Mbilli, Lopez among Gvozdyk-Ngumbu prelim winners

691974456.jpg.0 - Mbilli, Lopez among Gvozdyk-Ngumbu prelim winners

Most — but not all — of the prelim fights went as imagined.

Donald Smith KO-4 Jose Antonio Martinez

Monster KO, at 2:01 of the fourth and final round. Martinez (11-18, 6 KO) had also gone down in the second round on body shots, after which Smith (9-0, 6 KO) celebrated a bit prematurely, as Martinez got up and fought on. But he got a chance to celebrate for real in the fourth. Smith, 26, is a southpaw Philly featherweight.

Sonny Conto TKO-1 Omar Acosta

Wipeout win for Philly heavyweight Conto (2-0, 2 KO), who made his pro debut in February and returned here to beat Acosta (1-6, 1 KO) down to the canvas. Acosta did get up from the knockdown, but the referee smartly called it off, he was done. Official time was 1:16 of the first round.

Jeremy Adorno UD-4 Sebastian Baltazar

Pro debut for Adorno, an 18-year-old bantamweight. He got some good work in against Baltazar (1-4, 0 KO), who was tough as hell and landed plenty of shots of his own. But it was a clear win for Adorno, 40-36 across the board.

Jose Lopez RTD-6 Askhat Ualikhanov

Puerto Rican welterweight Lopez (12-1, 10 KO) looked really good here, bouncing back from a shock loss in August of last year against a journeyman. Ualikhanov (4-2, 2 KO) had a loss coming in, but it was a DQ loss in his pro debut in 2016. So there was some intriguing coming in, but Lopez established his superiority early and beat up on Ualikhanov until the Kazakh fighter had had enough.

Joshafat Ortiz KO-1 James Thomas

Super featherweight prospect Ortiz improves to 6-0 (4 KO) with the first round knockout of Thomas (6-5, 6 KO). Ortiz put things away with a left hook behind the ear that shook Thomas and put him down after a couple more shots thrown. Official time was 2:53 of round one.

Juan Ruiz TKO-4 Fredrick Lawson

A welterweight upset here, with Ruiz (22-4, 14 KO) coming back from back-to-back stoppage losses to put Lawson (27-2, 21 KO) away in four. The end came when Ruiz landed a hard chopping right to the head, which basically put Lawson out on his feet. Lawson was then lightly shoved as Ruiz tried to separate from him in close, and he fell down. The referee chose to rule it a shove, which was technically fair, but the damage was done, and Ruiz knew it. As soon as the action was restarted, Ruiz jumped all over Lawson, flurrying and forcing the referee to stop the fight at 1:16 of the fourth round, with Lawson pinned on the ropes and not fighting back. It’s the second stoppage loss for Lawson, and probably puts the level cap on his career at age 29.

Christian Mbilli UD-8 Humberto Gutierrez

Scores were 79-73, 79-73, and 80-72. Gutierrez (33-8-2, 22 KO) took this fight on Thursday. He’s been fighting heavy for years now, as he was really at his best at 130, where he briefly held the interim WBC title in 2009. For this fight he was north of middleweight, which is nothing new for him. He’s just a guy who fights, and he was a tough SOB in this one, taking a lot of good shots from Mbilli (14-0, 13 KO), and taking the 23-year-old prospect the distance for the first time as a pro. Mbilli dominated, but Gutierrez gave him rounds.

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