Javier Fortuna and Magomed Abdusalamov both stayed unbeaten with relatively easy wins over solid opponents tonight, each scoring second round TKO victories on ESPN Friday Night Fights.
Fortuna improved to 20-0 (15 KO) by stopping Cristobal Cruz (39-14-3, 23 KO) at 2:22 of the second round on a beautiful short left hand counter with Cruz lunging in. The Mexican veteran, noted for his toughness and his free-swinging style, was completely outgunned from the get-go, as he also hit the canvas at about the one minute mark of the first round. He possibly could have continued from the second knockdown, but there didn't appear to be a lot of reason to let him do so.
It's a very good win for the 22-year-old prospect, and while he's got some wild-swinging ways of his own that may need to be corrected, right now he's able to overwhelm guys on talent. That will change as it does for everyone, but I'd put him alongside Adrien Broner and Gary Russell Jr right now -- the goods are there, it's just how he adjusts mentally when he gets further up the ladder. And that's not a shot at Broner or Russell, either -- I'm saying Fortuna deserves to be in that discussion, as those are some terrific young talents.
In the heavyweight co-feature, Magomed Abdusalamov still didn't look very impressive at a glance, but fact is he beat down Maurice Byarm and knocked him out in the second round. Abdusalamov (15-0, 15 KO) has some real heavy hands, and those could carry him. I worry mainly about what appears to be a weak defense -- Byarm (13-2-1, 9 KO) did OK in the first round before he got trapped in the corner near the end and couldn't figure out what to do other than stand still and get punched, and Abdusalamov got hit.
But the Russian has some power, and the southpaw stance won't hurt, either. He's still a work in progress, but the team around him is smart and know what they're doing.
Thanks for joining us this evening. We'll have a lot more live coverage tomorrow afternoon and night, so come back then.