Bryan Chevalier (left) vs. Cesar Juarez
Junior lightweight Bryan Chevalier overcame a knockdown and scored the biggest win of his career thus 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 knockouts.
The 28-year-old scored a knockdown over the shorter Juarez during the opening round, although replays showed he might have lost his balance at the same time Chevalier threw his punch.
As the fight progressed, Chevalier was at his best working from distance, landing a jab to Juarez’s face. Undaunted, Juarez was determined to get inside of Chevalier’s reach, where he was able to do his best damage to the body.
Juarez hit paydirt during the fourth round as he dug a left hook to the body that hurt Chevalier. Moments later, Juarez wobbled Chevalier with a left uppercut to the head. A glancing blow dropped Chevalier to the canvas but he beat the count and faught on.
Chevalier effectively countered Juarez, who began to show fatigue with each passing moment. Juarez began receiving an abundance of punches to the head. Chevalier walked Juarez down during 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 has fought a who’s who of world titleholders, 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 original opponent Angel Aponte was arrested and charged with domestic violence.
In the co-feature, fringe junior welterweight contender Nestor Bravo of nearby, Arecibo, improved to 21-0, 15 KOs, by stopping Mexico’s Adrian Yung in the seventh round.
Bravo, who dropped Yung twice before the fight was waved off, has now stopped nine of his last 11 opponents.
Yung, who resides in Los Mochis, Mexico, falls to 28-8-3, 22 KOs. He is now winless in his last three bouts.
In junior middleweight action, Nicklaus Flaz, of Vega Alta, Puerto Rico, defeated previously-unbeaten prospect Brian Ceballo by split decision. One judge scored the bout 76-76, while the other two judges scored the bout 77-75 and 78-74 for Flaz.
Ceballo, who resides in New York City, drops to 13-0, 7 KOs, while Flaz improves to 10-2, 7 KOs.
Junior lightweight Jose Aguirre Cruz, who also resides in Arecibo, improved to 17-0, 11 KOs, by stopping Ezequiel Tevez (13-9, 4 KOs), of Argentina, at 1:36 of the third round.
The card was promoted by Cotto Promotions and streamed live on ProBox TV. The card also took place during the WBO Convention, which began on Monday and concludes Friday.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @FSalazarBoxing.