In tonight's 143-pound catchweight main event of ShoBox: The New Generation, New York's Vincent Arroyo got the job done with pure aggression against the tall and rangy Puerto Rican Hector Sanchez, winning on scores of 98-92, 98-92 and 96-94. Bad Left Hook had it 96-93 for Arroyo.
Arroyo (12-1, 7 KO) came on starting in the third round, and was able to load up frequent effective power shots against Sanchez (19-2, 9 KO). But really, both fighters had their moments along the way, and put on an entertaining fight that woke up a dead crowd in Minnesota.
In the eighth round, Arroyo finally timed his left hook perfectly and badly staggered the 6'1" Sanchez, sending him to the ropes. Once there, Sanchez ate some more good leather, but did survive, and came back in the ninth round to hurt Arroyo, who in return stung Sanchez once again.
I think the difference in the fight was simply the fact that Arroyo pressed harder and looked more committed. He also did some fantastic body work along the way, though he did stray low a few times in the process. When Sanchez was able to keep range, he did well. When he wasn't, it was Arroyo's fight. But both looked like guys who should be back on ShoBox in the future.
Kayode Still Not Ready for Primetime
They can call it a "ShoBox graduation" all they want, but Lateef Kayode was unimpressive despite winning for a third straight fight this year on ShoBox. The Nigerian cruiserweight improved to 18-0 (14 KO) with a 10-round decision win over Felix Cora Jr (22-6-2, 12 KO), but at times looked horrible in the ring, throwing slapping right hands that by the end of the fight were legitimately offending Antonio Tarver at ringside.
It felt like a fight, by the end, that Felix Cora Jr really should have won. If he were a faster starter and just 10% or so better tonight, I think he would have beaten Kayode, who didn't really shine earlier this year in fights with Nicholas Iannuzzi and Matt Godfrey. Kayode won this fight fair and square, and deserved it, but he looks far from world class, and it seems the prevailing thought right now is that if he does get in with someone like Guillermo Jones (who his team is targeting), Troy Ross (who has been mentioned before), or Antonio Tarver (which Showtime might actually buy), he will be outclassed in a hurry. Kayode seems like a great guy, but he's just not very good. With three straight iffy performances, it's time to look at the big picture, and he looks like a guy who is going to have peaked at this level.