It was supposed to be Juan Dominguez's nationally televised coming-out party Tuesday night, but countryman Yenifel Vicente turned the lights out early at Sun National Bank Center in Trenton, New Jersey.
After controlling the tempo in the first two rounds, Vicente knocked Dominguez out cold with a roundhouse sledgehammer of a right hand that left his previously unbeaten opponent flat on his back in the center of the ring as referee Earl Brown waved an end to the bout 20 seconds into the third round.
Juan Dominguez (19-1, 13 KOs) left the ring on a stretcher but was soon responsive and moving his extremities. He was taken to nearby Capital Health Regional Medical Center for further evaluation.
“I got to the count of three or four, and at that particular point, I looked at [Dominguez] and I just knew that he wasn’t getting up,” Brown said. “I just wanted to get the doctors in there as soon as I possibly could.”
Yenifel Vicente (28-3-2, 20 KOs) was aggressive from the outset, swarming his fellow 122-pound Dominican Republic native with a two-fisted attack. Dominguez had a point deducted in the second round for low blows, but the fouls hardly slowed Vicente.
After a slight exchange to start the third round, Vicente reared back near the center of the ring and caught Dominguez perfectly with the final blow, his thundering right hand making a late case for knockout of the year.
“The punches that ended it were part of a combination that we’d been working on in camp, a lower shot to the body followed by an overhand right,” said Vicente, who gained his third straight win following two losses.
“I was elated initially when I got the knockdown, but then I immediately felt sorrow when I saw that my fellow countryman was actually seriously hurt. I’m trying to stay positive. I hope that this fight shows that I can’t be beaten at 122 pounds. I’m just ready for bigger and better fights.”
For complete coverage of Dominguez vs Vincente, visit our fight page.
Keith Tapia goes deep to get past Garrett Wilson
Keith Tapia overcame a cut over his left eye and delivered a gutsy display of superior power, combination punching, composure and stamina over 10 tough rounds. It all added up to a convincing unanimous decision over steel-chinned Garrett Wilson in a 200-pound battle.
Tapia (17-0, 11 KOs) doubled up Wilson (16-10-1, 9 KOs) on the stat sheet, outlanding him 218-105 in overall punches to win 97-93 and 99-91 twice on the judges’ scorecards. It was the longest fight of the 25-year-old Tapia’s career and ended his streak of four consecutive knockouts.
“I feel good. This was my first 10-round fight, and I can’t complain. Wilson was one tough son of a gun, but I knew that I had it under control,” said Tapia, who received stitches over his eye after the fight.
“I never think about knockouts; I just make it a priority to take care of business. I just wanted to box him and if the knockout came, then great. He rocked me, but I took it and I’m still standing. I was exciting to fight 10 hard rounds.”
Despite a six-inch height advantage over the 5-foot-8 Wilson, Tapia chose to engage toe-to-toe in the center of the ring from the opening bell, switching from right-handed to southpaw and back within rounds and landing jabs, crosses, hooks and uppercuts to the head and body—all with both hands.
Midway through the first round, Tapia briefly staggered Wilson with a thunderous right hand, and he landed a similar blow at the 50-second mark, delivering a hard-hitting message. Wilson replied quickly, shaking Tapia late in the second with a right hand that also left the gash above the left eye. Tapia responded with a vicious counterattack that left Wilson stunned toward the end of the round.
Tapia’s right uppercut in the third knocked Wilson back, but the 33-year-old Philadelphia native, who entered the fight with 180 professional rounds on his résumé compared to 64 for Tapia, again hammered his less experienced opponent with a thundering right late in the round before eating a right uppercut before the bell rang.
Wilson’s best round came in the fourth, when he pounded Tapia into the ropes with consecutive looping rights at the midway point, but he failed to capitalize.
From there, Tapia took complete control and impressively closed the show, highlighted by a blistering stretch in the ninth round when he landed 14 unanswered blows, all to Wilson’s head.
“We knew that he was going to bum-rush us, but Keith knew what was coming, and when he did get caught, he weathered the storm,” said trainer Chin Achebe, who was working with Tapia for the first time.
“The thing with Keith is that he’s a warrior. If you catch him with a punch, then he’s going to catch you with six, seven or eight, and they’re going to land right afterward. Keith’s movement was good, he kept his hands up and when he got his jab popping off, he looked really, really good, especially coming up the middle with his uppercuts.”
For complete coverage of Tapia vs Wilson, visit our fight page.