By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Following Ulysse’s victory, Lamont Roach Jr. out-worked Alberto Mercado and comfortably beat him in their 10-round junior lightweight bout. Roach won a unanimous decision, as judges John Poturaj (98-92), Alan Rubinstein (97-93) and Robin Taylor (99-91) scored the action for Roach.
The 23-year-old Roach, of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, won a second straight bout after settling for a 10-round split draw with Puerto Rico’s Orlando Cruz on April 19 in San Juan. He improved to 18-0-1 (7 KOs).
Mercado (15-2-1, 3 KOs) couldn’t affect Roach with any of his punches until there were about 30 seconds to go in their fight. A left hand by Mercado moved Roach backward, but Mercado couldn’t capitalize on it.
Roach caught Mercado with a left hook that made Mercado retreat just after the halfway point of the seventh round. Roach also landed repeatedly to Mercado’s head and body toward the end of the seventh round.
A hard, accidental clash of heads caused a brief break in the action with 11 seconds to go in the sixth round.
Yves Ulysse Jr. continued his climb back toward title contention Saturday night.
The junior welterweight from Montreal knocked down Max Becerra once apiece in the sixth and seventh rounds, and convincingly won their eight-rounder on the Canelo Alvarez-Rocky Fielding undercard at Madison Square Garden. Judges Allen Nace (79-71), Anthony Paolillo (78-72) and Robert Perez (78-72) each scored their fight for Ulysse.
Montreal’s Ulysse (17-1, 9 KOs) won a third straight fight since Steve Claggett scored a split-decision victory over him in their October 2017 bout in Montreal. The 31-year-old Becerra (16-3-2, 8 KOs), of Santa Ana, California, had his eight-fight winning streak snapped.
Ulysse floored Becerra for the second time in as many rounds when his overhand right cracked Becerra flush and made him take a knee with just under two minutes remaining in the seventh round. Becerra recovered again and finished the round.
A right hand by Ulysse buckled Becerra’s legs with just under two minutes to go in the sixth round. A hard jab and another straight right hand by Ulysse sent Becerra to one knee with 1:48 to go in the sixth.
He answered referee Steve Willis’ count quickly, though, and went after Ulysse to let his opponent know he wasn’t hurt badly.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.