Top Rank on ESPN: Beterbiev Blows Away Hot Rod in 5

Ancajas Retains Junior Bantamweight World Title and Flores Jr. Thrills in Homecoming Bout

STOCKTON, Calif. (May 4, 2019) — The knockout streak continues. Artur Beterbiev, — boxing’s only world champion with a 100 percent KO ratio — knocked out the hard-hitting Radivoje “Hot Rod” Kalajdzic in the fifth round in front of 10,105 fans at Stockton Arena.

Beterbiev (14-0, 14 KOs) retained his IBF light heavyweight world title for the second time and now has his sights set on unification bouts.

“I worked very hard for this fight. I went 100 percent in the gym. Maybe one day I’ll show my boxing skills,” Beterbiev said. “I want unification fights. It doesn’t matter who it is. I am happy to be working with Top Rank and ESPN.”

Beterbiev knocked down Kalajdzic (24-2, 17 KOs) at the end of the third round, and Kalajdzic stumbled back to his corner. The two exchanged haymakers in the fourth, as both men were stunned at times in the round.

Beterbiev came out intent on finishing the show in the fifth and did just that. He pinned Kalajdzic to the ropes, unloaded to the head and body, and referee Dan Stell stepped in to end the fight.

And just like that, boxing’s KO king remained unblemished.


The world’s longest-reigning 115-pound world champion, Jerwin “Pretty Boy” Ancajas, will extend his reign for the foreseeable future. Ancajas (31-1-2, 21 KOs) defended his IBF junior bantamweight world title for the seventh time with a seventh-round TKO over No. 1 contender Ryuichi Funai.

“Funai has a champion’s heart. He took my best punches. I have nothing but respect for him,” Ancajas said. “This was the best training camp I had in a very long time. We changed some things in training and we hired a nutritionist, which helped me make the weight a lot easier. That showed in the ring tonight. I felt great at 115 pounds, and I will be able to make that weight for a long time.”

Ancajas got the jab working early and carved up Funai (31-8, 22 KOs) with an assortment of power punches. By the fourth round, Funai’s face was bruised and cut, and Ancajas continued to apply the pressure.

As the seventh round was set to begin, the ringside physician stopped the fight, and Ancajas secured his first stoppage win in three fights.


Consider the homecoming a success.

Stockton’s hometown hero, Gabriel Flores Jr., knocked out Eduardo Pereira Reis with a single leaping left look in the third round of a scheduled six-round lightweight bout.

Flores Jr. (13-0, 6 KOs) dominated the first two rounds, and in the third, added the exclamation point.

“It felt amazing. This is where I was born and raised. This is what I worked for. “A lot of people came out {tonight}. I am Stockton’s king,” Flores said. “I dedicate this fight to my mother. I know she is looking down on me and is so proud.”

In other action:

Albuquerque-born welterweight prospect Brian Mendoza (17-0, 12 KOs) impressed in his Top Rank debut, knocking out Carlos Rodriguez (12-8-1, 5 KOs) with a single left hook in the second round.

Mendoza had not fought in nearly 18 months, but he found his rhythm after a shaky first round.

“My trainer actually called the {knockout punch} before the second round. He was expecting the 1-2, and I came back with the hook,” Mendoza said. “I missed it a few times, but I caught him, and it was over.

“I’ve been out of the ring a long time, and it took me only one round to shake off the ring rust. I’m back.”

Light heavyweight contender Felix Valera (18-2, 15 KOs) notched his third consecutive victory, stopping Mario Aguilar (20-7, 17 KOs) with a barrage of punches in the fourth round. Referee Marcos Rosales halted the bout as Aguilar took a beating against the ropes.

Vislan Dalkhaev (11-1, 3 KOs) bested veteran Vincent Jennings (6-7-2, 4 KOs) via six-round unanimous decision in a super bantamweight bout. The scores were as followed: 59-55 2x and 60-54.

Cruiserweight Blake “The Beast” McKernan extended his record to 12-0 with an eight-round unanimous decision over Joey “The Beast” Montoya (9-7-3, 3 KOs) by scores of 79-72 2x and 78-73.

Stockton native Quilisto “Kilo the Kid” Madera (12-2, 8 KOs ) got the hometown fans chanting and scored a six-round unanimous decision (60-54 3x) over Osbaldo Gonzalez (6-4, 4 KOs) in a middleweight contest.

In a four-round flyweight thriller Jesus Godinez (3-3, 2 KOs) upset Stockton-born prospect Marco Arroyo (2-1, 1 KO) by split decision.

All photos by Mikey Williams/Top Rank

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