Doug Fischer

Gomez stops Leyva, Kavanagh outpoints Valadez in thriller

Frankie Gomez stopped journeyman Manuel Leyva in the thrid round of Solo Boxeo Tecate main event in Anaheim, Calif., on Saturday.

Despite a near-year layoff, the 20-year-old junior welterweight prospect dropped was too fast and strong for Leyva, a 30-year-old southpaw from Mexico. Gomez (13-0, 10 knokcouts) battered the body and face of Leyva (21-9, 12 KOs) before exploding in the third round, dropping the veteran three times and forcing referee David Mendoza to wave the bout off.

Prior to Saturday’s fight, the East Los Angeles-born amateur star had been inactive most of this year due run-ins with the law. Gomez, who fought with hall-of-fame trainer Freddie Roach in his corner, still appears to have promise as long as he can stay out of trouble.

The fight of Telefutura broadcast was the co-featured bout between unbeaten lightweight prospect Jamie Kavanagh and Ramon Valadez. Kavanagh, an amateur standout from Ireland who trains with Roach, won a hard-fought eight round unanimous decision in a thrilling bout that featured numerous momentum swings.

Neither 22-year-old fighter was dropped in back-and-forth battle, but both were repeatedly stunned and wobbled.

Valadez (11-3, 6 KOs) struck first, rocking Kavanagh with a hook at the start of the first round. Kavanagh (12-0-1, 5 KOs) bounced back in the second by scoring with combinations as he stepped around the aggressive East L.A. native.

In a wild third round, Valadez buzzed Kavanagh with a left uppercut but the Irish fighter struck back later in the round with hook that put Valadez on wobbly legs. Kavanagh swarmed his dazed opponent along the ropes but Valadez fired back in the final seconds of the round.

The two traded head twisting hooks in round four, but Kavanagh, who outjabbed Valadez throughout the fight, assumed control of the bout in the fifth and sixth rounds with his left stick and lateral movement. Kavanagh rocked Valadez with hook near the end of the sixth.

However, just when it appeared that Kavanagh would take over the fight, Valadez hurt him with a one-two combination late in the seventh round. Kavanagh was the busier of the two in the final round although he didn’t need to win the round to secure the victory according to the judges who scored it 78-74, 79-73 and an unrealistic tally of 80-72.

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