Vincent “Vinsanity” Arroyo made the most of his return to the red corner by turning in a gritty 20 round unanimous decision win over Hector “El Flaco” Sanchez at the Grand Casino Hinckley in Hinckley, Minn on Friday. The scores were 98-92 twice and 96-94
In the evening’s co-feature, Lateef “Power” Kayode scored a unanimous decision victory by the scores of 98-92, 97-92 and 96-93 over Felix Cora, Jr.
After facing several touted prospects in a row Arroyo shed the underdog moniker and entered his first Showtime televised headliner from the red corner. This opportunity came after several impressive performances where he started slow but came on in the later rounds to impress. Tonight was no different.
The long jab and straight right of the 6-foot-2 Sanchez (19-2, 9 KOs) seemed to tell the story in the main event’s early rounds but Arroyo (12-1, 7 KOs) proved why he is one of the most determined prospects in the game as the fight unfolded.
Despite the lopsided scores, the two welterweights fought a close fight for 10 rounds. Unfazed by a cut over his eyebrow from the early rounds, the 5-foot-8 Arroyo repeatedly jabbed his way inside to pin Sanchez against the ropes and rip shots to his head and body. Conversely, the Puerto Rican amateur standout tried to use his height, tag Arroyo from range and catch him coming in.
Both men achieved success at times but it was 24-year-old Arroyo who was the busier and hungrier fighter. The scrappy boxer-brawler from Buffalo landed the hardest shots in the fight and none more significant than an eighth round left hook that badly rocked Sanchez. Arroyo smelt blood and went for the kill with a barrage of everything he had left in the tank. Fortunately for Sanchez, Arroyo was running on empty by this point in the fight and Sanchez survived the round.
The tenth round drew cheers as the boxers exchanged tired but heavy blows until the final bell rang. Back in the red corner after three big wins in a row, Arroyo has proved himself a legitimate prospect and a TV-friendly fighter.
In an effort to become more of a boxer – instead of just a brute puncher, Kayode, (18-0, 14 KOs), of Hollywood, Calif., displayed more control than usual throughout the early rounds of the fight. After a head butt caused a cut on the left eye of Cora (22-6-2, 12 KOs), of Galveston, Tex., in the second session, Kayode began fighting in spurts. In the third round, the 6-foot-1 Kayode caught Cora, Jr. with a big right hand to the head but didn’t capitalize on the situation, a theme that continued throughout the 10-round cruiserweight tilt.
Instead of Kayode taking advantage of an opportunity to look good on his way to a world title shot, the 28-year-old Nigerian native stopped turning over his punches and began delivering looping slap punches that looked more like lazy right hooks than knockout shots. That, coupled with the lead left hand that Kayode carries dangerously low suggested that Kayode might have some trouble with championship level fighters.
Despite any fundamental issues, Kayode controlled the fight but Cora Jr., 31, made a late run by fighting more aggressively. Just before the final round, referee Steve Smoger deducted a point from Kayode for repeated low blows but it wasn’t enough to take away his points decision.
September 9, 2011