By Jake Donovan
Rising super bantamweight prospect Jayson Velez continues to climb the ranks. The latest achievement in the Puerto Rican’s promising career came Saturday evening at Coliseo Roger Mendoza in Caguas, Puerto Rico, soundly outpointing battled-tested veteran Jose Angel Beranza.
Scores were 96-94 (twice) and 98-92 for Velez in a Telefutura-televised headlining appearance.
Velez remains caught between styles, though never fails to disappoint. Sometimes he elects to box, other times knockout is on the brain. Both brands were on display against Beranza, who long ago ceased playing the role of aspiring contender but still knows his way around the ring.
The early rounds saw the aggressive side of Velez, taking the fight to Beranza and even forcing his opponent to the canvas, though a sequence that was correctly ruled a slip. Velez continued to throw with conviction though transitioning to the role of boxer as the rounds progressed.
A competitive fourth round saw Velez box early and take chances later on. Beranza rode out the early storm and began returning fire, fighting as if he came for an upset and not just a paycheck. The fight would never reach the point where Velez was in fear of having his “0” snatched, but Beranza made sure to make his presence felt every step of the way.
The second half indicated as much, as Beranza closed the gap between the two and enjoyed sporadic success with his overhand right. The journeyman’s newfound confidence caused Velez to jump on his bicycle a bit, circling the ring in his best efforts to regain control and stay out of harm’s way.
Fighting in front of a partisan crowd, Velez knew at some point he’d have to once again bite down and give the paying patrons its money’s worth. The unbeaten prospect tried the role of aggressor as the 10th and final round began, but found it much more convenient to run out the clock. Beranza threw up his arms in disgust, daring his younger foe to stand and trade, though Velez declined the offer.
Playing to a hometown crowd doesn’t always necessitate an advantage. Velez found that out the hard way as he was booed by his fellow Boricuas when raising his arms in the air at fight’s end.
Still, the win was all that mattered in the end as Velez can always rally the crowd back on his side the next time he steps in the ring. For what it’s worth, the cheers came shortly after the scorecards were announced as Velez improves to 18-0 (13KO).
Beranza falls to 34-23-2 (26KO) in defeat, having now lost two straight since the start of 2012.
Jhonathan Vidal (15-0, 8KO) remained unbeaten with a unanimous decision over Felix Perez (7-4, 3KO) in their six-round bantamweight scrap. Scores were 59-55 (2x) and 59-57 in their televised co-feature.
OFF-TV (courtesy of updates from Promociones Miguel Cotto)
- Lightweight prospect and unbeaten power puncher Jeffrey Fontánez (5-0, 5Ko's) score a brutal Ko victory against Juan Luis Meléndez at 2:02 of the 1st round.
- Starling Cordero KO'd José Torres
- Super Welterweight Jonuel Tapia was held to a 6 round majority draw against Daniel Rodríguez.
- José Martinez won by unanimous decision over Rubén Rivera.
- O'Nell Negron won by unanimous decision over Juan G.Cruz.
- Emanuel Ramirez won a split decision over Luis Diaz.
- Keith Tapia scored a 1st round knockout over Heriberto Lorenzo. Official time was 1:12.
- Emanuel "Bebo" Rivera won a unanimous decision over veteran Miguel "Samarai" Del Valle.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter:@JakeNDaBox or submit questions/comments to JakeNDaBox@gmail.com