Max Ornelas turned a pick-‘em matchup between unbeaten prospects into a showcase performance.

Two of the three judges felt otherwise in producing one of the worst decisions of the year.

Constant lateral movement and superior hand speed were keys in Ornelas soundly outboxing Hector Valdez over ten rounds. George Cruz (97-93 Ornelas) was the only judge who seemed to see things that way. Judges Raul Caiz Sr. and Alejandro Rochin disagreed, both scoring the bout 97-93 in favor of Valdez in the DAZN opener Saturday evening at Pechanga Arena in San Diego, California.

Prior to the awful verdict, the great issue endured by Ornelas in the battle of undefeated junior featherweights was trying to avoid the ire of referee Jack Reiss. The Las Vegas-based product was constantly warned for holding whenever Valdez worked his way inside, though Ornelas managed to adjust just as he had an answer for everything that his opponent had to offer.

Valdez entered his first scheduled ten-round bout and came looking for a more physical fight. What the Dallas native lacked was the ability to properly cut off the ring, as Ornelas boxed from the outside at his leisure and repeatedly scored with his jab and check left hook.

A clash of heads in round six left Valdez with swelling and with Ornelas complaining of a small nick in his scalp. Neither wound was cause for concern as action continued. Valdez continued to come forward throughout the second half of the fight, occasionally landing to the body but largely unable to pin down his quick-footed foe. Ornelas repeatedly landed with his jab and threw in bunches while Valdez appeared to be looking for one power shot.

Valdez enjoyed brief success in round eight, landing two clean shots as Ornelas was momentarily stationary. Ornelas quickly adjusted, using his jab to freeze Valdez and rip off rapid-fire combinations.

Another clash of heads occurred midway through round nine. Valdez turned away holding his nose, with blood trickling more and more as the round progressed. Ornelas remained unbothered, other than sitting down more on his jab and left hook combination. There was still too much pure boxing on his part to prevent the boos from the impatient crowd that clearly came for violence.

Ornelas slowed considerably in the tenth and final round, with his foot enduring blisters from early in the bout and reaching a point of severe discomfort by fight’s end. Valdez was unable to capitalize, although he didn’t need to as the fight was decided by that point.

Valdez’s record advances to 16-0 (8KOs), although there is clearly work to be done as he should be heading to Dallas with his first career defeat.

Ornelas was left in disbelief as the scores were announced as his record fell to 15-1-1 (5KOs).

Headlining the show, former IBF junior lightweight titlist Joseph ‘JoJo’ Diaz (32-2-1, 15KOs) faces unbeaten 135-pound contender William Zepeda 26-0, 23KOs) in a scheduled twelve-round bout above the lightweight limit.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for Twitter: @JakeNDaBox