Jose Valenzuela stops Francisco Vargas with one shot in first round

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Jose Valenzuela knows how to get your attention.

The 22-year-old lightweight prospect stopped veteran Francisco Vargas with a single left to the chin in the first round of a scheduled 10-rounder on the Errol Spence Jr.-Yordenis Ugas card Saturday in Arlington, Texas.

Valenzuela (12-0, 8 KOs) now has four first round knockouts, although none was more dramatic than the one on Saturday.

He and Vargas (27-4-2, 19 KOs) were in the process of sizing one another up when Valenzuela landed a looping left hand, which put Vargas on his back and hurt him badly.

Referee Mark Calo oy rushed to the fallen fighter, looked into his eyes and immediately waved off the fight. Vargas was able to get up but was helped to his stool.

The official time of the stoppage was 1:25.

“I stayed calm in there and when I saw the opening …,” Valenzuela said.

He went on: “I was expecting him to get up but I took another look back and he was still down. It was a good punch.”

The fight was only Valenzuela’s third scheduled 10-rounder, which means he won’t be fighting for a world title anytime soon. That said, performances like this one portend special things from him.

He knows what his job is going forward.

“Just keep fighting good fighters, like him, a rugged fighter,” Valenzuela said. “Whatever they have planned, I’m willing to do.”