By Francisco Salazar
StubHub Center, Carson, California - In a battle of undefeated contenders for the World Boxing Council (WBC) Continental Americas & World Boxing Organization (WBO) International titles, Erick De Leon (17-0-1, 10 KOs) and Andy Vences (20-0-1, 12 KOs) fought to a ten round majority draw. The scores were 95-95, 96-94 for De Leon and 95-95.
Coming in to this contest, De Leon had won five of his last six bouts by knockout. Trained by Robert Garcia, he had a very strong 2017 campaign. On January 27, in Studio City, California, he stopped Jose Salinas in the fourth round with a body shot. Three months later, he knocked out former world title challenger Daulis Prescott in the third round. In his last bout, on the Vasily Lomachenko vs. Miguel Marriaga undercard, August 5 in Los Angeles, De Leon won a tough six-round decision over Adones Aguelo.
For his part, Vences turned pro in 2012 after a standout amateur career that saw him capture three consecutive California Golden Gloves championships. On November 4, 2016, at Treasure Island Casino in Las Vegas, Vences won a technical decision over the previously unbeaten Casey Ramos. He fought three times in 2017, including a one-punch, second-round knockout of Jairo Ochoa on November 11 in Fresno, California.
Vences started the fight by using a stiff jab to keep De Leon at bay. De Leon was applying a lot of pressure, but he was unable to get past the jab by Vences, who was controlling the distance.
De Leon was starting to inch closer and landing a good left in the fourth. Vences continued to use distance, box, and was making De Leon miss while countering back in the fifth.
During the seventh, De Leon was starting to have a little more success and cutting off the ring better on Vences. De Leon continued to rally in the eight, with several good head shots coming through. Vences went back to sticking that jab to the face of De Leon in the ninth. De Leon continued to rally with more hard shots.
Both boxers had their moments during the tenth round, with Vences doing the better boxing and De Leon landing the harder shots.