Joselito Velazquez got all he could handle from gatekeeper and former world title challenger Martin Tecuapetla Saturday night.
Velazquez, a flyweight, defeated Tecuapetla by eight-round split-decision at the Plaza de Toros “Jesus Gonzalez Cortazar” in Ahualulco del Mercado, Jalisco, Mexico. With the win, Velazquez improves to 10-0, with 8 knockouts.
After a successful amateur career that culminated in representing Mexico at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Velazquez has looked solid since turning pro. The 25-year-old signed a promotional deal with Zanfer Promotions prior to his fourth pro fight in July of 2017.
In his previous bout on Apr. 6, Velazquez stopped veteran Angel Guevara in four rounds.
Tecuapetla was considered a significant step-up in opposition for Velazquez, considering he has fought twice for a world title belt and has pulled off the occasional upset, including a victory over fringe junior bantamweight contender Dewayne Beamon on Aug. 11.
Against Tecuapetla, Velazquez, who is trained by Freddie Roach, was the more-polished fighter, working behind a jab and firing combinations from the opening bell.
Undaunted, Tecuapetla, 29, found success closing the distance by the midway point. Tecuapetla found openings to the head and body when Velazquez looked to counter, but many missed or hit Velazquez in his arms.
Velazquez did let his hands go during the final two rounds of the fight, trading in the center of the ring, but getting the better of the exchanges.
One judge scored the bout 77-75 for Tecuapetla, while the other two judges had it 79-74 and 77-75 for Velazquez, who is originally from Oaxaca, Mexico, and now resides in Cancun.
Manager Frank Espinoza was pleased. Facing a fighter like Tecuapetla (15-11-4, 10 KOs) was what Velazquez needed at this point in his career.
“(I am) proud of Joselito’s performance tonight,” Espinoza stated to RingTV in a text message. “He fought a tough veteran. I thought the altitude played a role. But nonetheless, Joselito prevailed and will learn from this. These are the types of fights that will benefit down the line.”
Tecuapetla, who resides in Mexico City, had his most significant bout in a split-decision loss to then-IBF junior flyweight titleholder Akira Yaegashi in May of 2016.
In the main event of the Zanfer Promotions card, junior featherweight Yazmin Rivas (40-10-1, 11 KOs) of Torreon, Mexico, defeated Venezuela’s Ana Maria Lozano (15-9-1, 12 KOs). Rivas won by scores of 97-93 (2) and 98-92.
Both fights aired live on Azteca TV throughout Mexico and on ESPN in specific countries in Latin America.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for RingTV.com since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @FSalazarBoxing.
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