By RIch Mancuso
New York: David Benavidez kept his unbeaten record intact after 23 fights with a dominating performance against Alexis Angulo in the main event of an exciting night of boxing live on SHOWTIME Saturday night from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
In the Showtime Boxing tripleheader card, the 23-year-old Benavídez (23-0, 20 KOs) – who lost his WBC world title belt on the scale on Friday scored a stoppage victory against the former world title challenger Angulo (26-2, 22 KOs), whose corner threw in the towel after the 10th round.
“I rate myself a solid eight,” Benavidez said. “I could have done some stuff better, but overall it was a great performance. I didn’t want to go too fast and leave myself exposed for some big shots. He’s a heavy puncher. But like I said, I like to do the stuff that nobody has ever done. Nobody has ever stopped him and I’m pretty sure nobody is ever going to make him look like that again. I demolished him from round one to round 10.”
A seven-year pro at the age of 23, Benavidez landed 56 percent of his power punches in the fight and averaged 29 of 70 punches thrown per round. Benavidez closed the show by landing a career high 54 punches in round 10.
Benavidez, later said he would return to the gym immediately and prepare for his next fight with intentions of regaining the title he lost on the scales and not go up in weight.
Colombia’s Angulo, now fighting out of Miami, Fla., entered his second world title opportunity riding a three-fight winning streak, but was unable to come counter anything Benavidez threw at him.
Benavidez said he was disappointed and embarrassed by not making the 168-pound weight limit on Friday.
“Everything everyone said about me is true,” Benavidez said. “I should be a professional and come in on weight, but this time I couldn’t do it. It’s my first time not making weight in eight years of being a professional.”
“I really have to talk to my promoter to see what’s next,” Benavidez added. “I’ll fight anybody to get back to the spot I was. You could see by this performance tonight, I could put on a great performance against anybody and people will pay to see that. I’m probably going to go right back into training camp to make sure I don’t miss weight.”
In the co-main event, rising lightweight Rolando “Rolly” Romero (12-0, 10 KOs) scored a controversial unanimous decision over previously fellow unbeaten Jackson Maríñez (19-1, 7 KOs) to capture the interim WBA Lightweight Title. The scores were 115-113, 116-112 and 118-110, all in favor of Romero.
The story of the fight was Maríñez’s reliable jabs as the Dominican fighter won the battle in that department (14 percent compared to Romero’s 10 percent). It was Romero, however, who held the advantage on power punches connecting on 24 percent (31 of 228) compared to 18 percent for Maríñez (72 of 401).
“I don’t think I had a bad performance,” said Romero, who confidently predicted a brutal knockout would end the bout in his pre-fight comments. “I thought I won the fight. Regardless of everything, I’m the world champ now. I’m happy.”
Romero suffered a slight cut above his left eye in the ninth round on a head butt, but it didn’t seem to affect his performance in the championship rounds. “He came out a little bit tougher and slicker than what I thought,” Romero said. “But all he did was move around the entire fight. He didn’t even try to engage. It’s hard to knock out someone who doesn’t try to engage. I hurt him multiple times with body shots and a few hooks. There was one moment I hurt him with a right hand and he pulled my head down. It was just hard to finish him off.
“Yeah [I would give him a rematch]. He didn’t do anything special.”
The 29-year-old Maríñez, who holds the WBA’s No. 6 ranking, is trained by Robert Garcia, who was not present in the Maríñez’s corner electing not to travel cross country from his Southern California home.
“That was pure robbery,” Maríñez said. “I won the fight. I out-jabbed, out-boxed him. You could tell he didn’t think he won the fight right afterwards. It’s a robbery.”
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