By Francisco Salazar
INGLEWOOD - Former flyweight titleholder McWilliams Arroyo (17-3, 14 KOs) of Puerto Rico won a 10 round majority decision over former titleholder Carlos Cuadras.
It was another classic battle between fighters from Mexico and Puerto Rico. Both fighters stood in the pocket, exchanging combinations that looked to favor Cuadras early on. A right hand seemed to stun Arroyo near the end of the second round, but Cuadras was not able to follow up.
The action slowed, where the pace seemed to favor the more-methodical Arroyo. By the middle rounds, Arroyo was the more effective boxer, outlanding Cuadras from the outside.
Cuadras (36-3-1, 27 KOs) looked as though he was a step slower than usual. His offense was stagnant during the last couple of rounds, while Arroyo did just enough to win rounds.
One judge scored the bout 95-95, while the other two judges scored the bout 98-92 and 97-93 for Arroyo, who had not fought in almost two years. His last bout was a decision loss to Roman 'Chocolatito' Gonzalez on Apr. 23 of 2016.
"I'm very happy with my performance," said Arroyo. "People underestimated me because I've been off for two years, but I've been in the gym the entire time training."
"I'm ready for [Sor Rungvisai] and I will beat them also, and show I'm the best fighter in the business."
Arroyo landed 140 out of 713 total punches (19.6 percent). Cuadras, who hails from Mexico City, connected with 127 of 776 punches (16.4 percent).
"I felt very tight all night long," said Cuadras, who has now lost three of his last four bouts. "I couldn't get off like I wanted to."
"Arroyo fought a very smart fight," said Cuadras' trainer Abel Sanchez. "He controlled the rhythm of the fight and never let Cuadras get off."
Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene.com since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper, RingTV.com, and FightNights.com. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing