At the MGM Grand’s Conference Center, Las Vegas – In a battle of junior welterweight contenders, the unbeaten Arnold Barboza Jr. (25-0, 10 KOs) notched the most significant win of his career, surviving a knockdown to defeat former world title challenger Alex “El Cholo” Saucedo (30-2, 19 KOs) via 10-round unanimous decision.
Barboza, ranked in the top 10 by two of the major sanctioning bodies, now has his sights on a world title shot.
Barboza said, “This was like a championship fight to me. It’s all because of my father [ead trainer Arnold Barboza Sr], not me. I did this for kids and my father. My dream is to get a house for my kids. I came that much closer today.
“I want a championship fight. No more messing around. No more tune-up fights.”
Also on the card, super middleweight destroyer Edgar “The Chosen One” Berlanga knocked out Lanell Bellows in 79 seconds, the 15th first-round knockout to begin his career. Bellows (20-6-3, 13 KOs) had never been knocked out in an eight-year pro career.
Jr. welterweight Josue Vargas (18-1, 9 KOs) UD 10 Kendo Castaneda (17-3, 8 KOs). Scores: 100-89, 99-91, 98-90. Vargas graduated to contender status with a one-sided domination over Castaneda, who was coming off a competitive decision loss to Jose “Chon” Zepeda. He has won 12 straight fights since a disqualification defeat.
Featherweight Jose Enrique Vivas (20-1, 11 KOs) TKO 1 John Vincent Moralde (23-4, 13 KOs), 1:16. Vivas blitzed Moralde, knocking down the Filipino contender twice en route to the early stoppage. The second knockdown was a body blow that prompted referee Celestino Ruiz to halt the fight without a count.
Welterweight Quinton Randall (7-0, 2 KOs) UD 6 Jan Carlos Rivera (4-1, 4 KOs). Scores: 58-56 2X and 59-55. In a battle of unbeatens, Randall swept the last four rounds on two of the judges’ scorecards to prevail.
Welterweight Jahi Tucker (2-0, 1 KO) UD 4 Charles Garner (1-1). Scores: 40-36, 3X. The 17-year-old Tucker, who scored a first-round knockout in his professional debut last month, went the distance and cruised to a decision win against Garner, a native of Buffalo, N.Y.