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Atif Oberlton scored a six-round knockout of Harry Keenan Cruz

Atif Oberlton (left) – Photo by Darryl Cobb, Jr.

by Francisco Salazar |

Another fight, another knockout of Atif Oberlton.

The undefeated light heavyweight prospect stopped Harry Keenan Cruz on Saturday night in the sixth round of a scheduled ten round bout at the Caribe Royale Hotel in Orlando, Florida.

In a southpaw clash, the tall Oberlton took down Keenan Cruz, forcing him to fight off his back foot and into the ropes. Keenan Cruz was able to use lateral movement, making it difficult for Oberlton to get anything.

Undeterred, Oberlton was able to hurt Keenan Cruz with about 30 seconds left in the second round, throwing and landing a left uppercut. Oberlton followed up, hitting Keenan Cruz in the corner, but Keenan Cruz was able to get out of the corner and avoid Oberlton until the bell rang to end the round.

Oberlton continued to walk down Keenan Cruz, trying to land two or three punches to the head. If he didn't maintain or maintain his distance or use a lateral move, Keenan Cruz would either roll or stick to Oberlton.

Midway through the sixth round, a left uppercut sent Keenan Cruz reeling against the ropes. Oberlton continued to attack, landing left crosses and uppercuts to the head, prompting referee Telis Assimenios to stop the fight at 2:23.

“I wanted to come out tonight and play well,” Oberlton said. “I got the cut and now I'm ready to take my career to the next level. I worked hard to get into this position. I will be back in the gym next week and hopefully back in the ring before the end of the summer.”

The 25-year-old knocked out veteran Juan Lopez Barajas once late in the opening round in his previous fight four weeks ago. On January 12, Oberlton drafted goaltender Cleotis 'Mookie' Pendarvis in the second round.

Southpaw Oberlton appeared on ShoBox TV on January 20 last year, defeating Artem Brusev by unanimous decision in a clash of undefeated light heavyweight prospects.

Keenan Cruz, originally from Bayamon, Puerto Rico and now residing in Middleburg, Florida, falls to 8-5, 4 KOs. The 29-year-old has now lost three of his last five. Oberlton improved to 11-0, 9 hits.

In the grueling portion, Cuban Herich Ruiz knocked Brandon Carmack down before ending matters at 1:14 of the sixth round. Now living and training in Las Vegas, Nevada, Ruiz improved to 5-0, 4 KO.

Carmack, who lives in Kansas City, Missouri, is 7-5-3, 4 KO and has now lost five of his last seven.

At middleweight, Yoelvis Tellez improved to 7-1, 6 KO, stopping Argentina's Marcelo Bzowski (11-27-4) at 2:44 of the sixth round. Tellez, who is originally from Havana, Cuba and lives in Las Vegas, was defeated by Marquis Taylor in his previous fight on July 8.

Jonathan Gonzalez of San Juan, Puerto Rico won by knockout over Edward Ulloa Diaz (14-6, 11 KOs) of the Dominican Republic in 22 seconds of the seventh round. Gonzalez, who improved to 20-0-1, 16 KO, also knocked out Ulloa Diaz in the sixth round.

In junior lightweight action, junior standout Carlos De Leon Castro was successful in his debut, dropping Tampa's Christian Reed (0-6) three times en route to a first-round victory at 2:19.

Featherweight Chavez Barrientes of Las Vegas, Nevada defeated Mexico's Daniel Olea (13-10-3, 5 KOs) by unanimous decision. The scores were 59-54, 59-54, and 60-54 in favor of Barrientes, who improved to 9-0, 7 KO.

Lightweight Corey Marksman (9-0-1, 7 KOs) of nearby Deltona defeated Jonathan Perez of Colombia (41-41, 33 KOs) by knockout in the opening round. A left hook to the body ended matters at 1:44.

“We are excited to host an exciting boxing event at the Caribe Royale Hotel in Orlando,” said Amaury Piedra, managing director of Caribe Royale. “The fighters put on an amazing show for the fans tonight. Carlos De Leon Castro's debut has been very exciting, and we believe he has the potential to become Puerto Rico's next great player.

“We have a lot of exciting events in the pipeline and we can't wait to bring some great games to Orlando fans.”

The card is promoted by Boxlab Promotions, in association with Warriors Boxing, Undisputed Promotions, and Kings Boxing Promotions. The card aired live on DAZN.

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


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