Alex Saucedo stops Lenny Zappavigna in brutal seven round slugfest

Alex Saucedo v Johnny Garcia

Alex Saucedo and Lenny Zappavigna put on a show last night in Oklahoma City with Saucedo winning via TKO in what many are calling the fight of the year.

Zappavigna’s corner threw in the towel with 2:31 remaining of the seventh round, saving their battered and bloodied fighter from suffering further punishment.

The fourth round of the contest must be highlighted as a potential round of the year candidate, as Saucedo was hit by a flurry of rapid headshots that nearly knocked the Mexican fighter clean out.

Saucedo (28-0, 18 KOs) dropped Zappavigna (37-4, 27 KOs) in the third round, but the determined Australian bounced back strongly and finished on top.

The 24-year-old Saucedo suffered a large cut just above his right eye during Zappavigna’s onslaught in the fourth round but returned the favour in both the fifth and sixth rounds where the ringside doctor had to take a long look at the Australian’s cuts and swelling around both of his eyes.

By the end of the sixth round, Zappavigna had obvious problems with his vision but to his he credit he battled on bravely.

The deciding blows came about when Saucedo mercilessly pummelled the Australian with continuous head shots at which point Zappavigna’s trainer rightfully threw in the towel.

But have a look at the fourth round in the video below, how both men were able to survive three more rounds we do not know.

After the brutal contest was decided, Zappavigna spoke to the media regarding his current state of health and future in the ring.

“I hurt him, but my cuts were really bad. I had blood in my eyes. No excuses,” he said.

“The kid is a warrior. I hope he becomes world champion.

“I did my best. Now I’ll go home (to Australia). I have to think about things. We’ll see what the future holds. The cuts are an issue.”

He has since announced his retirement from boxing. The 30-year-old Australian certainly entertained during his up-and-down career and in many ways, left one of his best performances for his curtain call. He ends his career 37-5, 27 KOs.

Michael Conlan and Alex Saucedo Media Workout

In total, Saucedo landed 254 punches from 542 he threw, for a 47% execution rate, with Zappavigna lagging behind with just a 28% shot success rate; 143 in 506.

Mexican-born Saucedo, who was fighting in his hometown, will likely be made the WBO’s mandatory challenger to 140-pound champion Maurice Hooker, according to his promoter, Bob Arum.

“This is just the beginning of the story, on to bigger things now,” Saucedo said after the slugfest.

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