By David Robinett at ringside
Flyweight Genisis Libranza (19-1, 11 KOs) scored a fourth round stoppage over Carlos Maldonado (11-4, 7 KOs), battering his opponent against the ropes until referee Russell Mora stepped in with just two seconds left in the round. Libranza, whose only loss came in 2017 challenging for a fringe world title, was in control from the start, but fought at a measured pace early. In round four, both fighters began to mix it up inside, where Libranza overwhelmed Maldonado with his right hand, administering a one-way beating until the official end at 2:58 in a scheduled eight-round bout.
Kicking off the marathon, 11-fight Pacquiao v. Thurman card at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, Filipino-born, California-based featherweight John Leo Dato (12-0-1, 8 KOs) scored two knockdowns en route to a fifth round knockout of Juan Antonio Lopez (13-7, 5 KOs). Dato, whose vocal contingent of travelling fans breathed life into the still empty arena, gave them plenty to cheer about, dropping Lopez early in round one with a short right hook to the chin. Lopez, a fringe prospect who started 10-0 before running into better competition, was game to fight, but couldn’t escape Dato’s right hand, getting hammered particularly in rounds three and four before a right to the body put him down for the count at 2:05 of round five in a scheduled six round bout.
By David Robinett at ringside Flyweight Genisis Libranza (19-1, 11 KOs) scored a fourth round stoppage over Carlos Maldonado (11-4, 7 KOs), battering his opponent against the ropes until referee…
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