Damian Lescaille proved he was ready for the considerable leap in competition.
A battle of Cuban prospects saw Lescaille outwork Hugo Noriega over ten rounds in an aggressively paced junior middleweight battle. Scores were 96-93, 97-92 and 97-92 for the 24-year-old southpaw in their DAZN-aired co-feature Friday evening at Caribe Royale Resort in Orlando, Florida.
Lescaille was the busier boxer and threw the more meaningful punches throughout the contest. The two-year pro—who trains out of Ronnie Shields’ facility in the greater Houston area—landed right hooks upstairs and left hands to the body while he constantly fought in the pocket.
Noriega had to shed nearly one full pound in the immediate aftermath of Thursday’s weigh-in. His pacing and activity level seemed sluggish for much of the night. However, the 33-year-old from Miami by way of Camaguey, Cuba often landed the more potent singular shots. Those moments normally came in the form of right hands upstairs, including an active fourth when he outlanded Lescaille for the first time in the fight.
The tide immediately shifted back to Lescaille, who worked his jab and also enjoyed success with a lead left uppercut to set up right hooks to the chin of Noriega. Both fighters showed an ability to absorb as neither touched the canvas or even came close at any point in the fight.
Noriega turned the tide in round eight after the fight threatened to grow out of reach. Lescaille was cornered and forced to fend off a series of overhand rights from his countryman but was able to ride out the brief storm.
Lescaille (5-0, 3KOs) was deducted a point in the tenth and final round for pushing down the back of Noriega’s head during a clinch. It came shortly after both boxers let their hands go in an effort to close the show strong. Lescaille accepted the disciplinary action and returned to his power game. A left hand snapped back the head of Noriega (8-1, 5KOs), who was unable to muster up one last flurry as his unbeaten record came to an end.
The fight marked the first time that Lescaille went past six rounds but did not show any signs of fatigue.
Headlining the show, Puerto Rico’s Nestor Bravo (21-0, 15KOs; 1NC) faces Will Madera (17-2-3, 10KOs) of Albany, New York in a scheduled ten-round junior welterweight contest.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox