Alex Saucedo reflects on coming back from adversity in bloody war vs. Lenny Zappavigna

first_img“Abel Sanchez would tell me to not be lazy with your jab because this guy is very good with his right hand and that’s what he’s going to try and do,” Saucedo told Sporting News. “And that’s exactly what happened in the fourth round. I came out in the first three rounds and I was putting my hands on him. And that fourth round, I got lazy. I threw a lazy jab and got caught with an overhand right hand and it stunned me.” MORE: Join DAZN and watch the Jarrell Miller vs. Bogdan Dinu fightAnd it nearly cost him the fight.”I was hurt,” Saucedo said in reflection. “I was getting hit, but I was surviving.”Saucedo weathered the storm to regain control.”I came back in the fifth round very strong,” he said, “and then was able to stop him in the seventh.” With blood gushing down their faces, chests and trunks, Saucedo and Zappavigna duked it out during the fifth and sixth rounds before Zappavigna’s corner threw in the towel at the 2:31 mark of the seventh due to the pugilist’s left eye nearly being shut and the gruesome cut over his right eye. Surviving the hardest battle of his career led Saucedo to garner his first major world title shot; he will challenge WBO junior welterweight champion Maurice Hooker (24-0-3, 16 KOs) on Friday night in Saucedo’s hometown, Oklahoma City. With blood pouring down his face and absorbing punishment that would have sent 99 percent of fighters down to the canvas in that fourth round, Saucedo somehow fought back. After winning, he watched the fight, and the fourth round in particular, many times. Every time he has watched it, he comes away with the same conclusion — that there’s was no way the referee would stop it.”I was in no fear and I knew I could survive that,” Saucedo said. “I remember looking [at] the referee and telling him with my eyes that I’m OK and it was just a punch. I believe the referee seen that I was OK. In my mind, I knew Lenny was leaving it out there. I remember his face after the fight. He had seven different cuts from both of his eyes. That was his survival round. He tried to survive that round. He threw everything he had. I just survived it, too, and I came back stronger in the next round and I was able to stop him.” That fight showed the world Saucedo (28-0, 18 KOs) has the heart of a champion, is willing to put it all on the line and go through the depths of despair to reach the ultimate goal of becoming a world champion. “Coming back from adversity is something that you’re born with because I’ve always had that,” Saucedo said. “Being a boxer, I know that you risk your life going in the ring. You risk a lot of things going in there. Anything can happen. You can lose an eye, a broken jaw. There’s so many things that can happen in the ring. As a fighter, you have to know what you’re going into. I think that’s one of the things about me that I know — I give my all every time I walk into the ring.” Everything was going Alex Saucedo’s way heading into the fourth round of his June tilt against Lenny Zappavigna. He had opened up a deep cut over Zappavigna’s right eye in the second round and sent his opponent down to the canvas with a thudding counterpunch in the third round. Somehow, not only did Zappavigna manage to survive the round, he slugged it out with Saucedo for the remainder of the frame.That paved the way for a firefight to break out during the fourth round. Saucedo’s head trainer, Abel Sanchez, warned his pupil to stay crisp with the jab because if he didn’t, then Zappavigna would make him pay for it.  MORE: Join DAZN and watch the Jarrell Miller vs. Bogdan Dinu fightHooker said in a press release to formally announce the fight that he’s going to punch Saucedo right “in the mouth, Mexican style.” If Saucedo has to go through hell one more time, he’s more than ready to knuckle up and bring home the WBO belt. “I’m going to be ready for Nov. 16 for anything he brings to the ring,” Saucedo said. “If he wants to box, I will box. If he wants to fight, then I will be 100 percent ready to do the same. I’m going to give the fans a great show because I’m undefeated in 28 fights, and if you look at all of those 28 fights, I’ve never been in a boring fight. I’m going to give everyone their money’s worth.”last_img