Rising star, Ernesto “Tito” Mercado (8-0, 8 KOs) captured the space Super hur NABA Silver title this past Saturday when he stopped the former world title challenger, Jayson Velez (30-10-1, 21 KOs).
Velez, who went the distance with Ryan Garcia and JoJo Diaz, didn’t come out after the sixth round. The event, promoted by Red Promotions, took place at the LumColor Center in Ontario, California.
Mercado looked impressive from the bell, throwing several power shots from all angles, sending Velez into life mode from the start. Tito lands a powerful left hook to the body, setting the tone for a dramatic performance. It is clear that Velez was injured several times during the fight, as Tito tried to knock him out. After being penalized for six rounds, Velez went on a seven-round knockout, defeating Mercado for the new NABA Silver Heavyweight Championship.
“Fighting a veteran like Velez in just the eighth fight is a big deal for me,” said Tito Mercado, who has won all of his fights by knockout. It all happened in America.
“I learned a lot in this fight as I got past the third round for the first time in my career. I know there is still work to be done and I will look at the footage to see where I can improve. One thing I know for sure is that I am not a fighter. The fans who come to watch me fight will get their money’s worth.”
With the win, Tito Mercado is 20 years old, becoming one of the youngest regional belt holders in the sport. With over 300 fights before turning pro, Mercado is certainly on the fast track to a world title. He hopes to break into the top 15 of the WBA.
“Having won the NABA Silver, I hope to be promoted to the WBA,” said Tito. “I’m ready to fight any of the top contenders in the WBA. I know my time is coming and I’m going. Take every opportunity that comes my way.”