By Jake Donovan

Luis Feliciano entered the night determined to plead his case as the next in line to carry the torch for all Puerto Rican boxers.

A heck of a statement was made in a clean 10-round unanimous decision win over Genaro Gamez.

Scores were 98-92 twice and 99-91 in favor of Feliciano in their battle of unbeaten super lightweight prospects Thursday evening at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, Calif. 

Gamez sought to impose his will early in the fight, clearly the bigger of the two and hoping to wear down Feliciano over the long haul in their main event. It had the opposite effect, as Feliciano weathered the early storm and quickly took over the contest through an economical attack.

Body shots were effective for the Milwaukee (Wisc.)-bred Feliciano, turning the tide in a big way with a left hook downstairs midway through round three. San Diego’s Gamez was visibly shook by the blow, remaining upright but also fighting with his right elbow glued to his midsection, conscious to not get caught with any more body punches but sacrificing his offense in the process.

Feliciano continued with his attack in round four, not wasting any punches while effectively shaking off the incoming from the busier but less effective Gamez. Action swung in the opposite direction in round five, with Gamez putting in his best work of the fight in that frame.

It also expended a lot of energy, which showed in the second half of the fight. Gamez slowed down as the rounds wore on, though caught a break of sorts in round seven when he was afforded time to recover from a left hook low blow by Feliciano.

The sequence didn’t discourage Feliciano from switching up his attack, continuing to target the body and effectively exploiting any opening provided by Gamez as he was the far more accurate of the two throughout the contest.

Gamez was hurt again in round nine, fighting in reverse as Feliciano was dialed in with his power shots. A consistent jab set up left hooks and straight right hands, as Gamez struggled in uncharted territory after having previously never fought beyond or been scheduled for more than eight rounds.

The night marked the first time Feliciano was extended beyond round seven in any given fight, but has consistently trained for 10 rounds of action and blessed to have finished those fights earlier than expected. He was prepared for the long haul in a bout he viewed as the toughest of his career, consistently a step ahead of Gamez who showed heart and will throughout but was simply outclassed.

Feliciano improves to 13-0 (8KOs) with the win, while Gamez falls to 9-1 (6KOs) in suffering the first defeat of his young career.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for Twitter: @JakeNDaBox