Junior welterweight Jose Zepeda (32-2, 25 KOs) of La Puente, California went the distance ten rounds in winning a unanimous decision over San Antonio's Kendo Castaneda (17-2, 8 KOs) on the ESPN main event Tuesday night at the "Bubble" at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Zepeda began landing the big punches on Castaneda early in the opening round. Boxing patiently in the second round, Zepeda looked composed as Castaneda still tried to figure out his opponent. The southpaw Castaneda stalked in the third but Zepeda was productive going to the body working inside. The former world title challenger appeared to be outclassing Castaneda through four.
Castaneda could not get anything going as Zepeda continued to control the fight in the fifth. Dominating through six Zepeda outworked and out boxed Castaneda past the halfway point. In the seventh, Castaneda pressured as he had a good round applying the pressure on Zepeda. Staying close in the eighth, Castaneda continued to apply the pressure as Zepeda worked off the jab and countered. Late in the fight in the ninth round, Zepeda boxed around as Castaneda came forward. The tenth and final round, Castaneda stayed close letting his hands go as Zepeda continued to box.
After ten rounds the judges scored the bout 98-92, 98-92, and 97-93 as Jose Zepeda was in control throughout the fight as he looks for another world title shot.
“He was a late replacement, but he was tough in there. I didn’t take Kendo lightly because I knew what he was capable of. He had only one loss by decision coming into tonight," Zepeda said. “Anybody with a belt at 140 pounds is who I want to fight. A championship fight is my goal, and that is what I am working towards.”
Luis Alberto Lopez (21-2, 11 KOs) of Mexicali, Mexico won a split decision over San Jose's Andy Vences (23-2-1, 12 KOs)in the junior lightweight co feature. It was all Vences as he boxed and fought like the taller fighter keeping Lopez away as the shorter fighter Lopez lunged in. There was an accidental headbutt in the fifth round as Lopez got the worst of it getting a cut on his right eye.
Halfway into the bout, Vences appeared to be hurt in the sixth round as Lopez attacked throughout the round, Vences tied up and looked shaky but fought back. In the seventh, Lopez came out strong as Vences was bleeding from the cut on the eye appeared to have recovered from the previous round as he boxed. The cut got worst on Vences as he continued to bleed in the eighth as Lopez boxed. It was a busy ninth round as Lopez and Vences dished it out. The tenth and final round saw, Vences bleeding from the cut stalking and attacking as Lopez boxed.
In the end the judges scored the bout 96-94 Vences, 96-94, Lopez and Lopez, 96-94
“I felt I won the fight with my pressure. It was a close fight, but I was confident I did enough after the final bell sounded," Lopez said. "Credit to Vences. I thought he was knocked out earlier in the fight, but he came back like a warrior.”
Said Vences, “I thought I won a close fight, but I am not going to complain about the decision. It was a good, close fight. No excuses. I prepared well for 10 hard rounds.”
Las Vegas lightweight Andres “Savage” Cortes (13-0, 7 KOs) and Alejandro Salinas (10-4, 9 KOs) went the distance eight rounds. Salinas and Cortes mixed it up early and in the third round a clash of heads caused a cut on Cortes eye. In the third, Salinas pressed backing Cortes to the ropes as the cut appeared to take away some of Cortes's momentum.
Salinas dropped Cortes with a right in the closing seconds of the fourth round. The momentum was in Salinas's in favor in the fifth. In the sixth, Cortes connected Santiago with the right hand numerous times as he appeared to have made a key adjustment. Santiago had a mouse underneath his left eye in the seventh as Cortes bleeding from the cut on the eye boxed away but the referee momentarily stopped the fight for the doctor to examine the cut. Cortes sensing the urgency pressed in the eighth and final round as he let his hands go in outworking Salinas. 79-73, 77-74, and 76-75,.
Pre-School Teacher, bantamweight Gabriel Muratalla (4-0, 3 KOs) of Fontana won a unanimous decision over Sergio Lopez (4-6-3, 0 KOs) in going four rounds. Lopez was aggressive from the start going at Muratalla in the opening round. Muratalla stood busy as Lopez displayed toughness making the pre-school teacher work his way to hard fought unanimous decision. Scores, 40-36, 40-36, and 39-37.
Non Televised Bouts
Genaro “El Conde” Gamez (10-1, 6 KOs) scored a first round knockout over Reymond Yanong (11-6-1, 9 KOs) with a crushing right hand at 2:59 of the first.
In a four-round lightweight bout, the undefeated Eric Puente (3-0) won a unanimous decision over Diego Elizondo (2-2-2)
Follow Miguel on Twitter @MigMaravilla