Another edition of ShoBox is in the books, and the A-sides were successful in all three fights, though the methods of victory were quite different.
Here’s the rundown.
Ruben Villa UD-10 Luis Alberto Lopez
22-year-old southpaw featherweight prospect Villa isn’t going to rile up the casuals any time soon — he’s not a big puncher, he’s not a big action guy. It’s not that he’s afraid to mix things up or anything, but his style is boxing first.
That said, he’s a good prospect. This was an awkward matchup against a super awkward guy in Lopez (17-2, 8 KO), who lunges all over, has weird footwork, the sort of guy that destroys anyone’s timing because he doesn’t box correctly in any way. You can’t spar for this guy, because no one fights like this, and he’s decent and tough enough to not just get trucked for all his mistakes.
Actually, listen, I will generally admit that without question Raul Marquez, the former quite good professional fighter, is way way way more knowledgable about boxing than I am. No question about it. But Marquez suggested that Lopez might be able to find the right trainer who will fix him and he could have a future.
But I think he’s one of those guys whose mistakes and goofiness make him what he is; if he could box normally and do it well, someone would have made him do it before he made a national TV main event. Just my feeling watching this guy. If you try to correct him, he’s just not going to do anything in boxing. He is weird, and that makes him what he is.
“What he is” is a dude I hated watching in this fight, too. Not him personally, I actually found his quirky vision of boxing to be kind of endearing, but it’s laborious over 10 rounds because there’s no chance for any sustained action at all. Just no opportunity for a fight to spark. So I hated his style and had Villa (16-0, 5 KO) winning 99-91, which is also what Steve Farhood had. Judges had it closer, at 96-94, 97-93, and 98-92.
I don’t see Villa as quite ready to graduate from ShoBox after his second appearance on the series, but that’s OK. He’s going to get there.
Michael Dutchover KO-1 Rosekie Cristobal
The fight only lasted one minute, 46 seconds, so they showed it in its entirety again before they even got the official time for the ring announcer.
This was Dutchover’s ShoBox debut, and it wasn’t ideal. Cristobal (15-4, 11 KO) isn’t really ShoBox quality, he was an opponent who came in as a replacement on three days notice. So it is what it is. Cristobal came out winging, but Dutchover (13-0, 10 KO) just ripped to the body, ripped to the body, and then found a perfect left to the body. Cristobal took a second to register it, then the pain hit, he grunted heavy, and went down for the count.
Dutchover, 21, is a lightweight to be keeping tabs on.
Saul Sanchez TKO-8 Brandon Benitez
Good fight to open the show, a fight for a minor bantamweight title with the WBO. Sanchez (12-0, 7 KO) fought through a badly bleeding nose, Benitez (14-2, 6 KO) dealt with a cut and a mouse under his right eye for much of the fight.
Sanchez led on my card at the time of stoppage 68-65. I didn’t love the stoppage by referee Raul Caiz Jr, which came when Sanchez landed a clean right hand 18 seconds into the eighth round, and Caiz jumped in to stop it there. It was clearly a “one more big punch and it’s over” stoppage, but while I didn’t like it, Caiz and the doctor were up close, I wasn’t. I generally go with the officials in these cases.
Sanchez, 21, has some good qualities and some flaws to work through, too, like most fighters you’ll see on this series. But this was a good scrap, and the 21-year-old Benitez had some stuff you can build on, too.