Eros Correa had to withstand a stiff challenge from Henry Arredondo and a major scoring gaffe in order to maintain his perfect record.

A steady work rate by San Jose’s Correa was enough to overcome the relentless pressure of San Antonio’s Arredondo to claim an eight-round majority decision in their battle of unbeaten featherweights

Judge Sharon Sands had the contest 76-76—the best score of a competitive fight. Judge Pat Russell had the contest at an absurd 80-72 for Correa, while judge Zachary Young had Correa winning 78-74 in their FS1-televised opener Saturday evening live on FS1 from a crowdless Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles.

The result was initially announced as a majority decision win for Arredondo, due to the dysfunctional California State Athletic Commission assigning the wrong fighters and corners to the scorecards.

Having sparred together in the past, neither boxer sought a feel-‘em out process in the opening bell. San Jose’s Correa aided the cause with a constant work rate, throwing in combination and far outlanding Arredondo who remained in counterpunching mode and seemed to struggle with his opponent’s aggression.

Arredondo continued to get outworked for much of round two but ended the frame with a crisp left hook and straight right hand after countering a combination from Correa. The late momentum carried over into round three for San Antonio’s Arredondo, who worked his jab and played the role of stalker. Correa rode out the brief storm and remained the busier fight, at times punching through Arredondo’s tight guard.

Correa was constantly first to the punch throughout round four, though the strategy was quickly solved by his bigger foe. Arredondo came alive midway through round five, wading through Correa’s combinations and scoring with his left hooks. The trend continued with round six, with Arredondo still getting outworked but landing the far more telling blows.

Action slowed in round seven, the first time Correa has been this far in his young career. The 27-year old was fighting through fatigue, understandable as he was consistently landed 20 or more punches per round. Arredondo took his opponent’s best and continued to land the more pronounced shots, including a right hand late the round to which Correa responded with a counter left hook before eating one in return.

Both corners told their charges to go out and absolutely take the eighth and final round.

Arredondo was urged to do it for his family and apply constant pressure. Correa’s instructions were to be weary of Arredondo’s power—particularly his uppercut on the inside—and step around to outbox his unbeaten foe. That particular battle went to Arredondo, who connected with left hooks and uppercuts, at one point trapping Correa in a corner. Correa responded with body shots and combination which proved to be enough to pull out the victory.

Compubox stats had Correa landing 163-of-627 punches (26%), compared to the more accurate but less active Arredondo who landed 131-of-416 punches (31%).

Correa improves to 10-0 (7KOs) with the win, his first in nine months. The inactive period—along with a year-long absence by Arredondo—was attributed to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Correa tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this summer, which delayed this bout which was previously scheduled for this past August.

Arredondo falls to 7-1 (4KOs) with the defeat.

The bout served as the televised opener to a tripleheader topped by Amilcar Vidal (11-0, 10KOs) and Edward Ortiz (11-0-2, 4KOs) in a scheduled 10-round middleweight bout.

 Jake Donovan is a senior writer for Twitter: @JakeNDaBox