Saul Sanchez took a big step forward on Friday night in Broken Arrow, Okla.
The 24-year-old from Los Angeles put fellow bantamweight prospect Ja’Rico O’Quinn down three times and stopped him only 1 minute, 58 seconds into their scheduled 10-round bout on national television.
Sanchez (17-1, 10 KOs) put O’Quinn down and hurt him badly with a left hook about 50 seconds into the fight.
O’Quinn, a 26-year-old from Detroit, staggered to his feet and tried to hold Sanchez in an effort to recover. However, it wasn’t long before a right to the temple put O’Quinn (14-1, 8 KOs) down a second time.
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Finally, Sanchez landed another big right and followed with a nasty flurry of accurate shots that prompted referee Gary Ritter to stop the fight as O’Quinn fell into the ropes.
Sanchez was coming off another first-round knockout. He needed only 1:47 to stop Frank Gonzalez in March.
O’Quinn had been out of the ring for 20 months going into the fight, a period during which Sanchez fought four times.
Sanchez is ranked No. 9 by the WBA and No. 14 by the WBO. He’ll probably climb those rankings. And you can bet the IBF and WBC took notice.
Also on the card, Dominican featherweight prospect Luis Reynaldo Nunez (12-0, 8 KOs) defeated Jayvon Garnett (10-1, 5 KOs) of Cincinnati by a shutout decision in a 10-round bout.