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Souleymane Cissokho trades knockdowns with Roberto Valenzuela Jr., wins lopsided decision

Cissokho vs. Valenzuela on the Roman Gonzalez-Julio Cesar Martinez undercard in San Diego. Photo by German Villasenor
Fighters Network

SAN DIEGO – Junior middleweight prospect Souleymane Cissokho overcame a knockdown to defeat Roberto Valenzuela, Jr. by unanimous decision on the Roman Gonzalez-Julio Cesar Martinez undercard on Saturday at Pechanga Arena.

Scores were 99-91, 99-91, and 100-90 for Cissokho, who improves to 15-0 (9 knockouts).

Cissokho, who is originally from Senegal and now resides in Bagolet, France, worked from the outside, mixing his attack, including throwing and landing lead right hands to Valenzuela’s body. Valenzuela attempted to close the distance, but would walk into counter left hooks or right uppercuts to the head.

Early in Round 4, a right cross to the head hurt Cissokho. Valenzuela followed up with a barrage of punches, dropping Cissokho to the canvas, bringing the partisan crowd at the Pechanga Arena to their feet. Later in the round, Cissokho threw and landed a sweeping right cross to the head, dropping Valenzuela flat on his back. Valenzuela was able to beat the count and was able to get out of the round.

Both fighters had their moments during the second half of the fight, but Cissokho utilzied the better ring generalship and connected more punches. Cissokho would also use lateral movement to duck under Valenzuela’s wild hooks and crosses, following up with counter right hands to the head.

Valenzuela would occasionally stomp his foot on the canvas and motion for Cissokho to come forward, but Cissokho was content to work from the outside and outbox Valenzuela.

The 30-year-old Cissokho, who won a bronze medal for France at the 2016 Olympic Games, was coming off a fourth-round knockout win over Ismail Iliev on September 10. He has now won three of his last four bouts by knockout.

Valenzuela, who resides in Agua Prieta, Mexico, drops to 19-3 (19 KOs). The 22-year-old had won his previous eight bouts since losing by knockout to Alexis Rocha in December 2019.


Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 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 at FSalazarBoxing