At the Save Mart Center in Fresno, heavyweight prospect Richard Torrez Jr., the U.S. Olympic silver medalist from Tulare, California, made his professional debut in front of the home region fans with a second-round knockout over Alabama native Allen Melson (6-4, 3 KOs).
Torrez knocked down Melson three times, once in the first and twice in the second. A clash of heads opened up a cut along Torrez’s right eyebrow late in the first round, but the youngster came out swinging in the second. The second knockdown of the round, a short left hand, laid out Melson.
Torrez landed 15 of his 40 power shots.
Torrez said, “After the cut, I knew I had to get back to basics, and that’s what I did. I made sure to avoid additional head clashes, and I got the job done in the second.
“Sure, the cut is frustrating, but I’m not going to let it ruin the celebration. What a night. It was everything I’d hoped it would be.
“I didn’t know what to expect. I wanted to make a good first impression, especially in front of my home fans. They brought the energy, and I fed off the energy they gave me. The Central Valley is home, and I am proud to represent my people.”
Also on the card, stunning finish as two-time world title challenger Joet Gonzalez stopped Jeo Santisima in the ninth round to pick up the WBO International featherweight belt. Gonzalez (25-2, 15 KOs) landed a crisp right hand that backed up Santisima (21-4, 18 KOs), and referee Edward Collantes immediately waved off the fight. Santisima’s corner was stunned at the turn of events, as it did not appear as if the Filipino contender was seriously hurt.
For Gonzalez, it was a much-needed victory, as he was less than six months removed from a decision loss to WBO featherweight world champion Emanuel Navarrete.