Fringe welterweight contender Derrieck Cuevas defeated Jesus Beltran over 10 rounds Friday night at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida.
With the win, Cuevas improved to 22-0-1 (14 knockouts) and successfully defended a regional title belt.
Beltran, who is the older brother of former WBO lightweight titleholder Raymundo, had not fought since losing by majority decision to prospect Oluwafemi Oyeleye on Nov. 9.
During the first half of the bout, Beltran allowed Cuevas to close the distance, feinting in a bid to get his opponent to lead. Once Cuevas threw a punch, Beltran countered with an array of hooks and crosses to the head.
Momentum shifted at the midway point as Cuevas focused his attack on the body in the hope of breaking his opponent down. The tactic worked as Beltran’s punch output dropped with each passing round. This allowed Cuevas to connect more, particularly with uppercuts to the head.
Cuevas almost scored a left hook knockdown with a minute remaining in the eighth, but Beltran was able to hold on. Cuevas’ own output dropped in the final round, but he had already accumulated enough rounds to win the fight.
Scores were 99-91, 99-91, and 98-92 for Cuevas.
“Beltran’s style was difficult,” said the winner afterwards. “He was a strong fighter and he made things difficult for me up until the fourth or fifth round. I began to attack the body and that changed the fight. He was a solid opponent. He pushed me. I need to demonstrate more in my next fight.”
Beltran, who resides in the boxing hotbed of Los Mochis, Mexico, drops to 17-3-2 (10 KOs).
Junior lightweight Jessy Cruz dropped Isao Carranza three times but had to hold on late to win by unanimous decision.
Cruz dropped Carranza midway through Round 1 with a counter left hook and floored his man again a right hand in the second.
Carranza was in a deep hole after referee James Warring called another knockdown in Round 3, although replays revealed that while Cruz threw a left hook to the body, Carranza went down after tripping over Cruz’s legs.
It looked as though Cruz would box his way to a win, but Carranza closed the distance during the last three rounds. Cruz looked tired as Carranza got a second wind, sitting down on his punches in the hope of dropping Cruz.
That almost happened in Round 8 when Cruz was hurt by a right cross, but Carranza was unable to land anything else flush.
Scores were 77-72, 77-71, and 79-70 for Cruz who resides in nearby Miami. He improves to 17-7-1 (7 KOs).
Carranza, who resides in Mexico City, drops to 15-15-1 (9 KOs).
Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013. He can be reached by email at email@example.com or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing
You can order the current issue, which is on newsstands, or back issues from our subscribe page.
The post Derrieck Cuevas wins 10-round unanimous decision over Jesus Beltran appeared first on The Ring.