Arnold Barboza Jr. made a promise and he kept it. He said he would go after Alex Saucedo and he did.
The 28-year-old junior welterweight used a voluminous attack in winning a 10-round unanimous decision over Saucedo on the Vasiliy Lomachenko-Teofimo Lopez undercard on Saturday night from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Judge Dave Moretti had it 96-93 for Barboza Jr., and judges Patricia Morse Jarman and Max DeLuca each had it 97-92 for Barboza (25-0, 10 knockouts).
“This was like a championship fight to me. It’s all because of my father (and head trainer Arnold Barboza Sr.), not me,” Barboza Jr. said. “I did this for kids and my father. My dream is to get a house for my kids. I came that much closer today.
“I want a championship fight. No more messing around. No more tune-up fights.”
The loss was the second for Saucedo (30-2, 19 KOs) in his last four.
Barboza outlanded Saucedo 218(10 body shots)/941 (23.2%) to 183(38 body)/691 (26.5%) in total punches.
The first four rounds came at a blistering pace. Barboza came out as a southpaw, and in the first round, caused a bloody nose when Barboza came up from under Saucedo and hit him in the nose with the crown of his head. In the second, Barboza came out once again as a southpaw, and it seemed to do more harm than good.
In the seventh, blood still dripping from Saucedo’s, Barboza fell to the canvas with 2:05 left in the round. Referee Celestino Ruiz originally ruled that Barboza slipped to the canvas. Though upon further review, Joe Cortez, the Nevada State Athletic Commission replay representative, informed Ruiz that it was a knockdown.
Initially, Barboza and Saucedo’s legs got tangled. But Saucedo hit Barboza with a left hook in the jaw and Barboza fell. Cortez informed Ruiz that it was a knockdown.
Joseph Santoliquito is an award-winning sportswriter who has been working for Ring Magazine/RingTV.com since October 1997 and is the president of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be followed on twitter @JSantoliquito.
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