Madison Square Garden, New York City – Teofimo Lopez (13-0, 11 KOs) did what nobody else has come close to doing, knocking out former two-time European champion Edis Tatli (31-3, 10 KOs) with a right hand to the body in the fifth round to defend his NABF lightweight belt. (Photos by Mikey Williams).
Lopez, the consensus 2018 Prospect of the Year, is a contender now and is angling for a world title opportunity.
Featherweight Shakur Stevenson put forth the best performance of his young career, befuddling and outboxing former world title challenger Christopher “Pitufo” Diaz over 10 one-sided rounds (100-90, 99-91 and 98-92).
Stevenson, a 2016 U.S. Olympic silver medalist, saw his two-fight knockout streak come to an end, but Diaz (24-2, 16 KOs) represented the toughest test of his career.
At no point did Diaz threaten Stevenson (11-0, 6 KOs), whose southpaw movement was too much for the Puerto Rican pressure fighter.
Felix Verdejo (25-1, 16 KOs), the one-time top prospect, moved closer to lightweight contender status with a 10-round unanimous decision over Bryan Vasquez (37-4, 20 KOs) on the opening bout of the pay-per-view telecast.
Verdejo has now won two in a row since a shocking knockout loss last March at the hands of Antonio Lozada Jr.
Verdejo controlled the fight with his jab, as Vasquez attempted to bully the taller man on the inside. But in the end, it was Verdejo who prevailed by scores of 97-93 2X and 98-92.