A night of fan-friendly action from Fantasy Springs Resort and Casino culminated with a businesslike six-round dismantling as former Interim World Titilist Ismael Barroso left Fidel Maldonado Jr. laying battered and prone at the fight’s conclusion.
Barroso controlled Maldonado (24-4-1, 19 KO) from the opening bell while gaining a near third-round stoppage after flooring his tense opponent with an overhand left. The 26-year-old rose on unsteady legs and clinched long enough to temporarily survive, and incur a fourth-round point deduction for holding.
However, with his opponent’s dubious tactics mounting, Barroso’s (20-1-2, 19 KO) class proved too much as he ended the Albuquerque native’s breakthrough attempt via punishing liver hook in their scheduled ten-round 140 lb encounter.
Maldonado Jr., known for his suspect chin, suffered a third stoppage defeat. Meanwhile, 34-year-old Barroso hopes to jump back into the 140 lb World Title mix after ceding Interim honors to former WBA champion Anthony Crolla in 2016.
The evening’s co-main event provided a thrilling upset as Marcelio Lopez (33-2, 18 KO) halted 140-lb mainstay Pablo Cano at the 2:27 mark of round 2. Cano, a former WBA Interim World titlist, appeared in firm control of his unheralded challenger before an abrupt and concussive right hand rendered Cano unable to continue.
Now, at 28, and with three losses in four fights, the once rising Cano (30-7-1, 21 KO) is in rapid decline. Conversely, Lopez is knocking on the door of greater opportunities at and around the Junior Welterweight division.
Other undercard results include:
- Lightweight prospect Oscar Duarte (12-0-1, 8 KO) retired former World Title challenger Juan Jose Montes (25-6-2, 15 KO)
- Middleweight prospect Marvin Cabrera (6-0, 5 KO) TKO’d former World Title challenger Hector Velazquez (57-30-3, 37 KO)
- Lightweight Francisco Javier Martinez (4-0, 3 KO) scored a Unanimous Decision vs. Ricardo Arias (1-2-1, 1 KO)
- Welterweight Ruben Rodriguez (2-0, 1 KO) defeated Israel Villela (6-7, 2 KO) via Unanimous Decision.