Freudis Rojas Jr. heard the judges’ scorecards for the first time in his young career.
There was no drama when he arrived to that point, as the second-generation boxer scored a landslide unanimous decision over Saul Bustos. Rojas won by scores of 79-73, 79-73 and 80-72 in the opening bout of a Showtime-aired ShoBox tripleheader Friday from Boeing Center at Tech Port in San Antonio, Texas.
Rojas used the early rounds to remind the world that his perfect knockout-to-win ratio doesn’t mean he can’t box. The 6’2” welterweight—whose father boxed earlier this century—put his massive height and reach advantage to good use and kept Bustos at the end of his long, right jab. Bustos was breathing heavy after two rounds and struggled to work his way inside.
Combination punching was offered by Rojas in round three, who threw a hard, straight left hand behind his jab. Bustos was short with his jab and consistently beaten to the punch. Both fighters were warned by referee Ellis Johnson to keep it clean after they both fell to the canvas late in the round.
Bustos used a lead right hand to close the gap in round five. The Los Angeles-based boxer landed singular body shots which were immediately countered by Rojas, who used lateral movement to set up his power punches.
Rojas stuck with the jab but was forced to fend off an oncoming Bustos who landed with greater regularity in round six. The success came at a price for Bustos, who had to convince the doctor that he could continue after he twisted his left ankle after he stepped on Rojas’ right foot.
The injury didn’t seem to be a factor more so than Bustos struggled to breathe through what appeared to be a broken nose. Rojas barely had to veer from his primary game plan to stick his jab and offer subtle movement to set up his left hand power shot.
Rojas left his corner to enter the eighth round for the first time in his career. He didn’t show any signs of slowing down, though Bustos managed to land a pair of body shots and a right hand as the fight approached the final minute. Rojas shrugged off the sequence and found his range to return to the jab down the stretch.
Bustos fell to 15-2-1 (8KOs) as he suffered his second straight defeat.
Rojas’ eleven-fight knockout streak ended though the eight-round win was his finest performance to date. He improved to 12-0 (11KOs) with the win, which came two months after a seventh-round stoppage of Diego Santiago Sanchez on a July 15 Showtime tripleheader in his birth town of Las Vegas, where has returned upon the relocation of trainer Kay Koroma’s training facility.
Headlining the show, Panama’s Rafael Pedroza (15-0, 11KOs) faces local featherweight Ramon Cardenas (22-1, 10KOs) in a scheduled ten-round regional title fight.