NEW YORK – Two punches and 21 seconds.
That’s how long it took recent Top Rank signee Felix Verdejo to score his second junior lightweight victory against Tomi Archambault (1-4, 1 KO) on Saturday night before a packed house in The Theatre at Madison Square Garden.
Verdejo (2-0, 1 knockout) fired a left to the body followed by another to the head that dropped Archambault to his back. Achambault rose and stumbled to his own corner only to have referee Gary Rosato to step in and end the fight.
“That’s the first time that I’ve ever won a fight by throwing two punches. My big punch is actually my right hand. I’ve never had a knockout before with a left hook,” said Verdejo, 19. “I always knock out guys with my right hand. I felt the punch solidly all the way up my arm. I can’t explain it.”
Verdejo debuted with December’s four-round unanimous decision over Leonardo Chavez, who had knocked out his only previous opponent.
Junior middleweight Glen Tapia (17-0, 10 KOs) dropped Ayi Bruce (14-9, 8 KOs) in the second and final round before pinning and pummeling him on the ropes, prompting referee David Fields to step in and end the fight at 2:33.
Popular New York light heavyweight Sean Monaghan (17-0, 10 KOs), of Long Beach, emerged victorious — if not equally marked up facially as his rival — from a crowd-pleasing, 10-round brawl against Roger Cantrell (15-3, 8 KOs), of Puyallup, Wa.
“That guy is a big boy. He came in overweight. That was a pretty even fight. I thought 79-74 was a little high,” said Monaghan won by scores of 77-75, 78-74, and, 79-73. “It was a close fight. Closer than that. I wonder how much he weighed tonight.”
Also, Canadian welterweight Mikael Zewski (18-0, 14 KOS) dropped Brandon Hoskins (16-4-1, 8 kOS) three times in the fourth and final round for the knockout in their scheduled six rounder. Zewski came up with his ninth straight knockout win.
In the first bout of the card, super middleweight prospect Ronald Ellis (7-0, 5 KOs), of Miami, scored a four-round unanimous decision over Steven Tyner (3-10-2, 2 KOs), of Akron, Ohio.
In the third fight, cruiserweight prospect Isa Akberbayev (11-0, 7 KOs), of Kazakhstan, was knocked cold and flat on his face at 1:19 of the 10th and final round by Philadelphia’s Anthony Ferrante (13-4, 8 KOs), with whom he traded first-round knockdowns.
Ahead on all three judges’ cards by scores of 88-83 (twice) and 87-84, Ferrante ended Akberbayev’s streak of five consecutive knockouts.
Akberbayev had served as a sparring partner for Kazakhstan-born WBA middleweight titleholder Gennady Golovkin (24-0, 21 KOS), who is in pursuit of his 12th consecutive knockout win against rising junior middleweight Gabriel Rosado (21-5, 13 KOs) in the co-featured bout of the card.
Photo by Chris Farina, Top Rank
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org