This time around, Yomar Alamo remembered to close the show.
A skillful boxing lesson delivered by the unbeaten Caguas, Puerto Rico native offset the two-fisted straightforward attack of San Antonio’s Kendo Castañeda in their Telemundo-aired headliner Friday evening at Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, Florida. Alamo claimed a 10-round majority decision in the main event to defend his 140-pound regional title in a battle of unbeaten prospects.
An even score of 95-95 was trumped by far too wide tallies of 98-92 and 99-93 in favor of Alamo, who is now 5-0-1 in six straight fights in the Orlando/Kissimmee area.
Castañeda forced an aggressive pace in the early rounds, in large part due to his own style but also picking upon what worked well for Antonio Moran in his draw with Alamo last October. Alamo offered lateral movement throughout most of the opening round, not at all interested in getting caught up in two-way action. Castaneda had other ideas, stalking the unbeaten Boricua and briefly stunning him with a left hand.
Alamo attempted to employ the same tactic in round two, undoubtedly tapping into the boxing intellect of his head trainer and former two-division world champion Ivan Calderon. This time, though, he was forced to stand and trade after Castañeda manage to pin him against the ropes and ignite a slugfest. The crowd was all the way into the action, with Alamo more than holding his own before turning the fight back into a boxing match.
Chants of ‘Yo soy Boricua pa’que tu lo sepas!’ (‘I’m Puerto Rican, just so you know’) filled the intimate venue throughout round three, in efforts to will Alamo to victory. The Caguas native did his best to respond, but lacked the heavy artillery to keep Castañeda at bay, His best moment came one round later, when a vicious uppercut snapped back the head of the San Antonio-bred contender.
Action slowed in the middle rounds, which worked to Alamo’s benefit. Castañeda continued to play the role of stalker, while Alamo was effective in keeping the fight at his desired distance. Castañeda managed to close the gap late in round seven, though not landing anything of consequence once he was able to corner his foe.
Constant movement remained a significant part of Alamo’s game in the later rounds. Castañeda continued to come forward, at times following his foe around the ring but also having his moments once able to work his way inside. A flurry late in round nine caught the attention of Alamo, who rode out the brief storm and responded with an uppercut before taunting the Texas native.
Alamo closed the show in style, setting traps along the ropes. Castañeda enjoyed modest success with his right, but paid dearly for the head shots he missed as Alamo peppered him with jabs and short right hands. The two fought at close quarters down the stretch, embracing after the bell and strutting side by side around ring to a raucous applause from the satisfied patrons in attendance.
Plenty more cause for cheers came once the scores were announced, as Alamo improves to 18-0-1 (12KOs) with the win. The fight was his fifth straight at this venue, where he will likely return in the summertime as he continues to sharpen his improving boxing skills.
Castañeda falls to 17-1 (8KOs), though making enough of an impression in his Telemundo debut to where it is believed he will be brought back.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox