Robert Garcia-trained Jesus Cuellar scored a solid win tonight on ShoBox, keeping himself in the featherweight mix with a fifth round stoppage of Ruben Tamayo.
Cuellar was able to control the first two rounds, moving forward against the bigger and taller Tamayo, landing the better shots. But Tamayo, unlike many TV B-sides of late, was clearly there to win the fight, looking to counter with his own heavy shots. It was clear early that if Tamayo was going to win, he'd need to do so with his power and his size, as Cuellar appeared the better boxer, and plenty quicker both with his hands and feet.
The favored man from Argentina continued mixing up his shots in round three, as the two southpaws fully avoided any holding, making for an enjoyable pace, with Cuellar throwing 93, 105, and 94 punches in the first three rounds.
In the fourth round, Cuellar found the sweet spot, dropping Tamayo with a nice counter right hand to the chin, and then a left to the body. Moments later, with Cuellar flat-out hunting for the knockdown, Tamayo was down again, floored from more body shots. The Mexican battler survived the round, but it appeared the clock was ticking entering round five, with the doctor taking a long look between rounds.
Smelling blood, Cuellar went for the stoppage right away, targeting the body further, and mixing in some solid shots upstairs. With Tamayo on his bike and looking to survive the round, at least, Cuellar once again trapped him on the ropes and fired away to the body, with Tamayo crumbling for the final time, referee Mark Nelson stepping in to stop the action.
Cuellar, who retained his interim WBA featherweight title, landed 105 of 418 (25%) total shots, including 85 of 253 power punches (34%). Tamayo was less and less active and effective as the fight wore on, feeling Cuellar's power and backing off because of that. In total, he landed 51 of 192 (27%) of his punches.