ARLINGTON, Texas – Brandun Lee didn’t get the knockout that he sought Saturday night on a big stage.
Zachary Ochoa took Lee the 10-round distance in the first fight Showtime televised as part of the Errol Spence Jr.-Yordenis Ugas undercard at AT&T Stadium. Judges Josef Mason (99-91) and Tim Cheatham (99-91) both scored nine of the 10 rounds for Lee, who won eight rounds of this relatively uneventful fight according to judge Chris Migliore (98-92).
The 22-year-old Lee (25-0, 22 KOs) had his 15-fight knockout streak snapped and boxed beyond the seventh round for the first time in his five-year pro career. Before Saturday night, the La Quinta, California, native hadn’t gone the distance since his ninth pro fight – a four-round, unanimous-decision victory over Stephon McIntyre in May 2018.
Brooklyn’s Ochoa (21-3, 7 KOs) has been stopped inside the distance only by Yves Ulysse Jr., who won their bout by technical knockout after the seventh round in March 2017 in Verona, New York.
Ochoa kept his distance well enough during the 10th round to keep Lee from hurting him and made it to the final bell. There wasn’t much action during the ninth round, until Lee and Ochoa traded hard punches over in its final 20 seconds.
Lee stalked Ochoa throughout the seventh and eighth rounds. Ochoa, bleeding from a cut over his left eye, moved constantly in those rounds to try to avoid Lee’s punishing right hand.
Lee kept the pressure on Ochoa during the fifth and sixth rounds. Ochoa occasionally threw right hands and left hooks at Lee, but Lee avoided or deflected those punches.
Ochoa landed a right hand barely a minute into the fourth round. Toward the end of the fourth round, however, Lee opened up on Ochoa and moved him into the ropes.
Ochoa protected himself well during most of the second and third rounds, when he used his legs to keep a safe distance from the stalking Lee. In the final minute of the third round, though, Lee landed multiple right hands.
Lee kept Ochoa on his back foot for most of the first round by aggressively moving forward and unloading right hands.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.