INDIO, CALIF.-After 10 rounds of mauling and clutching Oxnard’s Hugo Centeno protected his unbeaten record against Alabama’s KeAndree Leatherwood in a junior middleweight showdown on Friday.
Centeno (18-0, 9 Kos) used his long jab to score points against Leatherwood (12-2-1, 8 Kos) when given the opportunity in front of more than 1,000 fans at Fantasy Springs Casino. The Golden Boy Promotions fight card was televised by Showtime.
The taller Centeno had the height and reach advantage over Leatherwood who used holding tactics whenever possible over the course of the fight.
Jabs were the key for Centeno, who caught Leatherwood walking into punches numerous times but was unable to put a hurt on the Alabaman. On the other hand, Leatherwood landed some crisp punches too that did not faze Centeno.
After 10 lackluster rounds all three judges scored it for Centeno 100-89, 99-91, 100-90.
Centeno is managed by Joel De La Hoya.
It was supposed to be a testing grounds for Puerto Rico’s Braulio Santos (10-0, 9 Kos) facing L.A. bomber Kevin Hoskins (7-2, 5 Kos) but he fired and landed first and the expected nuclear cataclysm was over quick. Seventeen seconds quick. People were barely sitting down in their seats when a Santos left hook clipped Hoskins and put him on his heels. Another quick right-left salvo sent Hoskins to the floor with referee Daniel Sandoval looking closely. When Hoskins was unable to stand without stumbling, the referee wisely stopped the junior lightweight action in 17 seconds of round one.
Ireland’s Jamie Kavanagh (13-0-1, 5 Kos) powered through East L.A.’s Sal Garcia (14-7-2) in a lightweight match set for eight rounds. Kavanagh floored Garcia with a right hand when he dropped his hands to demonstrate he was not hurt. It was a poor time to drop his guard. Both guys fought inside and the close encounters resulted in Garcia suffering cuts on both eyes due to accidental head butts. After five rounds the fight was stopped by the ringside doctor and the decision went to the judges. All saw Kavanagh winning the fight 50-44.
L.A.’s Manny Robles (4-0) survived a first round knockdown from San Bernardino’s Juan Sandoval (7-13-1) and won by a somewhat surprising split decision after four rounds of a featherweight contest. Sandoval caught Robles in between punches and dropped him immediately in the fight. Robles found his footing in the second round but Sandoval turned up the heat even more the final two rounds. “I don’t feel bad because I felt I won the fight,” said Sandoval. “I did my job but the judges did not do theirs.” Two judges saw Robles – who is managed by Al Haymon - winning the fight despite the knockdown. Judge Carla Caiz saw it for Sandoval. The crowd and many in press row saw Sandoval the clear cut winner.
A battle between two junior featherweights seeking their first pro win saw Riverside’s Fernando Fuentes (1-1) defeat Indio’s Jorge Porras (0-2) by unanimous decision after four rounds. Both blasted away for all four rounds but Fuentes was the more accurate.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV