In a clash of unbeaten light heavyweights, Joseph George scored a disputed split-decision victory over Marcos Escudero.
One judge scored the bout 96-94 for Escudero, while the other two judges scored the bout 97-94 and 97-93 for George, who resides in Houston, Texas, goes to 10-0, 6 knockouts.
The 30-year-old George, who is managed by Washington Redskins All-Pro offensive lineman Trent Williams, boxed well, but was not busy enough as Escudero outboxed and landed more punches throughout a majority of the fight.
The taller Escudero rained several combinations down onto George, who covered up and attempted to counter with hooks and crosses to the head. As the bout progressed into the middle rounds, Escudero built an early lead and looked as though he was going to break George down.
George did well during the middle rounds, but Escudero was busier and more-effective by throwing a straight right hand or two punches behind a jab.
Sensing he was down in the fight, George let his hands go more during the ninth round. An overhand right hand to the head momentarily staggered Escudero, but George did little to follow up, allowing to be tied up on the inside.
Rather than George letting his hands go more during the final round, Escudero won the round by again being the busier fighter and landing the more-telling blows up until the final bell sounded.
Boxingscene scored the bout 98-92 for Escudero, who resides in Buenos Aires, Argentina. After the scorecards were read, a cascade of boos rained down from the crowd, reflecting their opinion of who they thought won the fight.
In the opening bout of the ’ShoBox’ card, middleweight Amilcar Vidal dropped Zach Prieto twice en route to a knockout win in the opening round.
With the victory, Vidal improves to 10-0, 9 knockouts.
The shorter Prieto was able to get on the inside of Vidal’s guard and connected to the body and head with straight right hands. With about 30 seconds left in the round, Vidal dropped Prieto to the canvas. Prieto beat the count, but was dropped again to the canvas from a barrage of punches, prompting referee Mark Nelson to stop the fight at 2:59.
The 23-year-old Vidal now resides in the Southern California desert city of Coachella. Friday night also marked the U.S. debut of Vidal after fighting all of his fights in his native Uruguay and in neighboring Argentina.
Prieto, who resides in El Paso, Texas, drops to 9-1, 7 KOs.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing