With a crippling left hook, Reno’s Oscar Vasquez sent the crowd into a frenzy.
The 28-year-old Hug High grad blasted Jose Toribio with a kidney shot, paralyzing the San Diego fighter and dropping him to the canvas to score a knockout win in the seventh round during Saturday’s eighth annual Fallon Fights at the Churchill County Fairgrounds.
Vasquez, a 122-pound flyweight, improved to 9-1 with two knockouts and 5-0 at the Rural Rumble and took the next step as a prospective title contender. Toribio falls to 6-2.
Vasquez, though, didn’t leave unscathed as he injured his left hand, although no detailed information was available.
Nevertheless, Vasquez survived Toribio’s pressure early in the bout. Both fighters appeared to be even through the first four rounds, although Vasquez did take some blows in the fifth and sixth rounds.
But, as Vasquez said, his punches were the ones doing damage.
“I was getting the better shots,” he added. “I think he was trying to drown me, but I trained really hard. The plan was to pick it up in the later rounds, but he slowed down in the sixth and that’s when I knew I had him.”
Vasquez, at times, allowed Toribio to control the center of the ring, while the Reno boxer went up against the ropes and let Toribio throw wildly.
In the sixth round, Toribio slowed and Vasquez took advantage using his jab and hooks to the head, then used a straight left of right to the body.
About midway through the seventh round, however, Vasquez saw an opening for a body shot and delivered.
“The knockout was good,” he added. “I got a great shot. I got an angle, took a body shot and he went down. I was hoping he would stay down and he did.”
Vasquez appeared sluggish at times and said as much after the fight. He started training in Los Angeles about three months ago, and the elevation change may have taken a toll, he said.
Despite his conditioning, Vasquez was thrilled about his first eight-round bout.
“I was trying to bang a couple times,” he said. “I tried to box a little. I bobbed and weaved on the ropes. He threw a lot of wild shots. I didn’t think he was going to slow down.”
As for his prospects, Vasquez’s promotion team of Terry and Tommy Lane of Let’s Get It On Promotions were happy with the result. They said Vasquez will fight at least two to three more eight-rounders before moving to 10 and 12 rounds.
They were concerned with some of the shots their budding star took, but a knockout with most of the boxing world focusing on Fallon was rewarding.
“Oscar was looking maybe a little arm weary, but he dropped a perfect body shot and that will do it,” Tommy Lane said. “I think this was his toughest fight. I think his stock has moved up, certainly. The next step is putting him in another tough eight-round fight.”