Alberto Palmetta and Angelo Leo score impressive victories in Florida
Alberto Palmetta of Argentina kept his dream alive of becoming a contender at 147 pounds.
Palmetta won a hard-fought unanimous decision over Janelson Figueroa Wednesday night at the Whitesands (also known as the ProBox TV) Events Center in Plant City, Florida. Scores were 96-94, 96-94, and 97-93 for Palmetta, who improved to 19-2, 13 knockouts.
Figueroa was the more effective fighter from the opening bell, utilizing his reach and height to fight from distance and connect to Palmetta’s head.
Palmetta began to time Figueroa, finding openings to counter with left and right hands to the head. As Figueroa was the tactically better fighter, Palmetta utilized his savvy and brawn to back Figueroa up during many exchanges during the second half of the fight.
Towards the end of the fight, Palmetta was the more energetic fighter, initiating exchanges and varying his offense to connect with his series of punches and combinations.
The 33-year-old Palmetta, who is promoted by Sampson Lewkowicz, was coming off a unanimous decision loss to Jamal James in his previous fight on February 25. Prior to the loss to James, Palmetta had won 11 straight fights.
Figueroa, who lives and trains in Detroit, Michigan, falls to 17-2-1, 11 KOs. The 25-year-old is now winless in his last three fights, including a unanimous decision loss to Roiman Villa in his previous fight on September 9 of last year.
Both Palmetta and Figueroa had recently fought on Showtime programming, including the popular ShoBox series.
In the co-feature, Angelo Leo broke down Nicolas Polanco, winning by technical knockout in the ninth round.
Leo, who lives and trains in Las Vegas, Nevada, improved to 22-1, 10 KOs.
The 29-year-old Leo did not show any signs of ring rust from the opening bell, effectively boxing and outboxing Polanco throughout most of the fight. Polanco was game, and had spots where he did find success, but was not able to fend off the determined Leo, who was more effective in breaking Polanco down in each round.
Leo varied his offense, initiating exchanges behind a consistent jab, or leading with right hands followed by two and three-punch combinations to the head and body.
As the bout progressed into the middle rounds, Leo walked Polanco down, becoming more aggressive and sitting down more on his punches. Polanco would back away, finding in spurts, but only looking to land one punch.
During the eighth round, Polanco suffered an injury to his left arm. Polanco began favoring his left arm at the start of the ninth round, only utilizing his right arm to throw lead right hands. Polanco grimaced in pain, dropping twice to the canvas as Leo closed the distance between the two, throwing and landing right hands to the head.
Later in the round, referee Alicia Collins motioned for the ringside physician to check on Polanco’s left arm, assessing a possible dislocated shoulder injury. Collins waved the fight off at 1:59 to the chagrin of Polanco, who wanted to continue, despite the injury.
Leo, who recently Shakur Stevenson, Nonito Donaire, and Marlon Tapales, had not fought since June 2019, defeating Aaron Alameda of Mexico by unanimous decision. Leo was promoted by Mayweather Promotions, but Leo decided to wait out his contract, which expired in December of 2022. Since then, Leo signed a promotional deal with ProBox TV, which promised him to keep him active, something he has wanted.
Leo won the vacant WBO world junior featherweight title in August 2020, defeating Tramaine Williams by unanimous decision. Leo would then make his first title defense against Stephen Fulton, against whom he would lose by unanimous decision almost six months later.
Polanco, who resides in the Dominican Republic, falls to 20-5-1 1 NC, 11 KOs.
In the opening bout of the ProBox TV, featherweight Mykell Gamble of Cincinnati, Ohio knocked out Brazil’s Carlos Dos Santos Rocha (3-2, 2 KOs) at 2:01 of the opening round.
Gamble, who improved to 6-0, 4 KOs, recently sparred with Ring welterweight champion Terence Crawford, unbeaten lightweight contender Shakur Stevenson and former WBO world junior lightweight titleholder Jamel Herring.
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]