Luis Nery (left) alongside McJoe Arroyo at the weigh-in for their March 16 fight. (Photo by James Smith – Dallas cowboys)
After the Arreola-Augustin heavyweight opener, it was time for some bantamweight action on the Spence-Garcia PPV card. Southpaws McJoe Arroyo and Luis Nery added another fight to the “Mexico vs. Puerto Rico” rivalry at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. In this chapter, it was all Mexico.
Nery, the former WBC bantamweight titlist, pressed the action from the opening bell. The Tijuana native has had controversy in recent years, losing his title after testing positive for a banned substance in 2017 and failing to make weight in a title challenge in 2018. But he dominated tonight, dropping Arroyo with a straight left hand early in the second round. It wasn’t a hard shot, but the Puerto Rican was lunging in off-balance and his glove touched the canvas after the shot landed. Arroyo wasn’t badly hurt, but he appeared to be getting the worse of the exchanges early on. He was giving it his all, but the Mexican was just too strong.
In the closing seconds of the fourth round, Arroyo was down again. He made it to his feet but was dropped once more at the close of the round. Wisely, his corner told referee Laurence Cole that they were through. Cole officially waved off the action before the start of the fifth round, giving Nery the TKO 4 win.
Nery improves to 29-0 (23 KOs) and figures to be in the title mix again very soon. He made 118 pounds in his United States debut (although he stripped naked to do so) and has now stopped his last 10 opponents. “I’m happy to start on the right foot here in my U.S. debut and show everyone I’m still the best,” he said. “We’re going to train hard and hopefully by June, we’ll have the belt back.”
For Arroyo, he’s now lost three of his last four and appears to be at a crossroads in his career. “I have to respect my opponent,” he said. “This isn’t the end of my career. I’ve seen him fight before, but I was surprised by his power. It was his night tonight.”
Punch stats tell the story. According to CompuBox, Nery landed 87 of 257 total punches (34 percent), compared to just 36 of 243 (15 percent) for Arroyo.
Michael Montero can be found on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram via @MonteroOnBoxing. His weekly podcast ‘The Neutral Corner’ can be heard on iTunes, Spotify, and everywhere podcasts are found.
No posts found.
No posts found.