Leo was patient in the early rounds, not overly eager to replicate what he accomplished at this location in a ninth-round knockout just three months ago. Plania didn’t provide any openings as he also struggled to get his offense untracked in a must-win situation for the Florida-based Filipino.
Action picked up in round two as both fighters took more risks. Plania attempted a right uppercut but was beaten to the punch as Leo landed a right hand to the chin. Leo continued to dictate the pace and was first with his shots as Plania struggled to offer anything of substance in return. Leo punched with greater confidence and fluidity in round three. Plania fought behind a high guard but left his right side rib cage exposed just enough for Leo to slam home a left hook. Plania collapsed to the canvas and held his side in pain, right in front of the referee who inexplicably ruled the sequence an accidental foul. A brief delay came of the situation before he was advised by the ringside members of the Florida State Boxing Commission {that a} legal blow was scored. Plania (29-4, 16KOs) never threatened to beat the count, as Leo (23-1, 11KOs) was credited with his second straight knockout victory. Both wins inside the distance have come since Leo—an Albuquerque native who lives and trains in Las Vegas—signed with ProBox last year after a two-and-a-half year hiatus. He has now won three straight since a twelve-round decision to then-unbeaten Stephen Fulton to end his title reign. The hope now is to win a belt at featherweight to become a two-division titlist. Jake Donovan is a senior writer for themusicboxingmachine.com. X (formerly Twitter): @JakeNDaBox