Luis Nunez made the most of his 22nd birthday and first career fight in the United States.
The unbeaten prospect from Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic impressed in a clear-cut, unanimous decision victory over Cincinnati’s Jayvon ‘Jigsaw’ Garnett in their Showtime-televised featherweight contest Friday evening at Central Park Community Center in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. Judges Henry Ellick (100-90), Henry Gueary (100-90) and David Sutherland (100-90) all scored every round in favor of Nunez in their ShoBox chief support.
The fight wasn’t quite as entering as Nunez’s ringwalk, playing up to his “The Twist” moniker in entering to the song of the same name and even performing the dance in the ring along with promoter Sampson Lewkowicz as he made the most of his U.S. debut along with his first bout as a full-fledged featherweight.
Once the opening bell sounded, the unbeaten Dominican pushed Garnett around the ring on the strength of his jab, followed by straight right hands in constantly beating the American to the punch.
Garnett began to let his hands go in round three, though still far too infrequent to disrupt the rhythm of Nunez. Momentum remained in favor of the Sampson Lewkowicz-guided Nunez, who punched in combination while constantly hunting down a mobile Garnett.
Round four saw Garnett make an effort to be first during exchanges, showing his hand and foot speed in shooting his jab and offering lateral movement. Nunez attempted to cut off the ring, working Garnett’s body before returning upstairs with a heavy jab and straight right hand.
Nunez remained in the control heading into the second half of the fight. Garnett was moving in reverse, occasionally offering a jab but mostly covering up and fighting in defensive mode. Nunez didn’t waste any energy, slowly moving forward while mostly fighting from the center of the ring.
Garnett was urged by his corner in between rounds to be first and to fight. The advice didn’t take, as Garnett continued to move around the ring. Nunez closed the gap, whipping his right hand to the body in combination.
Nunez closed the fight strong, while Garnett made an effort to fight back after falling well behind on the scorecards. Garnett initiated an exchange during the tenth and final round, only to produce a clash of heads. Nunez shook off the blow and came out of the time-out with a right hand to the body and left hook upstairs before cruising down the stretch with the win well in sight.
Nunez sails to 12-0 (9KOs) with the win, his first past eight rounds. Garnett falls to 10-1 (5KOs) in suffering his first career defeat.
Headlining the tripleheader, Ja’Rico O’Quinn (14-0-1, 8KOs) and Saul Sanchez (16-1, 9KOs) collide in a bantamweight battle scheduled for ten rounds.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox