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Demond Brock wins hard-fought decision over Blanco

Photo credit: Kristopher Rivera/El Paso Times

LAS VEGAS – Demond Brock wanted to pay homage to Roy Jones Jr., his new trainer, Friday night.

A shimmy here, a shimmy there.

While Brock did plenty of that, he also had to grind out enough to take home a victory.

Brock won a hard-fought 10-round split decision victory over Reynaldo Blanco at the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center.

Brock improves to 13-3-1 (4 knockouts). Blanco falls to 13-3 (7 KOs).

Much has been mentioned about Brock serving almost 15 years in a Louisiana State penitentiary for armed robbery. More relevant on Friday was Brock’s improved skill-set, which has been enhanced by Jones.

Both fighters had their moments in the opening rounds. As the fight continued into the middle rounds, Brock effectively mixed his attack.

Whether it was walking Blanco down or looking to counter to the head, Brock was effective at landing upstairs. The amount of blows caused massive swelling around the eyes of Blanco, who entered the fight having won his previous six bouts.

As the fight entered the final stanzas, sensing he was down on the scorecards, Blanco was able to rain down a combination on the shorter Brock.

But Brock was busier and the more effective fighter in the 10th and final round.

One judge scored the bout 97-93 in favor of Blanco, while the other judges scored the bout 96-94 in favor of Brock.

“He was a gritty guy,” said Brock after the fight. “He came to here tonight to prove a point. Those guys from Puerto Rico are tough.”

Blanco is originally from the Dominican Republic, but now resides in Puerto Rico.

“I did what I had to do,” said Brock. “I executed my game plan tonight.”

Asked what grade he would give Brock, Jones responded, “B-plus. I’m proud of him, but there’s things we need to work on.”

Gonzalez upsets Cruz

In a minor upset, junior middleweight Norberto Gonzalez won a hard-fought eight-round split decision over Daniel Rosario Cruz.

Gonzalez improves to 23-8 (13 KOs) while Cruz falls to 11-2 (10 KOs).

Cruz dropped Gonzalez with a barrage of punches midway through the second round. Gonzalez was not visibly hurt and even fought well to end the round.

Gonzalez was successful in throwing and landing lead hooks and crosses to Cruz’s head during the middle rounds, but he did so in spots.

Referee Kenny Bayless spent more time breaking up the fighters as they clenched on the inside during the second half of the fight. That was likely Cruz’s downfall as he looked to land one punch while Gonzalez pressed the action during the final three rounds of the fight.

One judge scored the bout 77-74 in favor of Cruz, while the other two judges scored the bout 76-75 in favor of Gonzalez.

“I knew he hit hard, but I had to fight through it to come out victorious,” said Gonzalez after the fight.

Moreno stops Perales

Junior lightweight prospect Randy Moreno broke down Daniel Perales before the fight was mercifully stopped at 1:37 of the fourth round.

Moreno improved to 7-0 (6 KOs) while Perales dropped to 7-6-1 (4 KOs).

Moreno was in control from the opening bell, repeatedly beating Perales to the punch. As the bout progressed, Moreno mixed his attack, landing lead right hands or countering to Perales’ head with combinations.

Nothing Perales did was able to offset Moreno’s offense. As Moreno pinned Perales against the ropes in Round 4, Perales’ corner threw in the towel to save their fighter.

Francisco A. Salazar has written for RingTV since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper,, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing

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