Bob Arum said Julio Cesar Chavez could fight Brian Vera next, and eventually, Andre Ward.
Melendez KOs Winchester on Cotto-Trout card
Junior middleweight Jorge Melendez's fourth-round knockout of James Winchester represented the first time the loser had been stopped.
NEW YORK--Hard-punching junior middleweight Jorge Melendez scored knockdowns in the second and third rounds before pinning North Carolina's James Winchester on the ropes and battering him relentlessly on the way to Saturday's fourth-round technical knockout victory at New York's Madison Square Garden.
Referee Ricky Gonzalez stepped in to call a halt to the bout 54 seconds in, as Melendez (25-2, 24 knockouts), of Manati, Puerto Rico, came up with his fifth consecutive stoppage victory against Winchester (15-7, 5 KOs), who was knocked out for the first time.
"I knew that every one of my punches was hurting him. Honestly, I really wanted that knockout. I knew that it was getting close and that it wasn't going to take very long to take him apart," said Melendez, 23, who motioned for Winchester to rise from the canvas after the second knockdown.
Melendez-Winchester took place on the undercard of a Showtime-televised main event featuring a WBA junior middleweight title defense by Austin Trout (25-0, 14 KOs) against four-time, three-division titlewinner Miguel Cotto (37-3, 30 KOs) on Showtime.
"I'm really happy and really excited about the way that the Puerto Rican fans were screaming out my name. It was a beautiful feeling to hear that and to be here at Madison Square Garden. I want to come back here at The Garden, and I was really happy and I want to thank my promoter, Miguel Cotto," said Melendez.
Also schedule to meet on Showtime's televised portion are Puerto Rican junior lightweight prospect Jayson Velez (19-0, 14 KOs) and Salvador "Sal II" Sanchez II (30-4-3, 18 KO's), of Tianguistenco, Mexico, and middleweight contender Danny Jacobs (23-1, 20 KOs), of Brooklyn, and Chris "The Irish Ghost" Fitzpatrick (15-2, 6 KO's), of Cleveland.
In the evening's first bout, Newark middleweight John Thompson (10-0, 3 KO's) scored a six-round unanimous decision over Eli Augustama (6-6, 3 KO's), of Port Au Prince, Haiti.
The night's second match up featured junior middleweight Eddie Gomez (12-0, 8 KO's), of The Bronx, winning a clash of unbeatens by unanimous decision over Luis Hernandez (9-1, 5 KOs), of Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, a bout during which each fighter was after his third straight stoppage win.
Featherweight Jorge Diaz (17-1, 10 KOs), of New Brunswick, N.J., scored a first round knockdown but could not finish off Victor Sanchez (3-5-1), of Houston, instead, having to settle for a six-round unanimous decision in the night's third fight.
The night's fourth fight was the most exiting to that point, as lightweight Michael Perez (18-1-1, 10 KOs), of Newark, N.J., scored a first-round knockdown, was floored in the second, and dropped Fernando Carcamo (10-5, 7 KOs), of Obregon, Mexico, once more in the eighth and final round of another unanimous decision victory.
Perez out-landed Carcamo, 147-to-124, with an advantage of 128-to-118 in power punches.
Things got even more exciting in the fifth bout, as hammer-fisted junior lightweight Jeffrey Fontanez (9-0, 8 KOs), of Caguas, Puerto Rico, scored a first round knock down and two more in the second -- the latter causing referee Tony Chiarantano to wave an end to his stoppage victory over Pedro Arcos (12-3-1, 9 KOs), of Tijuana, Mexico, at 1:23 of the round.
Photos by Rich Kane, Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org