Brian Mendoza UD-10 Thomas LaManna
A minor robbery here, at least in our view, and the FOX team agreed but didn’t that deeply into it. I had this 97-93 for LaManna, FOX’s Marcos Villegas had it 96-94 for LaManna, and I personally think it’s hard to give Mendoza more than four rounds. But one judge gave him six, scoring it 96-94 for Mendoza, and the other two gave him a puzzling eight rounds, both scoring it 98-92 for Mendoza. Both of these guys were coming off of losses, Mendoza (19-1, 13 KO) jumped to PBC from Top Rank for this fight, while LaManna (28-4-1, 10 KO) is still just toiling along. LaManna controlled most of the fight, it seemed, but Mendoza was always spirited and did arguably win the last three rounds, forcing the 28-year-old LaManna into more of a firefight. Mendoza, 26, wound up landing a couple more power punches by CompuBox count, and maybe the judges felt his seemingly harder blows meant more, I don’t know. I think the judges got this wrong, but basically everyone will go on. It was a good, physical fight, high effort from both fighters.
Justin Pauldo UD-8 Josec Ruiz
Ruiz gave this an effort, but Pauldo was quicker, sharper, landed more punches, threw more punches — he just beat Ruiz clean and clear. Pauldo (14-1, 7 KO) has really obvious skills, but he did lose a fight back in 2015 and had a loss to Austin Dulay overturned in 2019. He’s got some flaws, too, but at 25 he could really start putting it together any time, and he looked sharper than I think I’ve seen him look to date in this one. Ruiz (21-4-3, 14 KO) is no great fighter by any means — you may recall him getting blanked by Gabriel Flores Jr in June — but he came to fight and tried his best here, Pauldo was just a lot better than him, and consistently so, round-to-round. Good performance from Pauldo, who will look to keep rolling and get in the mix at 140.