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Friday Night Fights: Ji Hoon Kim, Ruslan Provodnikov win big

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Provodnikov-200x200_medium Ji-hoon-kim200x200_medium Ji Hoon Kim and Ruslan Provodnikov stopped their opposition on tonight's entertaining Friday Night Fights from Laredo, Texas.

Kim (21-5, 18 KO) stunned the crowd and his opponent, Ameth Diaz, with a first round TKO. Diaz (27-10, 19 KO) was doing pretty well in the first round, then was thudded down with a big right hand. Diaz made it to his feet, but looked lost in space, and referee Robert Gonzalez waved it off with no protest from Diaz or his corner. After the fight in the locker room, Diaz did say he felt it was stopped too soon.

The co-feature was more of a show. Provodnikov (16-0, 11 KO) and veteran Emanuel Augustus (38-32-6, 20 KO) did some very spirited battle throughout the night, with Augustus hanging in well but not, on my card, winning many rounds. I could have seen three rounds or so for "Drunken Master," but only wound up giving him the second. In the fifth, Provodnikov flattened Augustus with a huge right hand, but Augustus made it up and survived the round.

In the ninth, Provodnikov put him down again, and moments after Augustus continued, the fight was stopped with the Russian prospect unloading. Augustus reportedly said in the corner between rounds that he thought his nose was broken. The 35-year-old Chicago native, now living in Australia, took the fight on just four days notice and was not in the best shape. But he fought his best and gave Provodnikov some good rounds. It was a very good fight for Provodnikov, and a good win.

We'll be back tomorrow night with more live coverage, as Israel Vazquez and Rafael Marquez meet for the fourth time, plus a bantamweight title fight between Yonnhy Perez and Abner Mares.

Update: The fight of the night, and one of the best televised fights you're going to see this year, was a four-round war between 18-year-old Ramsey Luna and 20-year-old Rene Luna (no relation). They were the final swing bout of the broadcast, both making their pro debuts. They put on four-rounds of vicious and intense action. Just a tremendous little fight. Rene went down in the first round, and Ramsey was the better man. CompuBox numbers:

Rene: 102/364, 28%

Ramsey: 160/398, 40%

Judges scored it 40-35, 39-36 and 39-36 for Ramsey.