Manuel Mendez Earns Third-
Round KO Win Saturday Night
Manuel "La Tormenta" Mendez (14-1-2, 10 KOs) body punched
his way to another knockout victory during the "Night of
Champions" main event on Saturday night.
Mendez's latest victim, Costa Rica's Bergman Aguilar
(14-3-1, 4 KOs), crumpled to the ground in the third round
after sustaining a thunderous left hook to the ribs.
"Body shots are my bread and butter," said Mendez, who is
trained by Joel Diaz. "In the third, I was able to get
inside and really do some damage."
In the first round, Aguilar was the busier of the two, but
the tide turned in rounds two and three when Mendez began
forcing his way into the pocket and connecting on numerous
For a fighter with a host of knockouts on his resume, Mendez
actually exercises excellent patience in wearing down
opponents and striking at the most opportune time. He never
looks rushed and always appears to know how the fight will
"I like to take my time in the first few rounds to see what
I'm working with," said Mendez. "By the third, I already
knew how to attack."
In the co-feature, Juan Reyes (14-3-3, 2 KOs) of Riverside,
Calif. applied his routine, constant pressure to thwart
veteran Miguel Angel Mendoza (23-11-2) of Mexico.
Reyes, who recently made the jump to junior lightweight from
featherweight, found his rhythm early with strong body shots
and counter left hooks.
Mendoza was more than willing to return throughout their
eight round fight, but Reyes found pay dirt on a more
consistent basis. The judges awarded Reyes a unanimous
decision victory with scores 78-74 twice, 79-73.
"After a few rounds, I could tell he was getting tired,"
Reyes said. "I knew if I was first to the punch I would have
a great shot at winning. I just kept the pressure and got
The second fight of the night featured a heavyweight rematch
between Jonathan Rice (6-2-1, 4 KOs) of Los Angeles and
Mario Heredia (14-7, 12 KOs) of Mexico. Rice got the better
of Heredia in their first encounter in November. Rice
knocked down Heredia three times on his way to a fifth round
The sequel would not end any different for Heredia. Rice
downed Heredia once in the second and twice in the third.
The second drop in the third round was the final shot
Heredia would absorb. The referee waived the fight off at
the 2:02 mark.
In the "Night of Champions" 4-round opener, Jose Salinas
(1-0, 1 KO) of Indio, Calif. was victorious in his
professional debut over Johnny Black (3-5, 2 KOs) of Las
The junior lightweight dropped Black early in the first
round with a left hook. Salinas, a southpaw, continued his
attack by punching Black into a corner. From there, he let
his hands go, connecting on a handful of punches before the
referee stopped the barrage at the 2:37 mark of the opening