Edwin Soto played the role of spoiler Friday night, stopping hometown fighter Ray Oliveira Jr. at Twin River Casino in Lincoln, Rhode Island.
The Junior Middleweight clash had all the makings of a tune-up fight for Oliveira; the New Bedford native had been the far busier fighter, posting a 4-1 record since July of 2016. Soto had fought just three times since November of 2013, and against sub par opposition.
Oliveira followed through on his gameplan of fighting in the middle of the ring, but was tagged and rocked badly in the first round.
Soto swarmed him in Round 2, forcing referee Steve Smoger to call an end to the fight. Neither fighter’s record suggested knockout power, but Soto was able to add a highlight-reel finish to his resume.
Heavyweights Joe Cusumano and Fred Latham fought in the night’s co-feature. Cusumano was the younger and better-conditioned athlete, imposing his will on Latham from the opening bell.
A temple shot dazed Latham, who was then pinned against the ropes and battered by Cusumano. Cusumano improved to 14-1, while Latham absorbed his second-straight first round knockout loss.
Earlier in the night, Anthony Marsella Jr. coasted to a wide decision win over Israel Villela, who sustained a deep cut over his eye. Hometown super middleweight Vladine Biosse fell to Antowyan Aikens of Atlantic City in a split decision (57-56, 57-56, 58-55).
Jamaine Ortiz scored a shutout win over Victor Rosas, his seventh career victory at Twin River. Michael Valentin got off the canvas to win a decision over Demetrius Wilson, before tearfully explaining his upcoming leave of absence.
Miguel Ortiz, Nicky DeQuattro, Ricky De Los Santos and Marqus Bates all tasted victory on the undercard.