A Mexican pulled off an upset on Cinco de Mayo. Sound familiar?
Robinson Castellanos didn’t defeat a Frenchman to make the night even more fitting, but the Mexican boxer got a memorable victory over a once promising Cuban.
Castellanos recorded a corner stoppage against Yuriorkis Gamboa during the Golden Boy on ESPN main event Friday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
“I am super happy and excited to get such a big win,” Castellanos said. “I won against a revered Olympian, and this win puts my career back on track after my last fight. This win is the opportunity that I needed, and it’s because of the incredible team around me.”
Coming off a 14-month hiatus, Castellanos (22-11, 14 knockouts) pummeled the former unified featherweight champion before Gamboa’s corner stopped the fight after the seventh round.
Gamboa (26-2, 17 KOs), who won a gold medal at the 2004 Olympics, hit the canvas in the third and fourth rounds. Gamboa’s struggles continue since losing to Terence Crawford in 2014.
“I felt super dizzy and felt like I couldn’t go on,” Gamboa said. “We trained hard.”
In the co-main event, Jesus Rojas had a technical knockout over Abraham Lopez during an exciting brawl.
The Puerto Rican’s power was too much for Lopez, who went down in the eighth round.
“It’s going to be about three years since I’ve fought in the U.S.,” Rojas said. “This win is the opportunity to be on the global stage and take on world champions.”
The Saul “Canelo” Alvarez-Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. HBO pay-per-view undercard has a noticeable theme.
Big name boxers fighting Average Joes.
Fight fans won’t be treated to 50-50 bouts before the grand main event, but at least they’ll get to watch former champions in action.
David Lemieux, a former IBF middleweight titlist, will face Marcos Reyes in a catchweight bout at 163 pounds during Saturday’s co-main event.
Reyes (35-4, 26 knockouts) missed the weight limit by half a pound Friday and needed to strip nude the second time he stepped on the scale to get to 163.
Lemieux (37-3, 33 KOs) is a heavy favorite, but he’s not taking Reyes lightly.
“He’s a Mexican fighter, and they never go easy on you,” Lemieux said. “Don’t want to be caught by surprised.”
Lucas Matthysse, a former junior welterweight champion, will end a 20-month layoff when he faces Emmanuel Taylor.
Matthysee (37-4, 34 KOs), who has given boxing fans many exciting bouts, will make his welterweight debut. Taylor (20-4, 14 KOs) has faced tough opponents before, such as Adrien Broner and Antonio Orozco.
Rising featherweight contender Joseph “JoJo” Diaz Jr. opens the PPV card against Manuel Avila.
Diaz (23-0, 13 KOs) could be in line for his first title bout with a victory over Avila (22-0, 8 KOs).
Box Fan Expo
Want to meet Thomas Hearns, Marco Antonio Barrera, Marcos Maidana, Leo Santa Cruz, Abner Mares, Daniel Jacobs and Shawn Porter?
You can meet all of them and many more boxers from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Box Fan Expo at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Tickets start at $30 and can be purchased at boxfanexpo.com.
Contact Gilbert Manzano at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0492. Follow @gmanzano24 on Twitter.