Torrez Jr. wins second pro fight in 58 seconds

Richard Torrez Jr.’s second professional fight ended in less than a minute with a technical knockout

TEMECULA, CALIF. – Tulare boxer Richard Torrez Jr. won his second professional match in under a minute.

Torrez fought Roberto Zavala Jr. in a scheduled six-round heavyweight fight on July 15 at Pechanga Resort Casino. The fight ended when the referee called a technical knockout 58 seconds into the first round.

“I wish it had gone on a little longer so I could showcase the hard work of the last six weeks,” Torrez said. “But the ref did his job and [Zavala] didn’t get hurt. I can’t say anything bad about that.”

The left-handed, 2020 Olympic silver medalist landed several blows to Zavala’s face and head in the first round while dodging any blows in return. The ref stopped the match after Torrez landed a strong, left-handed blow to Zavala’s face and Zavala stopped returning punches.

Seconds before the TKO was called, ESPN guest commentator Andre Ward said, “It’s just a matter of time before [Torrez] sends [Zavala] to sleep.” After the ref ended the match, Ward said, “Thank God.”

A technical knockout, or TKO, is different from a knockout in that the fighter does not have to fall to the mat in order to be considered knocked out. TKOs are now more common than knockouts. A ref may call a TKO when a fighter’s position is obviously compromised. The ref may justify the TKO call if the fighter is obviously outclassed by their opponent or is simply taking too much punishment without returning any blows.

“He wasn’t returning any shots,” Torrez said. “That’s a textbook TKO.”

The match on July 15 was only Torrez’s second professional match. He made his professional debut on March 4, 2022, knocking out Allen Melson in the second round. As an amateur, he won a bronze medal at the 2019 Pan American Games in the Super Heavyweight category and a silver medal in the Super Heavyweight division at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Wearing black shorts with the word “Tulare” stitched across the waistband, Torrez said he was surprised how many hometown supporters showed up to the match for him. “I think 50 to 60 people made the drive down,” he said. “That support was incredible.”

Torrez, light for a heavyweight at 6 feet, 2 inches tall and 230 pounds, trained for six weeks for the fight. He spent the last three weeks training at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. He took the weekend off and celebrated his win by going skydiving before resuming training for his next fight.

Torrez’s next fight will be on August 27 against Marco Antonio Canedo at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tulsa. He will head back to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs to prepare in the final weeks before the fight.

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