Maldonando Jr. Survives Stiff Test In Win Over Cruz

By Jake Donovan

Fidel Maldonando Jr. survived the toughest test to date, taking a unanimous decision over Eric Cruz in their Telefutura-televised main event Friday evening at the Events Center in Pharr, Texas.

Scores were 77-74, 76-75 (2x) in their surprisingly close eight-round lightweight main event.

Sporting pink gloves in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Maldonando fought for a good cause while offering the perfect fight plan. The 20-year old prospect came racing out of the gate, scoring a knockdown 15 seconds into the contest. Cruz entered the bout with a reputation as a knockout artist, but Maldonando refused to allow a scouting report to scare him into fighting any less aggressive.

The rest of the bout wasn’t quite as one-sided, as Cruz chipped away at the lead with each passing round though ultimately coming up short.

Cruz, a hard-hitting Puerto Rican who has won all of his fights by knockout, braved a beating in the opening round and spent most of the second round adjusting before closing the gap in the third. The tide never turned, but kept the Albuquerque native honest enough to know a greater effort was required if he wanted to win in more convincing fashion.

Both fighters were warned for roughhouse tactics midway through the bout, the type of fight that would greater benefit Cruz. However, Maldonando did a good job of avoiding a dogfight, remaining disciplined and proving to be equally as effective when working behind his right jab or taking the initiative with lead left hands.

As the bout progressed, it became evident that the opening sequence of the fight was an aberration and that Cruz wasn’t going anywhere. Maldonando realized this early on, and was content with boxing his way down the stretch even while Cruz tried to force the youngster out of his element. It proved to be successful in narrowing the gap on the scorecards, but never quite pulling ahead.

Realizng that boxing alone wasn’t enough to get the job done, Maldonando came out strong in the final round, determined to make a statement. The result was a fast-paced final round that saw both fighters have their moments but never to where the other was in danger of not hearing the final bell.

Maldonando escapes with the closest fight of his career, as he improves to 12-0 (10KO). 

Cruz came into the fight off of the best win of his career, but now suffers the second loss in his past three fights as he falls to 12-8-3 (12KO).

Meanwhile, Maldonando keeps moving forward, enduring a much-needed test after blitzing through the early portion of his career. The plan, according to acclaimed manager Cameron Dunkin, is to get him quality gym sessions with his other star fighters and build him up in more six-and-eight round fights on this current level.

In the televised opener, unbeaten Jorge Sanchez (5-0, 3KO) scored a six-round decision over Larry Smith (10-7, KO). Scores were 58-54 and 57-55 (twice) in their surprisingly competitive bout, in which Smith took a beating in middle rounds of the fight, but hung tough and made the 25-year old Sanchez work for the win.

A swing bout between pro debuters Jose Garcia and Javier Rodriguez ended in a majority draw. Rodriguez appeared to be the aggressor, but couldn’t fare any better than a two-point win on one scorecard, garnering a 39-37 tally on the dissenting card, which was overruled 38-38 scores from the other two judges.

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Follow Jake on Twitter at or submit questions/comments to [email protected]
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by onechance87 on 10-22-2011

fidel is a solid prospect.Looking foward to seeing more of him.

Comment by cubanboxer94 on 10-22-2011

Maldonado won by way wider scores than what the judges said but he got the win and the title and its on to bigger better things now

Comment by Dr Moreu on 10-22-2011

Yo Fidel is nice good young prospect who be putting in hard work in the gym, his style is good for TV

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (3)
Top Headlines Alexander vs. Redkach Tripleheader is Official For June 1, FS1 Abel Sanchez: Greedy Golovkin Offered Me a 'Fifth' of Normal Pay Frampton Set To Return In Summer, Court Push Back A Non-Issue Mikey Garcia Still Aims To Become Five-Division World Champion Joe Joyce Aligns Himself With Frank Warren For World Title Goal Vergil Ortiz: Huge Honor To Co-Main Event For Canelo Alvarez Amir Khan: I'm Not Done at World Title Level, I'll Get Another Shot Wilder Calls For Lifetime Ban For "Drug Cheat" Jarrell Miller Jessie Vargas Promises Wild Fireworks With Humberto Soto Daniel Roman: Doheny is The Fight I Wanted, I Want To Unify Regis Prograis: Whatever Relikh Tries, I Can Beat Him at It Dave Allen: David Price is Likely Next - It's a Four Round Shootout! Andy Ruiz Emerges as Frontrunner in Joshua Sweepstakes Srisaket Sor Rungvisai-Juan Francisco Estrada II: Stats & Stakes Hearn: Andy Ruiz, Michael Hunter Are Credible Fights For Joshua Roman, Doheny Agree Their Bout Will Name Division's Best Canelo: Nothing in My Contract Binds Me To Golovkin Trilogy Rob Brant vs. Ryota Murata Rematch Finalized For July 12 Marcos Maidana Says He is No Longer Coming Back To Boxing Alexander-Redkach, Monroe-Centeno Heads to San Jacinto Photos: Daniel Roman, TJ Doheny - Face To Face, Final Presser Photos: Jessie Vargas, Humberto Soto - Face To Face at Presser Photos: Sor Rungvisai, Juan Francisco Estrada - Go Face To Face Photos: Yves Ulysse, Steve Claggett - Ready For Rematch Clash News: Jackson England, NVBHOF Information, Cartagena, More Nonito Donaire vs. Stephon Young Finalized For WBSS Abel Sanchez Slams "Greedy, Ungrateful" Golovkin For The Split Gennady Golovkin Decides To Part Ways With Abel Sanchez Barthelemy: If Robert Easter Wants a War - We'll Have a War Don King To Hearn: Trevor Bryan is Ready To Face Joshua Slava Shabranskyy vs. Allan Green Set For May 10, Burbank Sor Rungvisai Hopes Estrada Comes Looking For a Knockout Tyson Fury vs. Tom Schwarz - Ticket Information Shawn Porter Praises Garcia, Motivated To Face Errol Spence Zolani Tete Suffers Injury, Donaire Fight Status To Be Determined Luis Ortiz Turned Down $5M, Asked For $10M To Fight Joshua 6/1 Josh Warrington vs. Kid Galahad - Undercard Update Canelo Alvarez-Daniel Jacobs: NSAC Approves Judges For Fight Jessie Vargas: Brook Wastes My Time, I'd Fight Liam Smith Vergil Ortiz vs. Mauricio Herrera is Co-Main To Canelo-Jacobs

Latest Active Forum Threads