Lamont Roach Jr. continued to build his way back toward another 130-pound title shot Saturday night.
Roach’s accuracy, particularly as a counterpuncher, was the difference against an aggressive, busier Rene Alvarado in a somewhat competitive, entertaining 10-rounder on the Gilberto Ramirez-Yunieski Gonzalez undercard at AT&T Center in San Antonio. The 26-year-old Roach won by scores of 100-90, 98-92 and 98-92.
Roach (22-1-1, 9 KOs), of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, also won the previously vacant NABA super featherweight title. Nicaragua’s Alvarado (32-11, 21 KOs) lost a third straight unanimous decision.
The 32-year-old Alvarado fought for the first time since he lost a second straight 12-round unanimous decision to Roger Gutierrez on August 14 in Frisco, Texas. Venezuela’s Gutierrez (26-3-1, 20 KOs) won the WBA world super featherweight title from Alvarado in their first fight.
Roach continued to land counter right hands and built upon an obviously comfortable lead in the 10th round. Roach rocked Alvarado with a left-right combination just before the ninth round ended.
Roach landed several hard right hands and left hooks in a very effective eighth round for him. Roach’s left hook snapped back Alvarado’s head with 40 seconds remaining in the seventh round.
Roach and Alvarado traded right hands approximately 50 seconds into the sixth round. Roach slipped many of Alvarado’s punches thereafter, until he cracked Alvarado with another right hand 1:20 into the sixth round.
Alvarado and Roach hammered away at each other’s body about 30 seconds into the fifth round. About a minute into the fifth round, Alvarado drilled Roach with an overhand right.
A little more than a minute later, Roach nailed Alvarado with a right hand of his own.
Roach landed a sweeping right hand in an exchange with just over 1:10 to go in the fourth round. Roach stood his ground at times to get Alvarado’s respect in that round.
Alvarado was aggressive and effective in the third round, particularly with right hands to both Roach’s body and head.
A right hand by Alvarado turned Roach’s head approximately 30 seconds into the second round. Roach connected with a right to the body and then a right uppercut with about 50 seconds to go in the second round.
A counter right hand by Roach stopped Alvarado in his tracks just before the second round ended.
Roach’s left hook rocked Alvarado with just under 20 seconds to go in the opening round.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.