Rafael Espinoza vs. Sergio Chirino fight results: Espinoza wins by TKO 4, Ramirez or Carrington next?

Unbeaten Mexican star Rafael Espinoza retained his WBO featherweight title for the first time by scoring a fourth-round TKO over countryman Sergio Chirino at the Fontainebleau Las Vegas on Friday. The official time was 2:45.

Espinoza (25-0, 21 KOs) dropped the challenger three times during a dominant and impressive display; knockdown one was a left hook in the opening round, knockdown two was left to the body in the third, and the champ closed out with a flurry in the fourth.

“The difference is my hunger and my desire to be the best,” said Espinoza during his post-fight interview with ESPN. “To be honest, I came in with the game plan to fight from the outside and use my jab, but I love to fight. I don’t like to take a step back and this is what you get.”

WATCH: Rafael Espinoza vs. Sergio Chirino Sanchez with ESPN+

The champion was looking to control range behind the jab in round one, but he was clipped by a right hand and a pair of left hooks by Chirino, who showed ambition. Suddenly, Espinoza’s power showed up in the blink of an eye and down went the challenger.

Not surprisingly, Chirino became reticent to close the gap after being hurt and backed off in a hurry. He was giving up four inches in height to a high-octane 6-1 opponent with a six-and-a-half reach advantage, so this was always going to be a tough night’s work.

The combinations were flowing from Espinoza in round three and the right uppercut was crashing home. It was that very shot that set up the left hook to the body that dropped Chirino for a second time and the writing was well and truly on the wall.

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In round four, Espinoza went up several more gears and Chirino was now running for cover. The final knockdown came courtesy of a multi-punch salvo and the referee waved the bout over without administering a count.

It was intensity and work rate that earned Espinoza his world title in December when he scored a 12-round majority decision over the highly touted Robeisy Ramirez. In his maiden defense, the winning formula was the same and the champ maintained his career momentum.

“This is my time and I want to unify all the belts,” said Espinoza. “I know there’s a man out there who wants a rematch (Ramirez), so I’ll talk to my promoter, [The Ramirez and Bruce Carrington] fights are great fights. I hope they end up happening.”

In just over six months, the 30-year-old Espinoza has gone from relative anonymity to world champion to potential opponent for boxing superstar Naoya Inoue. If the skyscraper-tall Mexican featherweight can hold on to his WBO title, then a matchup with “The Monster”, who is likely to crash the 126-pound division next year, could be a natural.

Chirino, 29, drops to 22-2 (13 KOs).

Rafael Espinoza vs. Sergio Chirino fight card

  • Rafael Espinoza (c.) def. Sergio Chirino via TKO 4 (2:45) for the WBO featherweight title
  • Andres Cortes def. Abraham Nova via UD 10 (97-97, 97-93, 96-94); Super Featherweight
  • Troy Isley def. Javier Martinez via UD 10 (97-91, 97-91, 96-92); Middleweight
  • Floyd Diaz def. Francisco Pedroza via UD 8 (78-73, 78-73, 78-73); Bantamweight
  • Demler Zamora def. Jose Antonio Meza via UD 8 (80-72, 80-72, 79-73); Super Featherweight
  • Bryan Polaco def. Richard Acevedo via TKO 3 (2:51); Super Welterweight
  • Steven Navarro def. Juan Pablo Meza via UD 6 (60-54, 60-54, 60-54); Super Flyweight
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