SAN ANTONIO – Omar Figueroa made short work of Abner Cotto in the chief undercard bout to the Saul Alvarez-Austin Trout junior middleweight championship on Saturday at Alamodome, stopping his fellow unbeaten lightweight prospect in the opening round of the scheduled 12 rounder.
Figueroa (21-1-1, 16 knockouts), of Weslaco, Texas, dropped Cotto twice with left hooks to the head followed by hard body shots, forcing referee Jon Schorle to step in and save the Puerto Rico native at near end of the round. Cotto (16-1, 7 KOs) was never in the fight, which was the opening bout to Showtime’s Championship Boxing broadcast.
“I got hit a few times but it’s part of the stalking process; I knew he was hurt, my body shots hurt him,” said Figueroa, who landed 20 (four of which were body shots) of the 44 power punches he threw, according to CompuBox.
“It was only a matter of time. I hope everyone enjoyed the fight.”
The pro-Mexican, pro-Texas crowd of 38,000-plus fans did and their cheers made for a deafening roar when every time Figueroa was on the attack.
In the main fight of a Showtime Extreme broadcast, undefeated junior middleweight prospect Jermall Charlo looked sharp chopping up the face of Mexican veteran Orlando Lora over four rounds. The right side of Lora’s face was busted up enough for his corner to keep him on the stool at the start of the fifth round, giving Charlo (13-0, 9 KOs) a fifth-round TKO even though no action took place in the opening 10 seconds of the round.
Lora dropped to 29-4-2 (19 KOs).
In a wild swing bout, Terrell Gausha survived a scare against unheralded Alabama journeyman William Waters, who dropped the 2012 U.S. Olympian in the opening round of a four-round junior middleweight slugfest. Gausha got up and fought back hard the entire fight, but Waters took the Cleveland, Ohio native’s best shots and continued to press the action.
Gausha (4-0, 2 KOs) was the more accurate puncher of the two, landing 115 of his 231 total punches (50 percent) and 86 of his 140 power shots (61 percent), which earned him the close decision by unanimous scores of 38-37. Waters (2-4, 2 KOs) only landed 46 of his 296 total punches (16 percent), according to CompuBox, and 41 of the 227 power shots he threw (18 percent).
In the opening bout of the Showtime Extreme broadcast, Philadelphia-based middleweight prospect Julian Williams outslugged California spoiler Dashon Johnson to a third round TKO. Williams (12-0-1, 7 KOs) rocked Johnson back into the ropes with a big hook before swarming the helpless opponent until referee Rafael Ramos stopped the bout at 1:43 of the round.
Ivan Morales, the undefeated younger brother of Erik Morales, outboxed game Raul Hidalgo to an eight-round unanimous decision. Morales (21-0, 13 KOs), of Tijuana, won by unanimous scores of 78-73. Hidalgo dropped to 17-8 (13 ).
Andres Gutierrez was too strong and accurate for Salvador “Sal II” Sanchez, bulldozing the nephew of the former featherweight champ to a fifth-round TKO of a scheduled 10-round junior featherweight bout. Gutierrez, who is managed by Alvarez’s co-trainers, improved to 26-0-1 (22). Sanchez fell to 30-6-3 (18).
In a surprising upset, journeyman Omar Gonzalez (6-8, 1 KO) out-pointed fellow San Antonio resident and former contender Raul Martinez (29-3, 17 KOs) via four-round split decision in a junior featherweight bout. Martin, who has only fought once since being dropping a six-round technical decision to Rodrigo Guerrero in a 2011 junior bantamweight title bout, was clearly rusty and didn’t offer much offense.
In the opening bout of the card, Houston-area featherweight prospect Miguel Flores improved to 11-0 (6 KOs) with a hard-fought four-round unanimous decision (39-37, 39-37, 40-36) over veteran journeyman Guadalupe De Leon (8-14, 4 KOs).
Photo: Naoki Fukuda