Daniel Valladares extended his winning streak but didn’t exactly bear the look of a still-relevant contender.
The former title challenger was steady if unspectacular in his Monterrey hometown, taking an eight-round, unanimous decision over countryman Gabriel Loranca. Scores were 80-71, 79-72 and 79-73 in favor of Valladares in a flyweight bout aired live Friday evening from Arena Jose Suliaman in Monterrey as part of the ESPN Knockout series in Latin America, also streaming live on the Probellum YouTube channel.
Valladares (26-3-1, 15KOs) was in control throughout the eight-round affair, which was fought a few pounds above the junior flyweight division where he normally campaigns. Loranca (4-5-1, 2KOs) offered a game challenge but was largely overmatched. The club-level boxer from Guadalajara dug a deeper hole for himself after losing a point in round five, though with Valladares coasting the finish line after pressing the action early in the contest.
Valladares has won his last four starts following Friday’s victory after hitting a rough career patch where he went 0-2-1 over a three-fight stretch. The earlier winless streak began with a four-round technical draw with then-IBF strawweight titlist Pedro Taduran, having since campaigned at junior flyweight and flyweight.
Opening the telecast, locally based Brandon Azael Romero earned a spirited six-round, unanimous decision over Hector Garcia (8-6, 5KOs) of Temoaya, Mexico. All three judges scored the contest 58-55 in favor of the 22-year-old Romero (12-2-1, 6KOs), who floored Garcia in the sixth and final round courtesy of a right hook, straight left combination.
Both bouts aired as part of a five-fight show featuring the IBF junior bantamweight title eliminator between Jade Bornea (16-0, 10KOs) and Mohammad Obbadi (22-1, 13KOs). The main event features local hero and former unified strawweight titlist Francisco ‘Chihuas’ Rodriguez (34-5-1, 24KOs) in a ten-round junior bantamweight battle versus Tijuana’s Arnulfo Salvador (15-1-1, 9KOs).
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox