By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Rau’shee Warren denied McJoe Arroyo another shot at Jerwin Ancajas on Saturday night.
Warren out-worked a game Arroyo to win a 12-round unanimous decision in their non-televised, IBF junior bantamweight elimination match on the Adrien Broner-Mikey Garcia undercard at Barclays Center. All three judges – Robin Taylor (118-110), Larry Hazzard Jr. (117-111) and Anthony Paolillo (117-111) – scored the fight for Cincinnati’s Warren by large margins.
Warren appeared too strong for Arroyo early in their fight, when he landed several flush punches that stopped Arroyo in his tracks. But Arroyo was able to trade with Warren, who’s not a big puncher, for much of this bout between southpaws.
Warren was busier and sharper, though, and comfortably beat Arroyo. By winning Saturday night, Warren, who has moved down from 118 pounds to 115, moved closer toward a shot at Ancajas’ IBF junior bantamweight title.
Warren (15-2, 4 KOs) lost the WBA and IBO bantamweight titles in his previous fight to Kazakhstan’s Zhanat Zhakiyanov (27-1, 18 KOs). The three-time Olympian dropped Zhakiyanov twice in the first round, but Zhakiyanov came back to win a 12-round split decision February 10 in Toledo, Ohio.
“I would give myself a B-plus for that performance,” Warren said. “I wanted to make to use my jab and I felt like it really helped me win the fight.
“I feel really good at this weight. Now it’s time for me to go get a strap. I haven’t been at this weight since the Olympics. I want to get these titles and then go down to 112 pounds for another title. First I want to take care of Jerwin Ancajas.”
Puerto Rico’s Arroyo (17-2, 8 KOs) lost a second straight fight. In his previous appearance, Arroyo lost a 12-round unanimous decision to Ancajas (27-1-1, 18 KOs).
Arroyo suffered a cut over his right eyebrow in the second round Saturday night, but it mostly was controlled during the remaining 10 rounds.
Earlier Saturday night, Dan Murray upset former New York Golden Gloves champion Kenny Robles by majority decision in a four-round welterweight fight.
One judge scored their fight even (38-38), but two judges scored it 39-37 for Murray.
Robles opened up on Murray early in the bout, but Murray made some defensive adjustments in the second round and boxed well over the final three rounds. Neither fighter was able to hurt the other, despite that both boxers landed their fair share of power punches to the head.
Murray, of Lanoka Harbor, New Jersey, improved to 2-1. Staten Island’s Robles fell to 2-1.
In the first fight on the card, welterweight prospect Noel Murphy out-boxed the Dominican Republic’s Julio Cesar Sanchez to win a unanimous decision in an uneventful eight-rounder.
Murphy (11-0, 2 KOs), a southpaw from Woodlawn, New York, won by scores of 80-72, 79-73 and 78-74. Sanchez lost for the first time as a pro (11-1, 6 KOs).
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.