SAN DIEGO, Calif., October 17, 2020 – Las Vegas undercard fighters got their opportunity to shine under the spotlight of attention on the Lomachenko vs Lopez main event Saturday.
Arnold Barboza Jr. takes out a tough Alex Saucedo
Arnold Barboza Jr. of South El Monte CA (25-0, 10 KOs) remained undefeated after surviving ten rough rounds including a knockdown against Alex Saucedo of Oklahoma City (30-2, 19 KOs). The scorecards read 97-92 X 2, and 96-93.
Barboza Jr. got off to a fast start. bloodied Saucedo’s nose and bashing him with left hooks to head and body. Saucedo settled down and began to return fire as the action heated up in both directions. The two orthodox fighters began to switch to southpaw to see if it would give him an edge against his opponent.
The fight soon settled into the action-packed brawl everyone hoped for. Saucedo has more experience braving the flames in firefights, including his Fight of the Year against Lenny Zappavigna. Several times, Barboza Jr. seemed on the brink of pulling away, but Saucedo would rally.
In round 7, Barboza Jr. lost his footing in the ring, and Saucedo pounced with a series of left hooks. Barboza Jr. went down, but referee Celestino Ruiz ruled it a slip. With replay in effect in Nevada, official Joe Cortez reviewed the sequence and correctly imposed the knockdown.
Barboza Jr. bounced back nicely, and the remaining three rounds delivered all the action any fan could want. Saucedo isn’t afraid of taking a shot to land a shot, and the damage began to accumulate as Barboza Jr. took the last few rounds to seal the fight. Barboza Jr. will take away many lessons learned as he moves forward. He won’t want to make it this tough on himself again as he begins to take on the top names in the junior welterweight division – although fans wouldn’t mind.
Berlanga blasts our Bellow for 15th first-round KO in a row
Lanell Bellows of Las Vegas had never been stopped, and the tough Los Angeles native looked like a real test for knockout artist Edgar Berlanga of Brooklyn. Berlanga (15-0, 15 KOs) aced the test, blasting through Bellows (20-6-3, 13 KOs) with his 15th first-round knockout in 15 fights. The super middleweight sensation delivered a series of left hooks, opening a cut over Bellows’ right eye almost immediately, and finally doing enough damage to force a stoppage at 1:19 of the round.
Berlanga dropped for pushups, then stood atop the corner ropes yelling, “I’m a monster.” What was this about? “I guess because he’s never been stopped before. I’m the first person to stop him, in the first round. It was just the emotion I felt. All the critics, all the media, I just felt I had to say that.”
Berlanga said he knew he could get the best of Bellows. “I already seen with the first shot, I cut him open. The look in his eyes, he didn’t want to be there.” Berlanga said he has to deliver pushups when he doesn’t follow the fight plan. “We were working on the combination… I didn’t do, it so I had to pay,” laughed Berlanga. He said he would like to fight once more in December, possibly in Puerto Rico. Berlanga landed 18 of 34 total punches; Bellows just 4 of 29 punches.
It is tempting to look ahead in the script of Berlanga’s career. Already a big super middleweight at age 23, imagine him mowing down the likes of David Benavidez, then taking on light heavyweight Artur Beterbiev. There’s still time to get on the hype train and enjoy the ride.
Vargas dominates Casteneda
Josue Vargas of Bronx NY (18-1, 9 KOs) scored a knockdown on a clean straight left in the second round, then went on to soundly outwork and outbox Kendo Casteneda of San Antonio (17-3, 8 KOs) in their junior welterweight fight. Scorecards were 100-89, 99-90, and 98-91.
“He was tougher than I thought,” said Vargas. But he said he didn’t try to hurry and finish him off, instead remaining patient. “By rushing, things happen. We move on to the next” said Vargas.
Jose Enrique Vivas of Montebello, California lived up to his nickname “The Executioner.” Vivas scored a brutal first-round stoppage (20-1, 10 KOs) against John Vincent Moralde of General Santos City Philippines (23-4, 13 KOs). Vivas knocked down Moralde while in a clench with a left to the head. Moralde rose on wobbly legs, and Vivas pushed Moralde to the ropes where he delivered a body shot to end the fight with the TKO called by referee Celestino Ruiz at 1:16 of the round.
Quinton Randall of Houston (7-0, 2 KOs) took care of business against Jan Carlos Rivera (4-1, 4 KOs) of Puerto Rico in their six-round welterweight fight. Scores in the unanimous decision for Randall were 59-55 and 58-56 X 2. Rivera made Randall work hard for the win. It is the kind of fight a promising prospect like Randall benefits from much more than an easy early knockout.
Young welterweights Jahi Tucker Deer Park, New York (2-0, 1 KO) and Charles Garner of Buffalo (1-1) opened the night’s action putting their undefeated records on the line in a four-round bout. Scorecards all read 40-36 for the 17-year-old Tucker. Both fighters will benefit from the experience moving forward, and a loss is far from fatal for Garner, who fought better than the scores indicate.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal is an award-winning boxing journalism covering the Sweet Science for Communities Digital News based in San Diego, California. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
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