Ryan Songalia

Burgos stops Vazquez in three on FNF

Junior lightweight contender Juan Carlos Burgos continued his march towards a second world title opportunity as he overcame a fast start from Cesar Vazquez to score a third round technical knockout at the Edgewater Casino in Laughlin, Nev., handing the fellow Mexico native his first career defeat. The time of the stoppage was 1:50 and the bout was televised on ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights.

Burgos (30-1, 20 knockouts), of Tijuana, Mexico, looked flat in the opening round, seeming to withdraw from each exchange as Vazquez (25-1, 16 KOs) of Mexicali, Mexico looked to make a statement in his first professional stanza on American soil. Burgos, 24, seemed to be fully warmed up by the second round as he made use of his quicker jab and greater experience to land first in exchanges and rock back the 26-year-old Vazquez.

The gap in experience became a canyon by round three as Burgos, allowing Vazquez to become aggressive, countered Vazquez’s jab with a left hook-right cross combination to the chin, badly affecting Vazquez’s balance. Burgos continued to throw combinations against a defenseless Vazquez until referee Tony Weeks stepped in to stop the fight.

Burgos, who challenged Hozumi Hasegawa for the vacant WBC featherweight title in Japan two years ago, has now won five straight since then, including a decision over previously-unbeaten prospect Luis Cruz on the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Victor Ortiz televised undercard.

In the eight-round co-feature, Mexican-American welterweight Aaron Martinez (18-1-1, 4 KOs) of East Los Angeles, Calif. won a competitive split-decision over Prenice Brewer (16-3-1, 6 KOs) of Cleveland, Ohio. The scores were 77-75 twice for Martinez, while the other judge had the same tally for Brewer.

With the victory, Martinez tacks on another notable win, which includes a technical decision win last year over previously unbeaten Floridian Joseph Elegele. Martinez has now won ten straight since losing a six round majority decision Abdon Lozano in 2008. Brewer, who made a stir after losing his last fight to Ronald Cruz and telling the NBC Sports on-air interviewer that ringside commentator Freddie Roach’s pupil Manny Pacquiao was on steroids, has lost 3 of his last 4 bouts.

Despite having few knockouts to his record, Martinez, 146.5, showed that he packed some power in his hands by stunning Brewer, 146, badly in the second round with a left hook, forcing the resilient but inconsistent Brewer to clinch for survival. Brewer came back in the next round to slow the tempo down and recover, and continued to survive through the fourth.

Martinez reasserted himself in the fifth round with another one-sided stanza, but failed to put away Brewer.

In the televised opener, Vitor Freitas-Jones of Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, who is the nephew of former junior lightweight and lightweight world champion Acelino Freitas, showed that punching power runs in the family, scoring a first round knockout over Rocco Espinoza in his pro debut. The time of stoppage was 2:11.

Freitas-Jones, who like Espinoza weighed in at 131.5 pounds, stunned Espinoza (3-6) of Las Vegas badly in the opening stanza with a left hook, pushing him to the ropes before dropping him with another hook.

Banner Promotions, which promoted the show alongside Thompson Boxing and JEG Boxing, also guided the career of “Popo” Freitas.

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