Heavyweight Luis Ortiz of Cuba took another step toward serious contention tonight, as the 35-year-old southpaw stopped Lateef "Power" Kayode in the first round of their FOX Sports 1-televised main event from the Hard Rock in Las Vegas.
Ortiz (22-0, 19 KO) dropped Kayode (20-1, 16 KO) in about 40 seconds with a right hand, which Kayode tried to argue to referee Robert Byrd was a slip. The clean right hand shot buckled Kayode's legs and put him on the canvas for a clean knockdown, and Kayode never really got into the fight.
Late in the round, Kayode was caught with a clean shot again, and was backed into the corner. The ropes may have been doing most of the work holding the Nigerian up at that point, as he covered up and did his best to nullify a charge from "The Real King Kong."
As referee Robert Byrd stepped in to break up the carnage and ultimately stop the fight, Kayode began half-heartedly punching back. There is some argument that it was an early hook by Byrd, but replays gave me the impression, at least, that Kayode had put Byrd into the spot where he had to make a call either way. A staggering right hand thrown too late at a referee-restrained Ortiz proves only that Kayode wasn't actually knocked unconscious.
Here's a replay of the punches that led to the stoppage, though it cuts before Byrd steps in and Kayode shows a half a sign of life:
The career of Juan Manuel Lopez may have come to an end, as he was knocked out in two rounds by Jesus Cuellar. ... Jermall Charlo predictably dominated in a stay-busy fight, beating Norberto Gonzalez via seventh round TKO. ... Julian Williams stayed unbeaten, taking the "0" from Eliezer Gonzalez via 8-round shutout decision. ... Welterweight prospect Errol Spence Jr ran his record to 14-0 with an easy win over Noe Bolanos. ... Josesito Lopez might have set up a December date with Amir Khan, beating Rafael Cobos by decision to win his third straight.