Happy 34th birthday to Pablo Cesar Cano, who rallied through fatigue and a bad cut to finish off Zachary Ochoa in Round 6 of their ProBox TV main event.
Cano (35-8-1, 25 KO) has been around for a while, unsuccessfully challenging Shane Mosley (Senior!) and Erik Morales over 10 years ago, and losing a world title fight to ProBox TV color commentator Paulie Maglinaggi back in 2012. The damage he’s taken over the years probably had a lot to do with a bad cut that opened up under his eyebrow less than a minute into the 2nd round.
The damage didn’t faze Cano, though, as he hurt Ochoa badly just a little later. Ochoa (21-4, 7 KO) didn’t go down, but he took a heap of punches without any real response, with the overall impression so lopsided that I unofficially scored the 2nd round 10-8 for Cano despite Ochoa staying up throughout.
Ochoa was hurt on a left hook to the chin and turtled up again in the 3rd, but Cano wore himself out, looking clammy and sweaty under the steady flow of eyebrow blood. Ochoa stepped up significantly after that, working a much more disciplined attack in the 4th, then delivering a dominant 5th round.
Despite his struggles in the 2nd and 3rd, Ochoa looked to be in control and likely in the lead halfway through the scheduled 10 round distance. But, a fight can change with one punch. In this case, two punches, as Ochoa got rocked in the 6th with a beautiful one-two combination from Cano. Ochoa went down hard with head and neck awkwardly limp, and though he got up, he didn’t really fight back or do particularly well protecting himself. Referee Michael DeJesus stepped in as Ochoa was laying on the ropes taking punches, and waved it off.
Ochoa was upset about the stoppage, and it’s understandable given how a third straight loss will exacerbate his struggles to get quality fight opportunities. But, DeJesus is absolutely not the sort of referee to insert himself into the conclusion of a fight, even when he probably should. The stoppage was good, and very timely.
Cano gets a nice little victory in his first significant fight in over two years. Ochoa gave us a very exciting fight with a lot of dramatic momentum swings, but still hasn’t gotten a win since March of 2020. Despite the losing streak, he still looks tough and capable. Hopefully he gets another ProBox slot in a few months.
Here’s the YouTube link to the whole show, cued up to the finishing combination:
Jose Nunez UD-10 Omar Salcido
Fantastic action in the Fight of the Year of the Week level co-feature between Jose Nunez and Omar Salcido. Nunez (16-0-2, 7 KO) had the best of it throughout the night, using excellent head movement and footwork that allowed him to land with power while slipping Salcido’s return fire. Salcido (17-1, 12 KO) let loose plenty of beautiful punches, but frequently caught nothing but air.
Salcido went down in the 3rd round on a big hook, then down again hard in the 7th. Nunez took a knockdown of his own at the end of the 7th, getting jab countered and stumbling to the canvas during an aggressive attempt to finish the fight.
Salcido threw in a lot of headlocks as he got increasingly frustrated, but Nunez had a counter for that too, picking Salcido up across his shoulders in the 6th round. There was a bit of clutch-and-grab, but the intensity was high from beginning to end as Salcido never gave up pursuit, and never stopped getting popped with left hands from Nunez for trying.
Nunez took it on unanimous scores of 95-90, 98-87, and 98-89. Don’t waste too much time trying to figure out how to get there with one 10-8 round and another with alternating knockdowns… It’s Florida, man. Just check out the replay and enjoy the violence.
Jose Arellano UD-8 Oscar Alvarez
Lively action between two active but flawed boxers, as Jose Arellano and Oscar Alvarez took turns exploiting the openings each offered the other. Alvarez (9-2, 7 KO) didn’t have the best start, but found the range in the 3rd round. Arellano (11-1, 6 KO) kept retreating straight back, and Alvarez used his exceptional reach to punish him for it.
Arellano looked great when he could corner Alvarez or trap him against the ropes, while Alvarez did well using his length to jab and counter. Unfortunately for Alvarez, he only really had it his way for two or three rounds. It’s never good when you’re spending a lot of time shaking your head, trying to convince people you’re not actually bothered by all the punches you’ve taken. But, that’s how Alvarez spent most of the final rounds.
Official scores were 77-75, 78-74, 79-73 for Arellano. No complaints about the outcome, though the 79-73 card feels wide, as Alvarez had a pretty clear claim on the 3rd and 4th rounds, at least on my unofficial 78-74 scorecard.
Trevor Thonson UD-8 Willie Shaw
Trevor Thonson looked like the fun, dangerous fighter his formerly perfect knockout ratio might suggest in the 8th round, but most of this fight was a plodding affair largely dictated by the experienced and defensively inclined Willie Shaw.
Thonson (9-0, 8 KO) couldn’t stop Shaw, but no one else has, either. Shaw (14-6, 10 KO) did go down on a 2nd round flash knockdown, but never seemed at risk of getting stopped. He actually shook up Thonson in the 5th round on a left hook to the temple, but Shaw didn’t really press the opportunity.
Thonson did dial up the intensity in the final round, but went the distance for the first time in his career, taking the unanimous decision on 78-73, 80-71, 80-71 scores.