Axel Aragon and Henry Lebron notch wins on Friday night
Axel Aragon notched the biggest win of his career, defeating Saul Juarez by unanimous decision Friday night at Osceola Heritage Park, in Kissimmee, Florida.
Scores were 100-90 twice and 98-92 for Aragon, who improves to 14-3-1 with 8 knockouts.
The junior flyweight bout between Aragon and Juarez was a clash between former world title challengers. In his previous fight on October 26, Aragon challenged WBO strawweight titleholder Wilfredo Mendez, losing by technical decision. At the time of the stoppage, seconds into Round 7, Aragon was up on one of the judges’ scorecards. The fight was a rematch of their September 2018 clash, which Mendez won by unanimous decision.
Juarez most recently fought on February 21, losing a unanimous decision to Jonathan Gonzalez of Puerto Rico. The 29-year-old challenged WBC junior flyweight titleholder Kenshiro Teraji in December 2018, losing by unanimous decision. In one of his best outings as a pro, Juarez lost a close unanimous decision to longtime WBC strawweight titleholder Chayaphon Moonsri four years ago this month.
Aragon was the aggressor from the opening bell, closing the distance between the two and putting Juarez on the defensive. Aragon thought he scored a knockdown with about 30 seconds remaining in the first round but it was ruled that Juarez went down from a push rather than a punch. Replays showed a punch did land on Juarez’s chin however.
Aragon continued to initiate exchanges throughout much of the first half of the fight. His relentless pressure forced Juarez to back up against the ropes, while connecting with hard lead or counter right crosses upstairs, some of which momentarily stunned Juarez.
After getting outboxed for much of Round 5, Aragon unloaded a vicious right hand that hurt Juarez seconds from the conclusion of the round. Juarez held on and prevented Aragon from following up.
As the fight entered its second half, Aragon’s punch output diminished and he attacked mostly in spurts. Juarez worked from the center of the ring, working behind a steady amount of jabs, followed by single shots and two-punch combinations.
Sensing the fight was up for grabs during the final two rounds, Aragon found his second wind, throwing more punches and countering Juarez with right hands to the head.
Aragon believes a win over Juarez will open more opportunities, including a shot at a major title against any of the beltholders at 108 pounds.
“It was a great fight,” said Aragon, who resides in Ensenada, Mexico. “My opponent was prepared for this fight. He lasted 10 rounds. I thought I had him hurt during the third round when I landed a right uppercut to the head but he had experience on his side. He’s a good fighter.
“The win is very important because we want to become a world champion and we’re looking for that opportunity. I think we’re on the right path.”
Juarez, who resides in Mexico City, drops to 25-12-2 with 13 KOs.
In the eight-round co-feature, featherweight prospect Henry Lebron defeated Luis Porozo by unanimous decision.
Scores were 80-71 twice and 79-72 for Lebron, who improves to 13-0 with 9 KOs.
The southpaw Lebron overcame an accidental clash of heads that opened a cut above his left eye early in Round 2. Lebron, who resides in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, got on the inside of Porozo’s longer reach to connect with several lead and counter left hands to the head and body. Porozo was deducted a point late in Round 5 for hitting Lebron behind the head after already being warned several times earlier in the fight.
The 30-year-old Porozo, who resides in Santo Domingo, Ecuador, falls to 15-4 with 8 KOs and has now lost four of his last five bouts.
Interestingly enough, Porozo lost to unbeaten featherweight prospect Orlando Gonzalez, Lebron’s older cousin, by unanimous decision in his previous fight on June 25.
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 (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @FSalazarBoxing.
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