Austin’s Kenton Sippio-Cook set aside football four years ago and decided on boxing as a career.
So far, so good.
The former McNeil High School football player, fighting at 154 pounds, routed Rowlett’s Josh Burns to win his third straight fight since turning pro in June. Sippio-Cook landed three dozen unanswered punches to the head of his overmatched opponent, forcing a first-round stoppage at the Erwin Center on Saturday night.
Fans of the 22-year-old Sippio-Cook purchased $25,000 in tickets for his bout, said Top Rank Boxing spokesman Lee Samuels. And it was well worth the money as the local favorite dominated from start to finish. Two early right hands to the body took a lot of fight out of Burns, who dropped to 4-15-7. The ensuing barrage of punches prompted the referee to step in and call a halt to the proceedings.
“I’m always ready for a good fight,” said Sippio-Cook, who came within one win of qualifying for the U.S. Olympic trials two years ago. “Part of preparing is knowing that all it takes is one punch to change things. We know our attributes, and we prepare hard for every fight.”
In the main event, Ray Beltran, the world’s fourth-ranked lightweight, kept his title hopes alive with a tougher than expected unanimous decision over Alejandro Rodriguez. Beltran overcame a cut over his right eye in the middle rounds to improve his record to 28-6.
Super lightweight Jose Ramirez, a member of the 2012 U.S. Olympic boxing team, took a unanimous decision over Antonio Martinez for the third consecutive win to start his career. Ramirez, who signed with Top Rank after turning pro in December, had an easy time of it against a game opponent.
In the preliminaries, Donald Ward and Trevor McCumby took knockout wins over Zach Kelley and Jason Smith, respectively.