INDIO, CA.-Despite lots of holding and few landed punches, Aaron Pryor Jr. boxed and moved and won by majority decision against Librado Andrade on Friday. Right hands did the business.
“Any time you come into somebody else’s back yard you worry,” said Pryor.
Few punches landed from either boxer but it was Andrade (29-4, 22 KOs) who landed more, especially to the body. That was not enough to convince the judges who gave the win to Pryor (16-3, 11 KOs) at the Fantasy Springs Casino in a 10-round super middleweight fight.
Fans booed the excessive holding that was allowed by referee Wayne Hedgepeth. Pryor was never warned.
Pryor’s size and movement caused Andrade to pause a bit and figure out a mode of attack. But once the continual holding developed Andrade began to use it as a method of attack and never stopped punching even when being held.
Body shots from round three on seemed to bother Pryor who was able to land some nice counter rights but nothing else. A few inside exchanges dissuaded Pryor from going that route.
Andrade walked through some right hands and after that he began to rough house the skinny Pryor at every chance. If Pryor held then Andrade bullied him while punching.
“I learned a lot from this fight,” said Pryor who sustained some big shots but never seemed hurt. “He roughed me up a bit and showed me some things I never saw before. He was a tough fighter.”
The elongated Pryor did land his right hands flush. None of those right hands ever hurt Andrade. It was the only effective punch Pryor could land effectively but it was enough to convince the young judges crew to give it to the son of one of boxing all time great Aaron Pryor.
“Usually when I hit somebody with my right I shake them,” said Pryor. “But he’s fought some of the best fighters in the world.”
Judge Fernando Villareal scored 95-95, Tom Taylor and Danny Sandoval scored it 96-94 for Pryor.
Former world title challenger Enrique Ornelas (31-7, 20 KOs) had to get up off the deck from a first round right uppercut from Mexicali’s Hector Hernandez (10-4-2, 4 KOs) and rally to win by unanimous decision.
La Habra, California’s Ornelas showed much more experience and skills but Hernandez had a jaw of steel and wasn’t afraid to use it. From the first round to the eighth Hernandez withstood some head shocking blows but never wilted. Whether they were left hooks to the body or right counters to the head, Hernandez bent but never snapped from blows that seemed right on target.
Hernandez tried uppercuts, right counters and some times attempted to steal rounds in the last 10 seconds, but nothing worked. Ornelas had too much experience to fall victim to those tricks and won on all three judge’s cards 78-73.
Local hero Randy “El Matador” Caballero (10-0, 6 KOs) wowed the crowd with a sixth round knockout of Dominican Republic’s Francis Ruiz (9-5, 4 KOs). A left hook-right hand combination floored the resilient Dominican at 38 seconds of the sixth and final round of the junior featherweight bout.
Caballero’s hand speed and variety of moves proved too much for Ruiz who had the grit but not the overall speed. Caballero beat him to the punch on every occasion and rarely was hit with a punch in return. It was enough to keep Hall of Fame great Pryor Sr. in his seat to watch the youngster do his work.
Former US Olympian Deontay Wilder (16-0, 16 KOs) knocked out New York’s Regino Pena (6-7) with a vicious uppercut at 2:03 of the first round of a heavyweight fight. Pena bulled his way forward with his head down and clinched several times before Wilder caught him with the uppercut. Pena didn’t realize he had been out for more than 15 seconds and demanded the fight continue.
“If my hands connect to your face, you’re gone,” said Wilder who spent most of the round keeping Pena from wrestling. “I wanted to show my true natural talent but he didn’t allow me to do that.”
Russia’s Sergey Kovalev (14-0, 12 KOs) stopped Terrance Woods (8-2, 6 KOs) of Texas with a barrage of head snapping blows at 1:54 of round three in a light heavyweight bout. Kovalev was in control of the fight all three rounds it lasted with solid defense and pinpoint shots to the body and head.
Hard luck Juan Sandoval (of Mexico City) finally got a win despite some bad judgments in the past. This time Palm Springs boxer Hugo Ramos was unable to muster enough punches to stave off the windmill punching Sandoval who trains out of San Bernardino who won by unanimous decision 40-36, 39-37 twice.
Who will win the Sergey Kovalev vs Andre Ward fight?