Friday, November 16th, 2018
The Chesapeake Energy Arena was buzzing with energy and excitement as Top Rank and ESPN brought world championship boxing back to Oklahoma City. The main event would see local fighter and fan favorite Alex Saucedo challenge Maurice Hooker for the WBO title.
Morales def. Lapizco
This was a solid match between two professionals. Both fighters were engaged and pressed into the fight to the end. Morales, however, had the visually apparent advantage as the heavier hitter and faster hands. Morales slowed down starting in Round 4 but the damage to Lapizco had already been done and he could not escape the inevitable defeat.
Guzman def. Castaneda
By Round 4, Castaneda was swinging and catching air, but it was clear from Round 1 that Guzman would have the speed and accuracy that would govern the pace of the bout. Guzman connected with a fairly devastating combination that bolstered his confidence, and he remained loose and kept his guard down for a good portion of Round 6.
Round 8 saw Castaneda land a heavy punch which rocked Guzman, and he capitalized on the stunned opponent and landed a knock down. Guzman survives the round, regains composure, and goes on to win the fight by unanimous decision.
Bell def. Padilla
Bell earned two early knockdowns in Round 1 as Padilla seemed almost underprepared for the fight, swinging wildly at times. Padilla recovers through the early rounds, but played defense as Bell continued to press on the offense.
Round 5 seemed to show a momentum switch as Bell looked as he was beginning to tire, and Padilla used the opportunity to land some great inside shots.
A brutal series of blowed from Bell caused for the referee to step in to end the fight at the end of Round 6, declaring Bell the winner and leaving him undefeated.
Howard def. Seldon
A massively built and heavy handed Howard came out swinging from the first bell, and connected with a blow across the jaw of Seldon, knocking him to the floor. Mere moments later, Howard delivered another heavy handed combination sending Seldon back to the mat where winced in pain and did not get back up, effectively ending the bout in the first round by KO.
Kavaliauskas def. Arriaza
The fight started off slowly as each fighter took their time, calculating their opponent, getting comfortable with their targets and exchanging a few strikes. As the fight progressed, each fighter exchanged momentum: Arriaza heavier strikes but shorter in sequence; Kavaliauskas faster but not as damaging.
Kavaliauskas had an answer for everything that Arriaza threw, leading to an eventual combination that sent Arriaza to the ground for a 3rd Round KO as the bell was moments from sounding.
Hooker def. Saucedo
The main event of the evening saw Oklahoma City’s own Alex Saucedo challenge Maurice Hooker for the title. Saucedo came out swinging with a pace as if to show he wanted to win the championship, and Hooker had a place like he wants to keep it.
A 2nd Round takedown by Saucedo left Hooker on the mat and the crowd erupting with chants of “O-K-C”, but Hooker recovered and turned up the heat to stun Saucedo towards the end of the round.
Round 4 found Hooker landing a few heavy shots to the face of Saucedo, bringing him to more of a defensive stance. This changed up in Round 5, however, with Saucedo taking Hooker to the ropes where both exchanged body shots, but the favor seemed to be with the local challenger.
Hooker landed some devastating shots in Round 6, and Saucedo slows quite a bit as he begins to bleed. By Round 7, Saucedo is absolutely rocked by hit after hit from the Champion, his guard left down and he was wide open for whatever Hooker wanted to connect with. With that, the referee steps in to wave off the fight, and Hooker retains the WBO Title.
(photo credit: Top Rank Boxing)