They can’t all be great shows, and ProBox TV gave us arguably the only Wednesday night dud of the year so far in a main event between Carlos Sanchez and Alexander Duran that started out dull and ended up stupid.
This one kicked off exceptionally slowly, and only decelerated from there. Duran (21-1, 7 KO) controlled a very deliberate pace with a long jab out of a wide, almost horse stance. That distance favored the reach and style of Duran, and he worked it patiently, if not entertainingly, for almost every second of the fight.
Sanchez (24-1, 19 KO) could not find a way in range to generate any offense. Duran did exchange when Sanchez managed to move in closer, but that seldom happened for more than two or three seconds at a time. Sanchez got more and more frustrated as the fight went on, repeatedly walking straight into tie-ups with no real attempt at landing punches, and seemingly no plan at all. Things got so sloppy that the referee paused the action midway through the 6th to drag both fighters over for a scolding from local fight officials.
A clash of heads about a minute later opened a cut near Sanchez’s right eye that ended the fight. Fight commentary and anyone with functional vision wondered if the official result would be a unanimous sweep of all rounds for Duran, or just a wide decision.
Unfortunately for Duran, fighting for the first time outside of his native Panama, the judging was more biased than Olympic figure skating during the Cold War. Sanchez (a Mexican fighter) somehow won the favor of the judges (working in Mexico) and escaped with a criminal technical decision victory on scores of 60-56, 58-56, and 58-56 (because this all happened in Mexico).
Am I absolutely sure this was a flagrant case of patriotic bias, robbing the road fighter of an obvious victory? No. It could have been outright corruption, I suppose.
Whatever the reason for the outcome, it’s an outrageously bad decision, and an unjust first blemish on the record of Alexander Duran. If you’ve ever wondered why we occasionally preview fights by mentioning that a relatively unknown fighter lost a decision in Country X to a fighter from Country X? Results like this are exactly why. This one just happened to be televised so people could see what really happened.
Fortunately, there are some decent judges in Mexico, and they came through with straight, accurate upset decisions for the undercard fights.
Abraham Arreola TD-8 Brandon Reyes
A disappointing return to the ring after nearly two years away for Brandon Reyes in the chief support fight. Reyes (6-1-1, 2 KO) didn’t look rusty, coming out smooth and controlled in the first few rounds. But, he couldn’t really hurt or discourage 20 year old Abraham Arreola, who fought at a quick pace throughout without ever losing steam.
Arreola (6-2, 4 KO) really took control in the 4th when he switched to a southpaw stance, producing immediate results. Reyes couldn’t seem to generate much offense against it, while Arreola found increasing success as the rounds went on.
An accidental headbutt opened a cut on Reyes, which led to a doctor stoppage. Official result was a Technical Decision win for Arreola on wide but not outrageous 79-74, 80-73, 80-73 scorecards.
Rogaciano Guerrero MD-6 Eduardo “Lalo” Martinez
Another surprise in the opener, as Rogaciano Guerrero came in on a day’s notice to upset Eduardo “Lalo” Martinez. Odd circumstances here, as the last-minute confirmation resulted in two junior welterweights weighing in at 152 lbs, and what was originally a 10 round fight shrinking down to just six.
A few more rounds might have made the difference for Martinez (10-2, 7 KO), as a slow start in such a short fight proved tough to overcome. Guerrero (7-2-1, 5 KO) found early success, trapping Martinez and unloading big hooks. Martinez took enough rounds in the second half to make a case for the draw, but not enough judges saw it that way. Official scores were 58-56, 58-57, and 57-57, and all of them were reasonable takes on the fight.