By Ryan Burton
Super featherweight prospect Lamont Roach (17-0-1) bounced back from his April split draw against Orlando Cruz with a 7th round knockout victory over Deivi Julio Bassa (20-5) in Cancun, Mexico.
After a feeling out round with little action, Roach began to take control of the fight in the second round. Late in the third round he sent the Colombian to the canvas with a big right hand. Roach didn't force the action in the fourth even though he knew his opponent was on unsteady legs.
While Roach was content to stay on the outside, Bassa wasn't overly aggressive either. The Washington DC native boxed smartly and won the first six rounds without much trouble.
Surprisingly though Bassa retired on his stool after the sixth round. Roach was clearly winning the fight but Bassa didn't appear to be in trouble at any moment besides when he was knocked down. The knockout victory will help erase the stain from Roach's draw against Cruz in Puerto Rico as he continues to transition from prospect to contender status.
Former super flyweight champion Juan Carlos Sanchez (24-6-1) overcame a second round knockdown to defeat Florentino Perez (11-4-1) via unanimous decision. After landing only two punches in the first round, Perez wobbled Sanchez in the second with a big right hand before their heads collided. Immediately after the head butt, another right hand sent a clearly dazed Sanchez to the canvas. Sanchez was able to get back into the fight in the third round as he concentrated more on going to the body.
Sanchez dominated the fifth round as he had regained control of the fight. Perez's corner implored their fighter to close out the show strong in the seventh and eighth rounds as it was clear he was behind on the scorecards. He responded by landing some hard body shots but Sanchez landed bigger and better punches. Perez came out swinging for the fences in the eighth round but Sanchez kept his poise and secured the unanimous decision victory with precision counter punches. The final scores were 76-75, 77-74 and 78-73.
In the opening fight of the Golden Boy Promotions' card, Alexis Bastar (11-1-1) and Rigoberto Nava (3-2-4) engaged in an all out war as neither man would take a step back in their six round super bantamweight contest. Both fighters were throwing punches that strayed south of the border but it was Bastar who ended up getting a point deducted in the fourth round.
The deduction was a head scratcher because Nava had landed several low blows in the previous rounds. The fight was very competitive with each fighter having moments of success. Despite the point deduction, Bastar was able to win a razor thin decision in a fight he dedicated to his recently deceased mother. The final scores were 57-56 on all three cards.