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Richard Torrez halts Brandon Moore in five, Emiliano Vargas remains unbeaten


Richard Torrez celebrates his KO victory over Brandon Moore. Photo by German Villasenor

by Francisco Salazar | 

SAN DIEGO – In a clash of unbeaten heavyweight prospects, Richard Torrez took a step forward in his pro career with a fifth-round stoppage of Brandon Moore before a partisan crowd at the Pechanga Arena.

Torres, who resides in Tulare, California, improved to 10-0, 10 knockouts.

From the opening bell, the southpaw was the aggressor, putting the taller Moore on the defensive. The action early on was sloppy, as both fighters clenched when Torrez took initiative or when Moore attempted to counter.

Moore was able to sneak a counter right or left to the head but backed up throughout much of the fight. Moore kept his left arm extended in front of him to keep Torrez at bay or as a rangefinder in an attempt to land a right hand.

Early in round five, a left hook staggered Moore across the ring. Moments later, another left hook to the head dropped Moore to the canvas. Moore beat the count and tried to fight back, but Torrez continued to batter him. Torrez would back Moore against the ropes, where he landed at will, prompting Moore’s corner to throw in the towel. Referee Thomas Taylor stopped the fight at 1:39.

Richard Torrez nails Brandon Moore with a right. Photo by German Villasenor

Both Torrez and Moore are promoted by Top Rank.

The 24-year-old Torrez, a 2021 Olympic silver medalist, was coming off a first-round knockout win over Donald Haynesworth on March 29.

Moore, who resides in Lakeland, Florida, falls to 14-1, 8 KOs. The 30-year-old former collegiate basketball player defeated gatekeeper Helaman Olguin by unanimous decision in his previous fight on March 2.

Emiliano Vargas battered Angel Varela throughout much of the scheduled six-round bout, stopping Varela in round six, improving to 10-0, 8 KOs.

Midway through the opening round, Vargas hurt Varela with a left to the stomach. Varela attempted to connect by initiating exchanges but was effectively countered to the head by Vargas. Early in round two, a combination, culminating with a left uppercut to the head, staggered Varela. Vargas followed up, walking Varela down and landing at will, connecting with a devastating left to the body later in the round that forced Varela to back up and fight defensively.

Vargas continued to batter Varela throughout the rest of the fight. Varela’s face was bruised from the amount of punches Vargas connected. During round six, Vargas repeatedly landed straight rights and left hooks to the head. After Vargas landed a combination to the head, referee Ray Corona stepped in and stopped the fight at 1:01.

Emiliano Vargas lands a left uppercut against Angel Varela. Photo by German Villasenor

The 20-year-old Vargas, who is trained by father and former world junior middleweight titleholder Fernando Vargas, was making his debut at 140 pounds.

Varela, who resides in Agua Prieta, Mexico, falls to 10-3, 7 KOs.

In junior welterweight action, Alan Garcia of Ulysses, Kansas defeated Wilfredo Flores by decision over eight one-sided rounds. All three judges scored the bout 80-72 for Garcia, who improved to 13-0, 10 KOs.

Flores, who is originally from Puerto Rico and now resides in Dunkirk, New York, falls to 10-3-1, 5 KOs.

Junior lightweight Jonathan Lopez of Orlando, Florida remained unbeaten, breaking down Edgar Ortega, hurting him in round eight and ending matters at 2:39. Lopez improved to 15-0, 11 KOs.

Lopez is trained by Eddy Reynoso, who also trains Ring Magazine and undisputed super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez, junior lightweight contender Oscar Valdez, and heavyweight contender Frank Sanchez.

Ortega, who resides in Mexicali, Mexico, falls to 14-3-2, 7 KOs.

Fighting before a large group of family and friends, lightweight Jonny Mansour of San Diego was successful in his pro debut, defeating Anel Dudo (3-6, 1 KO) of Sarajevo by decision. All three judges scored the bout 40-36 in favor of Mansour.

In the opening bout of the Top Rank card, welterweight Art Barrera, Jr. of Lynwood, California defeated Mexico’s Levy Garcia Benitez (3-2-1, 2 KOs) by decision. All three judges scored the bout 40-36 in favor of Barrera, who improved to 5-0, 4 KOs.


Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached at [email protected]

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