Christopher Diaz outboxes Jason Sanchez, wins unanimous decision
Christopher Diaz outboxed Jason Sanchez over 10 competitive rounds to win by unanimous decision Tuesday night at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Scores were 98-92, 98-92, and 97-93 for Diaz, who improves to 26-2, 16 knockouts.
The clash between Diaz and Sanchez was a crossroads bout between former world title challengers. Diaz, who resides in Barranquitas, Puerto Rico, suffered his first loss as a pro when he lost to Masayuki Ito for a vacant junior lightweight world title in July 2018. His other defeat came at the hands of Shakur Stevenson on April 20 of last year.
In his last bout on January 18, Diaz defeated Adeilson Dos Santos over eight one-sided rounds.
Sanchez challenged then-WBO featherweight titleholder Oscar Valdez on June 8 of last year, losing by unanimous decision. He rebounded from the loss in his last bout on October 26 by knocking out Dos Santos in round 4.
From the opening bell, Diaz asserted himself by putting Sanchez on the defensive. As the bout progressed, Diaz landed lead or counter right hands to the head of Sanchez, whose lack of head movement made it easy for him to be hit during the first half of the fight.
Diaz finally let his hands go more frequency in round 6. While he did find more success than during the earlier rounds, he would still get outboxed by Diaz. Sanchez did connect more punches during the final two rounds, but Diaz had built a comfortable lead by winning the earlier rounds.
During a break in the action in round 10, Diaz yelled to a Top Rank representative about putting together a fight against Jessie Magdaleno.
According to CompuBox numbers, Diaz landed 116 of 372 punches (31 percent). Sanchez threw 443 total punches, but landed 115 of them (26 percent).
“I can fight at featherweight, or I can make 122 pounds,” said Diaz, who is trained by Freddie Roach. “I’m ready for a big fight in either weight division. I am a completely different and improved fighter from the one who fought Shakur Stevenson last year.”
“I worked on my power in the gym. My coaches, Nelson Rodriguez and Freddie Roach, got me ready for tonight. I’m ready for a big fight now. This is the new Christopher Diaz.”
Sanchez, who resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico, drops to 15-2, 8 KOs.
In a clash of unbeaten lightweight prospects, Miguel Contreras of Bakersfield, California defeated Rolando Vargas by unanimous decision.
All three judges scored the bout 58-56 in favor of Contreras, who improves to 11-0, 6 KOs.
Contreras found success landing sharp left-right combinations, beating Vargas to the punch during the first half of the fight. Sensing he was down late in the fight, Vargas increased his punch output, but had dug himself a hole from losing the earlier rounds.
Vargas, who resides in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, drops to 5-1, 5 KOs.
In the opening bout of the ESPN telecast, heavyweight Helaman Olguin of South Jordan, Utah defeated previously-unbeaten Adam Stewart by majority-decision. One judge scored the bout 57-57, while the other two judges scored the bout 58-56 for Olguin (8-3, 3 KOs), who has now won his last seven bouts.
Stewart, who resides in Phoenix, Arizona, drops to 8-1-1, 5 KOs.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring 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, Boxingscene.com, and FightNights.com. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing