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BOXING IN IRVINE : Zavala Continues Comeback by Knocking Out Roby

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Rosemead featherweight Rudy Zavala continued his climb back up the rankings with a fourth-round knockout of John Roby in the main event Thursday night at the Irvine Marriott before 1,104.

In the first fight on the six-bout card, bantamweight Pablito Barrios of Acapulco, Mexico, was knocked unconscious from a flurry of blows by Johnny Vasquez with 2:24 gone in the first round. Barrios’ head hit the canvas hard and he lay motionless for almost 10 minutes while most of crowd stood silently.

Barrios (3-2-1), who trains at the Santa Ana Boxing Club, was eventually helped to his feet and walked out of the ring on his own. The knockout was Vasquez’s first in four fights and his second victory. He hit Barrios with several clean shots earlier in the round, then came off the ropes to hit Barrios with about 10 consecutive punches that landed flush on the jaw.

Barrios was taken to Irvine Medical Center for tests. Dr. Robert Karns, the state athletic commission’s physician, said Barrios will be kept overnight for observation.

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“Anytime there’s a history of unconsciousness, we keep them overnight,” Karns said. “I think he’ll be fine though.”

Dr. Andrew Kim of the state athletic commission said he did not fault referee Burt Gilliam’s actions in the ring.

“It’s hard to stop it at that point,” Kim said.

Zavala (23-4-2), the world’s top-ranked junior featherweight two years ago, was sluggish early and he had a hard time finding the taller Roby’s head. But he landed three right hooks to Roby’s jaw in the third round, then landed a left hook below his ribs that sent Roby (14-13) to his knees. Roby tried to get up, but he didn’t make the 10 count.

“It was a left hook to the liver,” Zavala said. “I thought he’d get up.”


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