Under The Radar Fight Of The Year: Alan Sanchez vs. Saul Bustos
In front of a sold-out crowd at the Cache Creek Casino in Brooks, California, Paco Damian did it again with yet another outstanding show and a fitting tribute to his mentor Don Chargin, who he still puts the bill of his program and cards, as Alan Sanchez defeated the undefeated Saul Bustos for the WBA Fedecentro Welterweight title.
The difference was an experience. Bustos, a very good pressure fighter with an undefeated record, didn't have the experience Sanchez has had against world-class boxers like Luis Collazo and Pablo Cesar Cano. Despite Bustos coming on strong, especially in the ninth round, Sanchez was always able to answer. On this given night, Sanchez wasn't going to fold, and it was mostly seen in the tenth-and-final round in which Sanchez was cut over his eye.
The cut created a monster as he fought valiantly after adversity hit. Sanchez won a majority decision and now walks away with one of the biggest wins of his career.
Roberto Silva upset local favorite Blake “The Beast” McKernan at cruiserweight. The eight-round bout that was a split-decision in favor of Silva, the Texan coming to enemy soil was worthy of a rematch as McKernan showed a lot about himself in this fight. McKernan stabbed with a jab more than I have ever seen him do before, and when Silva's pressure in spurts would occur, McKernan never once folded; he fought back.
McKernan, a local innovator, who was ahead of the curve with social media and marketing, should have everyone's respect for how he faired in this bout, and I would like to see a rematch. To me, I felt McKernan maybe was dealing with something negative in terms of energy or thoughts during the fight, and I could've believed he might have been ahead in the fight as well. Nonetheless, a very exciting and competitive contest.
Featherweight Juan Miranda came to enemy soil and defeated the local favorite, Ivan Vergara. The fight was awkward before the fighters were waiting on each other. It seemed as though Vergara, who came in a tad over the contracted weight limit, got stronger later in the fight, winning the last two rounds, but the judges favored Miranda in the first four rounds.
Vergara was coming off a three-year layoff in which he lost to undefeated prospect Malikai Johnson of Sacramento, CA.
Not unlike the co-feature, I wouldn't be mad at a rematch, but for Juan Miranda to win in this manner and keep his undefeated record, I think he might look for bigger opportunities.
Outside of the main event, the man who stole the show was Kevin Montano of Concord, Ca, an exciting super featherweight who fought at the 2020 Olympic Trials as he beat Kevin Perez. It looked like Montano was a bit excited in there as he traded with Perez a lot, as he looked to make a good impression on the fans and promoters. The fight was exciting, and he gained a lot of experience, but I think in a few fights, he will merge this style into something that can prolong his career. Montano won a unanimous decision.
The opener, Federico Pacheco Jr, who weighed in at 273 lbs., got a four-round decision over Josue Vargas. The fight was tough as Pacheco, who turned pro fought a seven-fight veteran, who was tricky and awkward. Pacheco Jr. is trained by Jose Benavidez Sr. and is the brother of Diego Pacheco.