Cruz stops Luna in three

By Matt Richardson at ringside

Junior lightweight contender Bryant “Pee Wee” Cruz scored one of the more impressive wins of his career on Saturday night at the Resorts World Casino in Queens, New York when he violently knocked out Angel Luna in the third round of a scheduled eight-round fight.

The bout was the main event of a nine-bout card promoted by legendary former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield’s new promotional company, “Real Deal Boxing.”

After a relatively close two rounds Cruz (18-2, 9 KO’s) dropped Luna hard with a flush right. Luna (12-4-1, 7 KO’s) fell onto his chest and struggled to rise, correctly prompting a stoppage at the 42-second mark of the round.

Luna had recently gone the distance with both Tevin Farmer and Toka Kahn Clary, making his destruction at the hands of Cruz that much more unexpected. Cruz, meantime, was coming off a March 2017 loss at Madison Square Garden, his second in three fights.

In the co-featured fight of the night, Brooklyn’s Edgar Berlanga kept his hometown fans happy with a first round knockout of journeyman Enrique Gallegos. Berlanga (6-0, 6 KO’s) looked powerful and sturdy and he wound up dropping Gallegos (7-6-1, 2 KO’s) twice before referee Eddie Claudio called the fight off at 1:42 of the opening frame.

Bantamweight hopeful Duke Micah was taken the distance in a hard fought 10-round decision win against Jose Santos Gonzalez. One judge scored the fight even, 95-95, while Micah (21-0, 18 KO’s) earned identical scores of 96-94 on two other cards. Gonzalez (23-6, 13 KO’s) was cut over the left eye in the second but fought back well. Micah found success with a hard right but never had Gonzalez in serious trouble.

Female middleweight Alicia Napolean dominated Nikolett Papp to earn a shutout six-round unanimous decision. Napolean appeared to have slight difficulty with Papp in the first half of the fight but as the bout wore on, Papp slowed down and Napolean took control. All three judges scored the bout 60-54 for Napolean (8-1, 5 KO’s). Papp is now 4-2, 2 KO’s. There were no knockdowns.

Junior middleweight Frederick Lawson (26-1, 21 KO’s) blew away Fidel Monterrosa (38-15-1, 30 KO’s) inside three rounds. Monterrosa was dropped twice in the second and when he got back up he continually shook his hand while grimacing. His hand seemed to have been badly hurt at some point in the preceding rounds and the fight was stopped at the end of the third in the corner due to the injury.

Junior featherweights Rafael Castillo (1-1) won a unanimous four-rounder against Saleh Almulaiki (1-1, 1 KO). Almulaiki was thought to be the favorite prior to the fight but it was Castillo who fought harder and more aggressively to earn scores of 40-36 and 39-37 (twice). There were no knockdowns.

Middleweight Justin Biggs (2-0, 2 KO’s) stopped Simon Saye (0-2-1) earlier in the night. The time of the stoppage was 59 seconds of the third. Saye was dropped with a hard right, prompting referee Shada Murdaugh to call an immediate halt without issuing a count.

In a 147-pound fight, Cesar Francis (3-0, 2 KO’s) stopped Maxito Sainvil (4-2-1, 2 KO’s) in three rounds. Time of the stoppage: 1:10. Sainvil was down in the second and was stopped on his feet the round after.

Heavyweight Iegor Plevako (7-2, 4 KO’s) won a unanimous four-round decision against Sherman Artis (3-2) in the first fight of the night. All three judges submitted tallies of 40-36 for Plevako.

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