Lightweight Jamie Kavanagh (11-0-1, 5 KOs) defeated Paul Velarde (3-2-3) by unanimous decision last Saturday night on the undercard of the Amir Khan/Danny Garcia fight at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas.
Kavanagh’s dominance was reflected in the judges’ scorecards, with all three posting 80-72 totals in the Irishman’s favor.
"It was good to get the eight rounds in, it was my first eight-rounder. The kid is actually in hospital, he can't see properly,” said Kavanagh in a video interview with photojournalist Chris Robinson after the fight.
“After the second round he said he could not see properly but they let him continue which was stupid, but the guy is a warrior and he didn't take one step back.
"I hit him with every shot I had from every different angle, and the guy just kept coming. He slowed down a bit and maybe if we had done more rounds I would have stopped him, but who knows.”
The Irish Voice caught up with Kavanagh’s co-manager Steven Feder on Monday to get his view on the night’s proceedings.
“The big thing was his conditioning. I was very proud of the work he did for this fight. He was never winded and he threw a lot of punches. He finished the eighth round as strong as he started the first,” said Feder, adding that Kavanagh worked his opponent’s body very well and used his jab to great effect.
Feder added that Kavanagh really focused on being physically ready to go the distance and that he did not want to let himself or his team down. The Dubliner is very comfortable making 135 pounds, and was very cut for this fight without having to starve himself during fight week.
“Jamie is getting a sense of how to break a fighter down,” added Feder. “He fights Irish when he has to, but the rounds when he worked the jab were the rounds he boxed best. He controlled the fight throughout.”
Kavnagh flew to Spain on Monday to take a well-earned break with his family and friends in Malaga after his third fight of the year. “The Nuisance” is expected back in Los Angeles in the first week of September.
“We will try and get two fights in before the end of the year, one in October and one in December,” he said.
Feder went on to say that Velarde has been released from hospital and is doing fine. The Californian proved a very durable opponent and the experience Kavanagh gained from the fight will stand to him later in his career.
Besides the usual bumps, lumps and bruises that professional fighters sustain when they go to work, Kavanagh emerged unscathed and his right hand, which has caused him problems in the past, stood up to the test of an eight-round fight.
Feder went on to say that Kavanagh has found a great tempo with his team. With Sedano Ruiz, Kavanagh’s amateur trainer from Spain, taking care of his daily training and conditioning and Freddie Roach overseeing his training program, the 22-year-old is making steady progress in his professional career.
“Freddie and I both feel that he is young and he is making improvements. We just want to see him get better every time,” said Feder.