If this was Kevin Ventura’s final fight in Omaha for a while, it proved to be a worthy sendoff.

The unbeaten lightweight from B&B Boxing, who recently signed with Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy, patiently broke down game Donnie Reeves on Saturday at Ralston Arena.

Ventura improved to 9-0 with eight knockouts as he floored Reeves (3-2), from Hannibal, Missouri, with a body shot as the fourth round came to an end. The 21-year-old from Omaha controlled the main event from the opening bell.

The tougher-than-he-looked Reeves talked to the victor in the ring throughout the one-sided bout. But Ventura ignored the verbal gamesmanship and continued to apply pressure to his foe, age 18.

Reeves voluntarily took a knee twice in the fourth due to an accumulation of punishment. Ventura stepped up the pressure as the round continued, then landed a thudding body blow at the final bell.

“It was good. It was my first fight back. I was off (almost) a year,” said Ventura, whose run with Golden Boy begins in his next bout. “I had to box the kid. ... We punished him more, but we got the job done.”

The night belonged to Ventura, but a pair of former Midwest Golden Gloves champions from Nebraska made impressive statements on the undercard. Grand Island cruiserweight Oliver Rivera and Omaha bantamweight Abel Soriano scored early technical knockouts to remain unbeaten in their pro careers.

Rivera, a four-time National Golden Gloves qualifier, landed a fight-changing uppercut in his first-round stoppage of Bryan Dailey. He made the brawler from Missouri pay for throwing him to canvas early on.

“My corner kept telling me the uppercut was there when he was leaning forward,” Rivera said. “I just waited for him to keep pressuring me. I knew the open shot would be there. (The throw) made me want to drop him the right way. It’s all right though. It got me pumped up and got me the knockout I needed.”

Rivera has finished all three of his pro opponents to date. After competing at middleweight, light heavyweight and heavyweight as an amateur, the 24-year-old intends to eventually get to middleweight as a pro. He expects to be at light heavyweight when he headlines an Oct. 20 fight card in Grand Island.

Soriano (7-0), meanwhile, easily outclassed Austin Lajiness of Detroit, dropping him four times in a bout that ended in the opening minute of the second round. It was his third KO victory in his past four fights.

“He was real awkward,” said Soriano, a three-time regional amateur champ. “He kept trying to jump in with something stupid. I just felt like I needed to sit down on my punches and let him fall into the trap.”

Because he competes in the 118-pound weight class, Soriano has had trouble being matched competitively so far in his pro career. After Saturday’s easy win, he said he’s ready to step up.

“It wasn’t much of a challenge, unfortunately,” he said. “But any fight helps to keep stepping forward with your career. I’m ready for tougher, more experienced opponents. Veterans, that’d be good for me.”

In the co-main event, Grand Island’s Jose Jacobo (3-1) handed Omaha’s Treven Coleman-Avant (6-2) a second straight loss. Coleman-Avant was the more active boxer in the bout, but two judges favored the heavier punches from the often-hesitant Jacobo, who did most of his work with his foe along the ropes.

The most action-packed fight of the night was a six-round slugfest between Genaro Mendez of Chicago and Rene Marquez of Scottsbluff in the card’s featured bout. The momentum swayed back and forth for the super lightweights, with Mendez earning a majority decision as one judge scored the fight as a draw.

Youth ruled in the early bouts. MMA fighter Duane Johnson needed only 20 seconds to stop 39-year-old Daniel Gonzalez. The Omahan was making his boxing debut against a journeyman from Montana, who was in his 58th pro bout. Raul Chavarria (2-0) picked up the second victory for the fighters from Omaha as he outworked 40-year-old Javier Rodriguez from Grand Island in a four-round unanimous decision.

Omaha’s Kevin Nauden (2-1) scored the night’s first knockdown when he dropped Jeff Farmer of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, at the bell to end the second round en route to a four-round decision in the third bout.

Saturday’s Results

Light heavyweight: Duane Johnson (1-0) TKO-1 Daniel Gonzalez (12-44-2), :20. Super welterweight: Raul Chavarria (2-0) UD4 Javier Rodriguez (2-6-1), 40-36 (three times). Super lightweight: Kevin Nauden (2-1) UD4 Jeff Farmer (4-15), 40-35, 39-36, 39-37. Cruiserweight: Oliver Rivera (3-0) TKO-1 Bryan Dailey (5-13), 2:00. Bantamweight: Abel Soriano (7-0) TKO-2 Austin Lajiness (0-3), :40. Super lightweight: Genaro Mendez (12-4-1) MD4 Rene Marquez (5-5), 58-56 (twice), 57-57. Lightweight: Jose Jacobo (3-1) SD4 Treven Coleman-Avant (6-2), 39-37 (twice), 37-39. Lightweight: Kevin Ventura (9-0) TKO-4 Donnie Reeves (3-2), 2:59.

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