GLENDALE, Ariz. (KSEE/KGPE) – Tulare’s own Richard Torrez Jr. was back in the ring on Friday night, and the former Olympic silver medalist did not disappoint, as the young heavyweight from the Central Valley delivered an incredible knockout punch.

Torrez took on James Bryant, a 37-year-old former football player who played in college and the Arena Football League, at Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona.

Bryant was a late replacement as Torrez’s opponent, and the Mission Oak High School alum made quick work of Bryant, as he knocked him down with a huge uppercut, with less than 10 seconds left in the first round.

Bryant was shaky, but did manage to get to his feet and survive the eight count, moments before the first round ended.

During the break after the opening round though, Bryant complained of an ankle injury to his corner men, and his corner told the referee Bryant would not continue.

Torrez, who won a silver medal in the super heavyweight division at the Tokyo Olympics in August of 2021, ran his record to 5-0 as a professional, with all five of his wins coming by knockout.

Bryant fell to 6-3 overall.

“I hope you guys see me just continue to progress, from what I did in the Olympics,” said Torrez in his postfight interview on the ESPN Top Rank telecast. “I really want you guys to see that transition from an amateur heavyweight to a pro heavyweight, and with my dad here, and a strong team behind me, we’re gonna do that.”

Fresno State men beat UNLV

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Behind 45 combined points from senior guards Jemarl Baker Jr. and Isaiah Hill, the Fresno State men’s basketball team snapped a three-game losing streak with an 82-79 win at UNLV (15-8, 4-7 MW) Friday night.

Fresno State (8-14, 4-7 MW) was led by Baker, who scored a Fresno State career-high 23 points, and Hill finished with 22 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the field.

Baker and Hill combined to go 8-of-11 from behind the three-point line, as the Bulldogs hit 9-of-17 from beyond the arc as a team.

That was a big improvement from their average over their first 21 games, as the Bulldogs entered Friday shooting slightly over 28 percent from three.

Isaih Moore chipped in 11 points off the bench, and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds, helping the Bulldogs complete their first regular season sweep of the Runnin’ Rebels since 2018

The Bulldogs trailed 43-37 at the half, but used a 13-2 run to go up 70-64 with 5:13 left. That run was highlighted by a steal and transition dunk from Leo Colimerio.

These two teams are used to playing close games. Seven of the last eight games in this series have been decided by two possessions or less, and Friday night’s game was no different, as there were 15 lead changes and eight ties in a game neither team led by more than eight points.

With the win, the Bulldogs move into a tie for seventh place in the Mountain West with UNLV.

The Bulldogs will return to the court on Tuesday at 7 p.m. when they host San Jose State (13-9, 4-5 MW) at the Save Mart Center.

The Spartans are in sixth place in the conference standings, and already beat the Bulldogs in San Jose earlier this season.

The top six teams in the conference will get a first round bye in the Mountain West Tournament.