Florida boxing promoter Henry Rivala (Rivalta Boxing) launched a new boxing series Friday night. The inaugural show was a black-tie event at the InterContinental Hotel in downtown Miami.
The 10 round main event saw formerly high world ranked and local favorite Yuniesky Gonzalez (20-3, 16 KOs) of Cuba TKO Alex Theran of Colombia (22-5, 15 KOs) in round two. Gonzalez immediately attacked the body of Theran from the opening bell. In round two, he dropped Theran with a series of body shots. Theran beat the count but found himself down again from more body shots moments later. Theran again beat the count but a combination to head near the end of the round put him down for the final time. The official time of the stoppage was 2:51 of round two.
Gonzalez won the vacant WBA Fedelatin light heavyweight title and will now be considered for a world ranking. Gonzalez called out all the top names at 175 including unified world champion Artur Beterbiev and even Canelo Alvarez if he were to return to 175.
Hometown fan favorite and former amateur standout Marcel “Man-Man” Barlatier (2-0, 2 KOs) made his long-awaited first professional fight at home a good one. He dominated battle-tested Dakota Laster in route to a first round TKO victory. Even though it was a short night’s work, the amateur pedigree of Barlatier was evident as he patiently broke down his opponent. The towering six-foot featherweight Barlatier displayed his skillset in route to the TKO stoppage at 1:43 of round one. Barlatier had 164 amateur fights and was a 3x national champion. He grew up in Liberty City which is one of the toughest neighborhoods in Miami, Florida.
Previously unbeaten super welterweight Derrick Cuevas (23-1-1, 15 KOs) was upset by 42-year-old veteran Damian Bonelli (24-8, 20 KOs) last night in Miami. The official verdict was a six round split decision in favor of Bonelli 58-56 2x and 58-56 for the 26-year-old Cuevas.
Unbeaten Nelsan Machado (17-0, 8 KOs) won a hard-earned six round unanimous decision over a game Angel Antonio Contreras (10-3-1, 6 KOs). Contreras provided a solid test for Machado. The official scores were 60-54, 59-55, and 58-56
Luis Melendez (9-1, 7 KOs) was impressive in stopping Mario Lozano (18-5-1, 9 KOs) in round two of their scheduled eight-rounder.
Heavy-handed undefeated Elvin Gambarov (10-0, 9 KOs) powered his way through Geronimo Sacco (8-2-1, 1 KO) with a high light reel stoppage in round three.
Chris Otero (3-0, 2 KOs) had all he could handle with Jose F. Leon winning a split decision victory. The official scores were 58-55 2x and 58-55 for Leon (0-7-1).