Andres Cortes overcame a fourth-round knockdown and a nasty gash above his left eye to fend off Alejandro Salinas on Tuesday night in Las Vegas.
Las Vegas’ Cortes recovered well from that flash knockdown, out-landed Salinas in the second half of their eight-round lightweight fight and won a unanimous decision. Judges Adalaide Byrd (76-75), Dave Moretti (79-73) and Patricia Morse Jarman (77-74) all scored the fight for Cortes, who is represented by Mayweather Promotions.
The 23-year-old Cortes improved to 13-0. The 25-year-old Salinas (10-4, 9 KOs), of Youngstown, Ohio, has lost three of his past four fights.
ESPN broadcast Cortes’ win as part of the Jose Zepeda-Kendo Castaneda undercard from MGM Grand Conference Center.
Salinas knocked Cortes off balance with a right hand 45 seconds into the eighth and final round. He couldn’t hurt Cortes again, though.
Cortes moved Salinas into the ropes after landing a right hand with just over two minutes to go in the seventh round. Referee Celestino Ruiz requested a break in the action with 40 seconds remaining in the seventh round, so that a ringside physician could look at the worsening gash over Cortes’ left eye.
A right-left combination by Cortes caused Salinas to hold him about 45 seconds into the sixth round. Cortes drilled Salinas with two more right hands just following the midway mark of the sixth round.
Salinas snapped back Cortes’ head with a right hand that landed with just under 40 seconds on the clock in the sixth round.
Cortes connected with a hard, right hand when there were about 15 seconds left in the fifth round.
About 50 seconds into the fourth round, Salinas backed Cortes into the ropes and fired hard shots at him. An overhand right by Salinas sent Cortes almost to one knee with 27 seconds to go in the fourth.
Cortes popped right back to his feet, but he used the ropes to keep himself from going down, which resulted in a knockdown.
A stiff jab by Cortes backed up Salinas about 30 seconds into the third round. Salinas and Cortes engaged in a violent exchange near a neutral corner just after the midway point of the third round.
Cortes caught Salinas with a right hand with just over a minute to go in the second round. An accidental clash of heads caused a cut around Cortes’ left eye earlier in the second round.
Salinas’ overhand right to the side of Cortes’ head moved Cortes into the ropes 45 seconds into the first round. Another right by Salinas backed Cortes into a corner with about one minute remaining in the opening round.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.