Mark E. Ortega

Sanchez Jr. loses title but outpoints Sosa

It was previously reported early Saturday morning on RingTV.com that though IBF 115-pound titleholder Juan Carlos Sanchez Jr. came in two ounces overweight, the IBF allowed him to defend his title against Argentine challenger Roberto Domingo Sosa.

That morning, the IBF decided to change their tune, vacating the title and allowing only Sosa to fight for it. Sanchez Jr.’s promoters, Zanfer and Panchito Promotions, were upset at this development as their fighter would have been granted an additional try to make the weight had it been discussed at the weigh-in.

Though Sanchez Jr. lost his title on the scales, he prevailed unanimously over a game Sosa in a mostly technical fight. Sanchez Jr. did his best work in an action-packed fourth round and then later in the 12th, when he knocked down Sosa to close the show.

Sanchez Jr. (16-1-1, 8 knockouts) fought timidly in the second half of the fight while Sosa was the aggressor. It looked as though Sosa (24-1, 14 KOs) was doing the better work down the stretch, but the judges disagreed, awarding the fight to Sanchez Jr. by wide margins of 117-110 twice and 116-111.

According to a Zanfer Promotions representative, Rodrigo Guerrero (also promoted by Zanfer) would fight for the vacant title next, with Sanchez Jr. being next in line to fight the winner.

In the co-featured bout, a reckless Jesse Magdaleno (15-0, 11 KOs) stopped Nicaraguan Henry Maldonado (16-3, 11 KOs) in the fourth round after putting him on the canvas three times before the towel came in.

Magdaleno knew his opponent was overmatched, which explains his bit of recklessness throughout the bout. Magdaleno found himself in exchanges throwing really wide punches. At one point in the third, Maldonado caught him with a very clean, hard shot, but Magdaleno took it well.

“That got my attention,” Magdaleno said after the fight. “I got a little too careless, and I need to learn to not leave myself open like that.”

It was Magdaleno’s first fight since older brother Diego split with trainer/manager Pat Barry, who serves the same role for the younger brother. Though Barry said he would like for this to be Magdaleno’s last eight rounder, the sentiment from Top Rank executives that was expressed was that he wasn’t yet ready for that step up.

Fan favorite heavyweight Andy Ruiz Jr. (19-0, 13 KOs) scored a quick stoppage over Carl Davis (16-6, 12 KOs) in a tune-up fight before he makes his HBO debut on July 27 in Macau, China, against fellow unbeaten Joe Hanks.

Junior lightweight contender Jose Felix Jr. (24-0-1, 19 KOs) wasted little time in dispatching Fernando Garcia (17-6-2, 10 KOs) in the first round.

Local Las Vegas favorite Jesus Gutierrez (8-0, 2 KOs) produced the most exciting fight of the night, winning a four-round shutout over Daniel Calzada (7-8-2, KO). Gutierrez may not have the highest ceiling, but he brings in the fans and is always in a good fight.

Las Vegas welterweight Michael Finney (12-0, 10 KOs) stayed unbeaten, stopping Raul Tovar (10-7-1, 4 KOs) in the sixth round.

Gabino Saenz (10-0-1, 7 KOs), of Indio, Calif., won a six-round unanimous decision over Giorgi Mtchedlishvili (8-6-1, KO). Scores were 60-54, 59-55, 58-56.

Egidijus Kavaliauskas (2-0, KO) stopped Luis Borrego in the first round of their four-round junior middleweight bout. During the bout, referee Russell Mora made a bit of a mental gaffe. When counting to a knocked down Borrego, the count from eight to nine took an eternity. Likely realizing the slowness of his count, the count from nine to ten was accomplished in a millisecond, and though Borrego was on his feet, Mora stopped the fight.

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