Bryan Chevalier (left) against Cesar Juarez
Junior lightweight Bryan Chevalier overcame a knockdown and earned the biggest win of his career so far, stopping Cesar Juarez Wednesday night at Coliseo Roberto Clemente in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Chevalier, who resides in nearby Bayamon, improves to 18-1-1, 14 KOs.
The 28-year-old scored a knockdown on the shorter Juarez in the first round, although replays showed he could have lost his balance the same moment Knight threw his punch.
As the fight progressed, Chevalier was at his best work from a distance, landing a jab to Juarez’s face. Undaunted, Juarez was determined to get within range of Knight, where he was able to do his best to damage the body.
Juarez hit paydirt in the fourth round by digging a left hook to the body that hurt Chevalier. Moments later, Juarez wobbled Chevalier with a left uppercut to the head. A glance threw Chevalier to the canvas but he beat the count and fought.
Chevalier effectively countered Juarez, who began to show fatigue with every passing moment. Juarez started to land an abundance of punches to the head. Chevalier knocked Juarez down in the seventh round, in which he pinned Juarez against the ropes, unleashing a barrage of punches that prompted referee Janny Guzman to stop the fight at 1:55.
Including the stoppage win over Juarez, Chevalier has now won his last 10 fights. He is promoted by Miguel Cotto.
Juarez (27-13, 20 KOs), who resides in Mexico City, has now lost five of his last seven fights. He fought a who’s who of world title holders, contenders and prospects, including a loss to Nonito Donaire in December 2015 for the vacant WBO junior featherweight title.
The 31-year-old took the fight on a week’s notice after his original opponent, Angel Aponte, was arrested and charged with domestic violence.
In the co-feature, Nestor Bravo, a fringe junior welterweight contender from nearby Arecibo, improved to 21-0, 15 KOs, stopping Mexican Adrian Yung in the seventh round.
Bravo, who dropped Yung twice before the fight was called off, has now stopped nine of his last 11 opponents.
Yung, who resides in Los Mochis, Mexico, drops to 28-8-3, 22 KOs. He is now winless in his last three fights.
In junior middleweight action, Nicklaus Flaz of Vega Alta, Puerto Rico defeated undefeated prospect Brian Ceballo by split decision. One judge scored the fight 76-76, while the other two judges scored the fight 77-75 and 78-74 for Flaz.
Ceballo, who resides in New York, drops to 13-0, 7 KOs, while Flaz moves up to 10-2, 7 KOs.
Junior lightweight Jose Aguirre Cruz, who also resides in Arecibo, improved to 17-0, 11 KOs, stopping Ezequiel Tevez (13-9, 4 KOs) of Argentina at 1:36 of round three .
The card was promoted by Cotto Promotions and streamed live on ProBox TV. The card also took place during the WBO convention, which kicked off Monday and ends Friday.
Francisco A. Salazar has been writing for The Ring since October 2013 and has been covering boxing in Southern California and internationally since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Star newspaper in Ventura County, California. He can be contacted by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @FSalazarBoxing.