Lamont Roach Jr. and Orlando Cruz Fight to a Draw on ESPN
April 19, 2018
Anthony Saldana (58 articles)
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Lamont Roach Jr. and Orlando Cruz Fight to a Draw on ESPN

By Anthony “Stacks” Saldaña

Thursday night the Golden Boy on ESPN boxing series brought fight fans a stacked card from the Coliseo de Puerto Rico in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Headlining the card was undefeated Golden Boy Super Featherweight prospect Lamont Roach, Jr. (16-0-1, 6 KO’s) as he battled the 36-year old veteran Orlando “El Fenomeno” Cruz (25-6-2, 13 KO’s) for the vacant WBO International Super Featherweight Title. Roach Jr. started off quick to kick off the main event popping his jab and  controlling the tempo as he seemed to easily out point the savvy veteran Cruz in the first round, but Cruz wasted no time in answering the call landing several counter shots and slowing down Roach Jr.  As the fight progressed Cruz gained confidence bouncing in and out of the pocket landing quick combinations as Roach Jr. never let his hands go, holding back on his punches waiting for the one big knockout punch. In the middle rounds Cruz controlled fight 

As he used good ring generalship to make Roach Jr. fight his fight, but in the ninth Roach Jr. landed a quick left hook followed by an overhand right that wobbled and dropped Cruz. The referee Luis Pabon however ruled the obvious knockdown a slip. Cruz still hurt from the ninth round fought the tenth and final round on the defensive as Roach Jr. looked to close out the show, Cruz however survived until the final bell and after ten rounds of boxing the judges scored the fight 97-93 Roach Jr. 96-94 Cruz and 95-95 ending the fight in a draw.

In the Co-Main one of Puerto Rico’s best and brightest prospects Jose “Wonder Boy” Lopez (19-2-1, 13 KO’s) of Carolina, Puerto Rico took on the tough Mexican Miguel Gonzalez (22-4, 19 KO’s) of Los Mochis, Mexico. From the opening bell both fighters entertained the crowd standing toe to toe in the center of the ring, Gonzalez however was cut over the left eye to end the first. The phone booth battle continued in the early and middle round and through the first four rounds a total of only five combined jabs had been thrown. Going into the middle rounds Lopez began using his height and reach to out box Gonzalez who gradually began slowing down. Lopez landed at will throughout the bout, but never found the second gear to stop his opponent and after ten rounds of action the judges cards read 99-91, 97-93 and 98-91, All in favor of Lopez who came away with unanimous decision victory.

To kick off the television opener highly touted Puerto Rican prospect Magadiel Cotto (9-0, 7 KO’s) took on and defeated Elie Augustama (6-8, 3 KO’s) in a six round middleweight bout. The undefeated Cotto boxed beautifully landing several big combinations and power shot early in the fight as Augustama fought much of the six round affair on his back foot. It was in the middle of the fifth round that Augustama caught Cotto with a straight jab that stunned Cotto. Augustama continued the aggressiveness in the sixth round throwing punches in bunches but it was to little to late as after the final bell the judges returned with the scores of 58-56 twice and 57-57 giving Cotto the majority decision victory.

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Anthony Saldana