Victor Morales didn’t get the knockout win he promised but managed to preserve his unbeaten record and entertain the crowd in the process.
A steady performance was offered by the Portland, Oregon-based Morales, who pitched a ten-round shutout of Sacramento’s Alberto Torres. All three judges scored the contest 110-88 in favor of Morales, who scored two knockdowns in the DAZN co-feature Thursday evening at Fantasy Springs Special Events Center in Indio, California.
Morales was credited with a knockdown in round five, despite an immediate protest from Torres. A body shot forced Torres to square up, with Morales’ momentum forcing the Sacramento native to the canvas. Referee Ray Corona ruled him down, even polling the judges after the round to validate the in-ring call.
Torres briefly turned the tide in round six, hurting Morales with a counter left hand and even sending him to the canvas moments before then although the sequence was ruled a slip. Morales quickly regained his composure, spending the rest of the round boxing from the outside and dropping right hands over the top of Torres’ guard.
Morales remained calm even to the sight of his own blood after a clash of heads left him with a cut just outside his right eyelid in round nine. Torres was unable to capitalize on the momentum, in fact with Morales growing increasingly aggressive.
The tenth and final round saw Morales empty his tank in his best effort to live up to a pre-fight promise of delivering a knockout. It wouldn’t come, though Morales (16-0-1, 8KOs) managed to floor Torres (11-5-3, 4KOs) for a second time—this time, earning a flush knockdown following a series of right hands.
Morales was coming off a ten-round split decision draw with Rudy Garcia last December. Garcia appeared on Thursday’s show, also forced to overcome a cut to otherwise handle veteran club fighter Diuhl Olguin over eight rounds. Scores were 80-72, 79-73 and 79-73 in favor of Garcia in their moderately paced featherweight affair.
The bout was expected to go rounds, given Garcia’s low knockout-to-win ratio and Olguin’s fighting style more designed to go the distance than to try and win. That pattern held true throughout the contest, with Garcia offering lateral movement and Guadalajara’s Olguin (15-23-5, 10KOs) letting his hand go early before quickly running out of steam.
Garcia (13-0-1, 2KOs) was faced with minor adversity when a clash of heads left the Los Angeles native with a cut across his nose. It never proved to be a factor, with Garcia boxing smartly and avoiding Olguin’s best efforts to land a fight landing shot.
Eric Tudor fought more rounds on Thursday night than the combined number of minutes he’d previously been in the ring as a pro. The Fort Lauderdale, Florida native preserved his unbeaten record, following a six-round decision victory over the durable Donte Stubbs (6-5, 2KOs). All three judges scored the contest 60-54 in favor of Tudor, who never fought past the second round prior to Thursday’s DAZN opener.
Stubbs came to fight, tagging Tudor with right hands in the opening round but unable to fluster the 20-year-old newcomer. The rugged junior middleweight from Riverside, California dug deep in his bag of tricks, unable to impress the judges but landing enough to get the attention of Tudor who made his pro debut just three months ago. Stubbs is now winless in his last six starts.
Jimmy Brenes (2-0, 1KO) made his way stateside for the first time as a pro, going the distance in the process. The Nicaraguan welterweight was forced to sweat out a majority decision before having his hand raised in victory over Inglewood’s Hector Perez (0-2). Judges Jose Cobian (40-36) and Damian Walton (40-36) scored every round for Brenes, overruling the even scorecard turned in by judge Eddie Hernandez (38-38).
Headlining the five-fight show, former WBO junior flyweight titlist Angel ‘Tito’ Acosta (22-3-1, 21KOs) faces Janiel Rivera (18-8-3, 11KOs) in a scheduled ten-round flyweight bout.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox