Saul Sanchez bounces back with KO victory over Franklin Gonzalez
Fringe bantamweight contender Saul Sanchez returned to the win column Wednesday night, dropping hard-hitting Franklin Gonzalez four times en route to a knockout win at the Whitesands (aka ProBox TV) Events Center in Plant City, Florida.
Sanchez, who resides in the Los Angeles suburb of Pacoima, improved to 19-2, 12 knockouts.
Both fighters had their moments during the first two rounds, trading combinations in the center of the ring. Gonzalez was able to connect with a series of punches in the first round but was stunned by a left hook from Sanchez. Gonzalez continued to stay in the pocket, which might have been his downfall.
From the third round on, Sanchez began breaking Gonzalez down. His accurate and effective punches began to slow down Gonzalez, who began fighting on his back foot.
About midway through the fourth round, a straight right hand to the body dropped Gonzalez to one knee in a corner. Gonzalez was able to beat the count but looked tired and winded as the fight progressed.
Sanchez continued controlling the fight in Round 5, eventually ending matters during the following round. About a minute into round six, a right-left combination to the body dropped Gonzalez, who beat the count, but was dropped a second time from a right to the body, followed by a barrage of punches. Gonzalez was able to beat the count again but dropped to the canvas from a hard left hook to the body, prompting referee Timothy Young to stop the fight at 2:03.
The 26-year-old had not fought since June 17 of last year, losing a 10-round split-decision to Eros Correa in a fight many thought Sanchez did enough to win. The loss to Correa snapped a string of six consecutive wins, including an impressive knockout win over Ja’Rico O’Quinn in September 2021. That fight took place on a ShoBox card.
Sanchez has been a staple of Thompson Boxing cards. Sanchez also fought twice recently on Boxeo Telemundo cards, notching first-round knockout victories over Daniel Lozano and Frank Gonzalez, respectively.
Gonzalez, who resides in Los Teques, Venezuela, falls to 25-3, 25 KOs. He previously fought on February 23, rallying late, but losing a split-decision to then-unbeaten Manuel Flores. Gonzalez was knocked down in the fifth round of that fight.
In the co-feature, lightweight Jonhatan Cardoso dropped Oscar Valdez once en route to a third-round knockout.
Cardoso was the dominant fighter from the opening bell, continuously landing with overhand and counter right crosses to the head of Alvarez. With about a minute left in the opening round, a right cross staggered Alvarez back into the ropes. Referee Michael DeJesus ruled the ropes held up Alvarez and administered a standing eight-count.
The 6-foot-3 boxer fought back, but his long and looping punches left him open to be countered to the head. Cardoso fought a disciplined fight, working from the center of the ring, and throwing two or three-punch combinations.
Early in the third round, an accidental clash of heads opened a cut over the right eye of Alvarez. The cut seemed to mentally affect Alvarez, who backed up more on his own as opposed to being walked down by Cardoso. Later in the round, a left hook staggered Alvarez, prompting Cardoso to follow and batter Alvarez. Although Alvarez fought back off the ropes, his corner threw in the towel, prompting referee Michael DeJesus to stop the fight at 1:56.
The 24-year-old Cardoso has now won his last two fights since losing by knockout to Juan Huertas on June 17 of last year.
Alvarez, who resides in Ciudad Obregon, Mexico, falls to 9-1, 7 KOs. The 19-year-old reportedly had an amateur record of 665-12.
In the opening bout of the ProBox TV card, junior lightweight Dominic Valle (6-0, 5 KOs) of nearby Lutz remained unbeaten, stopping Carlos Rosario in the sixth round.
Rosario was effective early on, connecting with uppercuts to the head of Valle. As the bout progressed, Valle began walking Rosario down. He increased his aggression and punch output, but utilized angles to find openings to connect with hooks and crosses to the head.
Valle did not let up into the second half of the fight, breaking Rosario down, especially with hooks to the body. Valle battered Rosario in the final round, who was in survival mode. With seconds left in the sixth round, a right cross hurt Rosario. Rosario attempted to fight back, but referee Christopher Young stopped the bout at 2:59.
Rosario, who is originally from Fajardo, Puerto Rico and now resides in Winter Haven, Florida, falls to 6-2, 3 KOs.
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 at [email protected]