Lighweight prospect Karlos Balderas found himself matched tougher than most anyone expected tonight, and fell victim to a hungry, young opponent, as Rene Tellez Giron dropped Balderas twice and scored a sixth round knockout.
Giron (14-1, 8 KO) was coming into this fight off of a loss in June on ShoBox, where he dropped an eight-round decision to Michel Rivera. But the 20-year-old Mexican fighter came into this one fired up, and Balderas (9-1, 8 KO) showcased a lack of defense that proved his undoing.
The fight got off to a hot start, with both landing good shots in the opening two rounds, but Balderas went down hard late in the third on a left hook. In all reality, the fight probably should’ve been stopped there. A woozy Balderas barely beat the count, then when referee Ray Corona asked him to take a step forward, he couldn’t, instead stumbling back and nearly falling again.
Corona, though, let Balderas continue, as the round was coming to an end before the action would get underway once more. It was a controversial decision, but it was the one Corona made in the moment.
In the fourth round, after Giron strayed low and Balderas complained to Corona, getting nothing from the referee, Balderas threw a blatant low blow revenge shot. Balderas probably should’ve had a point taken, but Corona instead gave him the ol’ Stern Warning.
Giron and Balderas both kept landing good shots the next couple of rounds, then late in the sixth, Giron found the open left hook once more, flooring Balderas a second time. This time, Balderas was getting up at nine, but Corona counted him out and stopped the fight.
Balderas, 23, still has some potential — he has real offensive skills, namely — but that defense is a problem, and if he cant’ fix it to some degree, the upside is probably TV action fighter. There are worse careers, but it’s a tough way to make a living, too.
This is obviously a huge win for the underdog Giron, as he knocks off a good prospect who was being handled carefully, though not carefully enough with this one, as Giron forced the issue and pulled off the upset.