Welterweight Alberto Palmetta stopped Erik Vega in the 10th and final round Friday night at the WinnaVegas Resort and Casino in Sloan, Iowa.
With the victory, Palmetta improves to 13-1, 9 knockouts.
Vega entered the fight unbeaten, but had not faced anyone of significance, only facing three fighters with a winning record prior to the Palmetta fight. He was also making his United States debut.
Palmetta, who represented Argentina at the 2016 Olympic Games, entered the fight having won his previous six fights, all by knockout, since his knockout loss to Gonzalo Gaston in November of 2017.
The 23-year-old Vega, who defeated Luciano Hernandez in his previous fight on July 26, started slow from the opening bell, but began to let his hands go more with consistently by the third round. Vega was effective in countering left hooks to the head ofPalmetta during the first half of the fight.
As the bout progressed, Vega initiated exchanges in an attempt to put Palmetta on the defensive. Palmetta was effective in countering to the head and body, mixing his attack with hooks and crosses.
With the fight still in the balance going into the final two rounds, Palmetta let his hands go more in round nine, landing the more-accurate and telling blows. As both stood in the pocket, Palmetta’s punches began to take their toll.
Moments into the 10th round, Palmetta stunned Vega with a straight right to the head. Later in the round, Palmetta battered Vega against the ropes with several combinations to the head. Vega attempted to fight back, but was trapped in a corner, where Palmetta fired and landed at least 10 punches before referee Mark Nelson stepped in and stopped the bout at 1:03.
Entering the final round, Palmetta was ahead on the judges’ scorecards, 87-84, 87-84, and 86-85. The scores reflected Sho Stats as Palmetta landed 170 out of 668 total punches. Vega landed 157 of 698 total punches.
Vega (16-1, 9 KOs), who resides in Tijuana, suffers his first loss as a pro. He holds a Bachelors degree from the Universidad Autonoma de Baja California in business administration.
“I knew we were up on the scorecards,” said Palmetta. “We didn’t need the knockout, but we wanted it. I had him hurt a couple times in the fight but I didn’t follow up. In the 10th, I had him out on his feet. It was a good stoppage. He was done.”
“We don’t make excuses,” said the 24-year-old Vega after his first career professional loss. “I believe the referee was right in stopping the fight. I think I need to practice more and I needed to throw more combinations. This was a great learning experience. We’ll go back to the drawing board and come back stronger.”