Sammy Vasquez Jr. promised a quick fight against Alberto Mosquera in Friday’s main event of “Pride of Pittsburgh II” at Consol Energy Center.
But even the “Who Can Mexican” Monessen native didn’t expect the end to come as quickly and decisively as it did.
Vasquez knocked Mosquera down with a two-punch combination and then sent the Panamanian fighter to the canvas for good seconds later with a devastating body shot, earning a knockout at the 2:35 mark of the first round.
“I predicted no more than four rounds, but I was surprised to get him out in the first round,” Vasquez said. “I wanted to stay to my game plan. I knew he would come forward and I wanted to see how he would react when I hit him.
“When I hit him, he moved back. He had a lot of openings and I wanted to take advantage of that.”
Vasquez (17-0, 13 KOs) won the vacant WBC FECARBOX welterweight title to go with the USBA belt he already owns.
In a battle of southpaws, Vasquez stunned Mosquera with an early shot to the head, and as Mosquera tried to gather himself, a powerful left-right combination knocked him down at the 1:16 mark.
Less than 40 seconds later, Vasquez hit Mosquera with a body shot that crumpled his opponent as the partisan Vasquez crowd roared with approval.
Mosquera was counted out and was incapacitated for a time in his corner afterward.
Vasquez made quick work, landing 31 of 70 punches (44 percent).
His father, Sam Vasquez Sr., who is working for promoter Iron Mike Productions, said plans are for his son to fight again either at the end of January or in early February.
IMP boss Mike Tyson says his top fighter will keep fighting every 6 to 8 weeks.
Salka wins war
In the most brutal fight of the night, Bunola’s “Lightning” Rod Salka retained his WBC FECARBOX lightweight title with a dominating unanimous decision over Monty Meza-Clay.
The two friends turned rivals produced a bloody, action-packed 10-round bout that left both fighters bloodied and bruised.
Salka (20-4, 3 KOs) was too quick and methodical for Meza-Clay (36-4, 22 KOs).
Salka dominated the majority of the fight, using his speed and movement while landing combinations at angles that seemed to frustrate and hurt the more compact Meza-Clay.
Both fighters opened cuts around each other’s eyes in the second round, and as the fight wore on, their faces looked like swollen messes.
Meza-Clay planned to take the fight to Salka, but he had a hard time landing solid shots as his opponent was always moving and weaving.
Salka had frequent success, connecting with combinations of as many as four and five punches.
At the end of the action-packed fight, the two boxers, who have known each other for years, embraced.
“I knew I was going to have to box,” said Salka. “I’ve seen Monty fight a million times. I came up in the gym with him. We used to spar together. I know what kind of person he is.
“I love him. But as soon as you sign a contract, it’s serious business. I went 10 rounds with a lion, but I could have gone more. I felt good.”
Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or [email protected].