Huge Centeno Jr. (22-0, 12 KOs) knocked out James De La Rosa (23-3, 13 KOs) in the fifth round of a scheduled 10-round Middleweight fight at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Centeno, 23, Oxnard, California used a long jab and right hand to box De la Rosa from the outside.
De La Rosa, 27, of San Benito, Texas, was coming off a unanimous decision win over Alfredo Angulo, but was clearly in with a different fighter tonight and had trouble early with Centeno’s reach and height advantage.
Indeed, Centeno knocked De la Rosa down in the first round with a power jab that discouraged De la Rosa from coming in too aggressively.
De la Rosa would have a better third round in which he bloodied Centeno’s nose, but Centeno continued his pace and landed harder shots in the fourth round.
Then, before the fifth round would end, Centeno switched to southpaw and landed a vicious left hand that knocked De la Rosa down and out.
Centeno made a successful debut on HBO and will look to capitalize on that in the future. His height and reach will make him an interesting fighter to watch in the Junior Middleweight division, the division in which he normally fights.