and Juan Macias Montiel (21-4-1, 21 KOs) fought to a majority draw (97-93 Centeno, 96-94 Montiel, 95-95) in a 10-round middleweight fight. Centeno and Montiel traded heavy shots throughout the match, but neither was able to land anything telling. There were no knockdowns in the fight as Centeno tried to control the fight from range and potshot.
“I don’t agree with the decision at all. I thought I out-boxed the guy. He landed a couple shots, but I don’t think it was enough to get a draw or win on any of the cards,” Centeno said. “To be fair, I’d give him like three rounds. I know I didn’t win all the rounds, but I know I won enough to win the fight. If I can, I’m going to appeal the decision because I thought it was (the wrong) decision. This is the thing that drives away fighters from boxing is scores like this.’
“I took the fight to him and he was just boxing. I’d like a rematch and I’d like him to fight and not run,” Montiel said. “I was inactive for a year and I gave him three pounds and he still didn’t bring it. In reality I brought it to him. Next time, I want him to stand and fight.’
The FS1 opener saw undefeated super welterweight prospect Raymond Guajardo (5-0, 4 KOs) score a devastating first-round knockout of Donnis Reed (3-5, 2 KOs) in a scheduled four-rounder. Guarjardo landed a six-punch combination, punctuated with a powerful right-left combo that dropped Reed to the canvas.
“The referee waved off the fight, giving Guajardo the KO victory at 1:40 of the first round. Reed was stretchered from the ring and hospitalized as a precaution.
“I’m always looking to get my opponents out, so that was the first thing I wanted to do,” Guajardo said. “I think I had landed a hook before that and I saw I had hurt him, so that’s when I went in for the kill. Everything happened naturally after that.”