Valley alumni Emilio Rodriguez stole the show with a first-minute knockout in the last match of the night.
By Harrison McQuinn, Sports Editor
Emilio Rodriguez’s one-minute knockout concluded K.O. High Boxing’s fourth pro-am tournament on Sunday.
The clear winner of the amateur bracket was Nico Ali Walsh, but the night’s big win went to Rodriguez who knocked his opponent out in just over a minute during the third and final round of the professional boxers.
“We gonna see a whole lot of fighting,” said Flavor Flav in a prediction during the red carpet.
Flav was one of several celebrities who attended the event including Sam Watson and Ray Donovan star Dominique Columbus.
The red carpet also featured a particularly interesting character: Dangerman, the urban superhero who came to speak on behalf of an anti-bullying campaign.
“Talk to your kids every day,” said Dangerman dressed head-to-toe in blue spandex carrying a matching baseball bat.
Actor Obba Babatundé hosted the matchups along with K.O. High Boxing Founder Marvin Columbus.
The evening started off slow with four amateur fights.
The first fight pit Josh Torres against Kevin Vega. Torres ran Vega around the ring while landing crucial body blows. Torres won the matchup by decision.
Mendy Baron took on Victor Lopez in the second fight. Baron, sporting a bright blue pair of shorts reading, “Kosher Killer” accompanied by a Star of David, sustained multiple hits from Lopez in the first round.
The matchup flipped during the second round when Baron hit Lopez with a powerful hook sending him to the ground. Lopez got back on his to return a few jabs and won by decision, much to the crowd’s dismay.
“They left in all in the ring,” said Babatundé.
The third bout of the amateurs did not bring much excitement, ending with another win by decision.
The final amateur rumble featured Walsh, grandson of the late Muhammad Ali. Walsh faced Niko and ended the match with a second round technical knockout.
The professional series were dominated by defense. The first fight between Alejandro Gonzales and Giovanni Noriega (0-1) ended in a third-round technical knockout of Gonzales.
Noriega, weighing in at 110 pounds, capitalized on a missed swing by Gonzales, 108.5 pounds, delivering a swift uppercut which sent Gonzales into the ropes.
Eridanni Leon (5-2) and Jesus Celis-Ochoa (1-1) battled into the fourth round. The boxers stood equally at 149 pounds and exchanged hits until Leon knocked out Ochoa with 6 consecutive jabs to the face.
The night reached a climactic face-off between Keoki Anaya (1-0) and Valley alumni Rodriguez who made his debut Sunday.
It took only over a minute after the bell was rung for Rodriguez to land a devastating combination on 165 pound Anaya, resulting in a standing ovation from the entire gym.
The applause echoed the campus of Valley, another ex-monarch onto great things.