truTV results: Valdez dazzles against Avalos; Hart intimidates Pryor
Mexican featherweight prospect Oscar Valdez stayed undefeated after earning a TKO stoppage over Chris Avalos when referee Russell Mora had seen enough at 1:17 into the fifth round. The contest was the main event of a Top Rank Promotions card broadcast on truTV’s “MetroPCS Friday Night Knockout” and held at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Nev.
It took a round for both fighters to cozy up and start letting their hands go but once Valdez landed a counter right hand to end the opening round, it turned into a solid action fight thereafter. The counter shots from Valdez were the catalyst to his success and Avalos couldn’t see them coming. Valdez effectively countered with both hands and, in the first minute of the third round, a left hand visibly hurt Avalos for the first time in the fight.
Although Avalos quickly recovered, the counter left hook was a harbinger of things to come. In the waning seconds of the same round, Valdez timed the left hook again perfectly and sent Avalos into a stumble that mimicked Zab Judah’s punch-drunk dance after getting caught by Kostya Tszyu in 2001. The bell sounded during Mora’s count and Avalos was able to recover but it was the beginning of the end for the 25-year old.
Avalos, 26-4 (19), staggered into his corner at the end of the fourth round after another counter left and the ringside doctor proceeded to check on him before the fifth. Avalos was allowed to continue but it was all for naught as he continued to get peppered with shots until the stoppage midway through the round.
Valdez, 17-0 (15), looked impressive and was humble upon the idea of fighting for a world title. “I need to prove myself to have that world championship,” he told truTV reporter Crystina Poncher in the post-fight interview. He continued, “I did exactly what my father and trainer, Manny Robles, told me to do.” His game plan was laid out and executed perfectly and impressive victories like these eventually parlay into a world title shot.
In the co-feature of the truTV broadcast, Jesse Hart beat up Aaron Pryor Jr. until referee Tony Weeks stopped the fight in the ninth round of a super middleweight contest.
Pryor, son of the former junior welterweight champion nicknamed “The Hawk,” fought opposite of how his namesake used to knock his opponents out in the ’80s. A tall, skinny 168-pounder, Pryor was overwhelmed by the aggressive, head-hunting attack from Hart and Junior retreated around the ring for much of the fight. Hart, a 26-year old out of Philadelphia, Penn., threw looping hooks inspired with bad intentions as he looked to back up all the trash-talking leading up to the fight.
While Hart did his part in trying to make it a fight, Pryor failed to partake and, as a result, the fight was a one-sided affair that lacked any competitiveness from one corner. Quite frankly, Pryor, 19-9-1 (12), had the look of a scared fighter who was more worried about getting hit rather than unleashing some punishment of his own. To be fair, Hart, 18-0 (15), fought with an intimidating vigor that resonated through the television. Although he did his job and came to fight, if there was anything he didn’t do right, it was trying to attack Pryor’s body in order to break him down rather than just catch him with one knockout shot. The stoppage was looming from the sixth round on and there was a collective sigh of relief once Weeks made the call in the ninth.