MASHANTUCKET, Conn. Undefeated super featherweight prospect Joel Diaz Jr. extended his unblemished record with a unanimous decision victory in a tough fight with Tyler Asselstine in the main event of ShoBox: The New Generation on SHOWTIME® from Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Conn.
Diaz (16-0, 12 KOs) controlled the tempo of the fight and pocketed rounds in the beginning, landing and throwing more power shots. But the rugged and previously once-beaten Asselstine (14-2, 7 KOs) pushed Diaz past the seventh for the first time of his career and turned up the heat in the latter rounds. But it was too little, too late for the Canadian, who didn’t have the power or tools to overcome Diaz’s activity in the 10-rounder, which all three judges scored 97-92.
WATCH VIDEO REPLAY: Don’t Miss The Replay on Tuesday, May 20 at 10 p.m. ET/PT On SHOWTIME EXTREME.
The 22-year-old Diaz showed maturity and overcame adversity when he suffered the first cut of his career from an accidental clash of heads in the eighth.
“It was a learning experience,” Diaz said. “I wish I got hit less, but it was great to get the rounds in and go the full 10 for the first time. We’re going to go back to the gym and look at our mistakes. I could have thrown more punches, but I’m still undefeated.
“He was a hell of a fighter, but only the strong survive and that was us today.”
Asselstine, who was fighting for the first time at 130 pounds, was deducted a point for dropping his mouthpiece in the seventh – the third of four total offenses in the fight.
“I’m too small for 130, but I’m happy I took the fight because it was a great opportunity,” Asselstine said. “I fought a guy with 12 KOs in 15 fights and took everything he had. He’s strong, but I’m a 126, 122-type fighter. I loved the opportunity because it showed me what I can take.”
ShoBox expert analyst Steve Farhood was impressed with Diaz’s performance.
“He continued to attack against an opponent who was tough enough to take his punch,” Farhood said. “He’s only 22 and we have to give him time to develop, but this was a key and big step in his maturation.”
In the opening bout of the telecast, Frank Galarza kept his undefeated record intact won a unanimous decision victory over previously unbeaten Sebastien Bouchard, scored 77-74, 77-74, 78-73.
Galarza started out strong, establishing a sharp jab that frustrated the Canadian Bouchard. Bouchard (8-1, 2 KOs) had his moments later in the fight, but he didn’t have the power to hurt the slick Galarza (14-0-2, 9 KOs). The body work, jabs and power shots were the difference for “The Brooklyn Rocky,” who landed 53 percent of his power punches thrown.
“We got the job done,” Galarza said. “We showed our boxing ability, we showed our punching power. We tried not to waste any punches. We had a game plan and we executed the plan. He was a tough guy but we landed with ease.”
After repeated warnings, Galarza was deducted one point for a low blow in the eighth, a penalty that ultimately didn’t have an impact in the final results.
“We won maybe three of the eight rounds, plus the point deduction in the eighth, so it should have been a draw,” Bouchard said. The last judge wasn’t watching the fight. He was hard to hit and my right was hard to place because of his style.”
In other non-televised fights:
John Magda TKO 1 over David Courchaine
Kareem Martin Majority Draw with Azamat Umarzoda
Gervonta Davis TKO 2 over Joshua Arocho
Bryant Cruz W 6 over Osnell Charles
Friday’s fights will replay on Tuesday, May 20 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME EXTREME and will be available on SHOWTIME ANYTIME and On Demand through June 13.
Barry Tompkins called the ShoBox action from ringside with Farhood and former World Champion Raul Marquez serving as expert analysts. The executive producer was Gordon Hall with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.
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