ESPN2 results: Diego De La Hoya shuts up Jose Salgado
Diego De La Hoya beat Jose Salgado into submission, Friday night, in Verona, New York, forcing the fellow Mexican to stay on his stool after seven rounds for the technical knockout win. The junior featherweight contest was the main event of a Golden Boy Promotions card held at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino and televised on ESPN2.
De La Hoya, the 23-year-old contender from Mexicali, had to deal with a fiery veteran from Cozumel, who waited six months for this opportunity and even tried to intimidate De La Hoya at Thursday’s weigh-in. He wanted to get De La Hoya in a fight, once the first bell sounded, and that’s exactly what he got. Diego’s busy jab and faster hands made it easy for him to get on the inside and bloody Salgado’s nose after one round. Once the bell sounded, Salgado, 28, howled at De La Hoya, to give the impression those punches meant nothing.
Salgado, 36-5-2 (29), was two weight classes north of where he once contended for the WBC junior bantamweight title three years ago. With all things considered, he was taking the shots well enough to hand over some of his own, none of which were good enough to slow down De La Hoya’s offensive rhythm. Just after an accidental headbutt forced a cut on Salgado in the second, De La Hoya landed three flush left hooks in a row that made Jose backpedal but, after the second, third, and fourth rounds of the same pace of being outworked, Salgado kept howling.
By the fifth round, there was another leaking cut above Salgado’s other eye, after taking more clean shots. Had De La Hoya not been this effective, the fight would’ve been a back-and-forth war but, once De La Hoya started focusing on the body, Salgado’s energy and work rate started to drop. So did the howling after rounds. De La Hoya earned Salgado’s respect after the midway point of the scheduled 10-rounder, and, while Salgado didn’t stop trying to hurt him back, the clean shots started to add up after seven full rounds. The corner didn’t take long between rounds to consider throwing in the towel but referee Mark Nelson could be heard telling the commission at ringside, “No mas,” and De La Hoya went over to the corner to hug Salgado, while he was still on his stool.
De La Hoya, 21-0 (10), holds a Top 5 ranking in all four major sanctioning bodies’ 122-pound rankings, and the win can only push him higher. His highest ranking – No.1 contender in the WBO – will soon put him in a mandatory position for Isaac Dogboe, who recently took the belt from Jessie Magdaleno. It was De La Hoya’s first fight of 2018, and nine months removed from handling Randy Caballero. Originally De La Hoya was scheduled to fight Salgado in December but he grossly missed weight and took the rest of the time off to dedicate time to his firstborn son.
In the opening bout of the ESPN2 telecast, Travell “Black Magic” Mazion edged Daquan Pauldo after eight competitive rounds of junior middleweight action, earning a unanimous decision (77-75 twice, 78-74) to remain unbeaten.
Mazion, Austin, Texas, came out of the gate looking to impress the Hall-of-Famers sitting at ringside, one of them being Thomas “The Hitman” Hearns, whom the 22-year-old’s tall lengthy body resembles. With his left hand low, Mazion, unlike Hearns – a southpaw – flicked his jab confidently and moved around to control the opening round with his distance but everything changed once Pauldo started to time that jab in the econd round.
Formerly Daquan Arnett but now honoring the surname of the stepdad who raised him, Pauldo, 25, stood his ground in the middle of the ring, even though he was the smaller man, and it paid off, once the first clean right caught Mazion off-guard. Pauldo, a right-hander fighting out of Winter Park, Florida, began to get more aggressive in the second and third rounds, after his counters had Mazion reluctant to throw and backing up in spots. Right hands to Mazion’s body were the most consistent work from Pauldo and they helped him control the next three rounds, even forcing Mazion to finally raise his left hand.
Mazion, 13-0 (11), got himself back into the fight, once catching Pauldo with perhaps his biggest right hand of the night, in the fifth. Pauldo wasn’t badly buckled but stuck onto the ropes, trying to clinch, but Mazion did a good job keeping him away with short accurate shots. From the sixth round on, Mazion started fighting the fight he intended to in the first round. The flicking jab was busier this time, and, through the eighth, it set up some stellar uppercuts and left hooks, once Pauldo suddenly lost his sense of range. From the outside, Mazion proceeded to out-box Pauldo the final four rounds, tire him out and earn a convincing win, in a competitive fight overall. Pauldo, 17-2 (9), gave whatever he had left to make the final round a good back-and-forth, and, although he had his moments, there weren’t enough rounds won, leading to his second defeat against an undefeated fighter.
In the televised swing bout, Puerto Rican welterweight prospect Danielito Zorrilla handed in a a tremendous second round knockout of Julio Perez. Zorrilla, 7-0 (6), placed a perfect left uppercut/hook to his compatriot’s liver. Perez, 4-3, was dropped to his knees and was in serious pain, while referee Gary Rosato may’ve first thought it was a low blow, as he confusingly didn’t start a count. It took a few seconds to do so, and, even then, he started from two as Perez continued to wince. Perez got up in time to beat Rosato’s count but the referee rightfully waved it off.
Nicknamed “El Zorro,” Zorrilla, 24, has turned in exciting knockouts, when finding himself televised on ESPN cards this year, and is certainly a name to remember. He’s promoted by the recently retired would-be Hall-of-Famer Miguel Cotto.