Featherweight contender Juan Carlos Burgos bounced back from a title fight loss with a Sports Center highlight-worthy second-round knockout of Frankie Archuleta in the main event of a Friday Night Fights broadcast from Tulsa, Okla., on Friday.
Burgos (26-1, 18 knockouts), who dropped a competitive 12-round decision to former bantamweight standout Hozumi Hasegawa in a title bid last December, dropped Archuleta (27-8-1, 14 KOs) three times in the second round, forcing referee Gary Ritter to halt the bout at the 2:33 mark. The knockdowns were so dramatic the stoppage made the Top 10 Plays of ESPN’s Sports Center (No. 6) on Friday night.
Burgos, a Tijuana native who just turned 23, looked sharp. Archuleta, a 35-year-old veteran from Albuquerque, N.M., lost his third bout by knockout in his last five fights.
In the 10-round co-featured bout of the ESPN2 broadcast, Isaac Chilemba, a 23-year-old super middleweight/light heavyweight standout from South Africa (by way of Malawi), got up from two eighth-round knockdowns to outhustle undefeated prospect Maxim Vlasov and earn a unanimous decision in an entertaining fight.
Chilemba (16-1-1, 8 KOs), who won by scores of 95-94, 96-92, 96-92, was the busier the fighter throughout the brisk bout. The aggressive Malawi native went to the body often and found a home for his counter left hook in the late rounds. Vlasov (19-1, 10 KOs), a 24-year-old technician from Russia, landed the cleaner punches, including two accurate right hands that put Chilemba down in the eighth round.
Despite the knockdowns, Chilemba got up and took the fight to Vlasov in the final minute of the round. He continued to press and outwork the game Russian in the final two rounds of the bout.