Lightweight Jamie Kavanagh (12-0-1, 5 KOs) defeated Ramon Valadez (11-3, 6 KOs) by unanimous decision at the Phoenix Club in Anaheim, California on Saturday night in a hugely entertaining fight.
From the first bell both men came at each other with a full frontal assault. Though Kavanagh was throwing more combinations and being busier in the opening stanza, it was Valadez who stumbled the Spanish-speaking Dubliner with a left hook in the opening round.
The same theme occurred in the second, with Kavanagh trying to work more but getting tagged by power shots from his opponent. On a few occasions, Kavanagh dropped his left after throwing his jab and Valadez was able to take advantage with several well-timed overhand rights.
In the third round Valdez hurt Kavanagh with a body shot followed by a few combinations and had him on the ropes and in trouble.
However, the Dubliner turned the fight on its head by almost knocking down Valadez with a beautiful short right hand. Kavanagh tried to finish the fight and almost punched himself out in what was a tremendous action-packed round.
From the fourth on, Kavanagh started to out-work and out-box Valadez, and the Irishman’s conditioning really came into play. He was able to use his speed to move out of real danger and win the next few rounds.
Early in the seventh round Kavanagh let his hands go once more, but Valadez hurt him again with a huge right hand that rocked the 22-year-old and opened a slight cut on the fighter’s left cheek.
The Irishman managed to get out of the round and won the last stanza by completely out-boxing his opponent, scoring regularly with sharp combinations to end the fight in style.
After the final bell, judges Jonathan Davis, Jerry Cantu and Patrick Connolly scored the fight 80-72, 79-73, 78-74 respectively.
In other news, Seanie Monaghan (16-0, 10 KOs) successfully defended his WBC Continental Americas light heavyweight title on October 24 when he defeated Rayco Saunders (22-19-2) by unanimous decision at the Roseland Ballroom in New York City.
Saunders offered a durable challenge but looked like a man who came to survive the night as opposed to try and win. That said, he made Monaghan work hard over the fight, and the Irish American boxed competently over the course of the 10 rounds to gain valuable experience.
At the end of the fight, judges Ron McNair and Kevin Morgan scored the fight 99-91, while Robert Perez scored it 98-92.
No Irish Need Apply? Not anymore