Luis Franco, Lateef Kayode Win Hard-Fought Decisions
By German Villasenor (Feb 5, 2011) Doghouse Boxing (All Photos © Tom Casino / SHOWTIME)
Cuban speedster Luis “La Estrella” Franco, 9-0 (5), won his biggest fight to date by winning a grueling, hard-fought ten-round split-decision featherweight war against Mexico's KO artist Leonilo “Veneno” Miranda, 32-3 (30), in Friday night's “ShoBox: The New Generation” main event at the Chumash Casino in Santa Ynez, California.

Miranda charged forward for the majority of the bout, throwing hooks and employing an effective but underused jab. However, Miranda was inconsistent with his attack, something the Cuban used to his advantage when finding himself in trouble, which was very often, getting rocked with multiple left hooks, body shots and uppercuts. Franco also showed a very good chin but did get rocked at times. However, Miranda failed to capitalize on his opportunities after hurting Franco, who stood in front of his man instead of using body and head movement to avoid the heavy leather coming his way.

Franco did showed grit and courage under fire, firing back quick combos, which must have caught he judges’ eyes enough to nab him a split decision win.

Scores were 96-94 for Miranda, with 97-93 and 96-94 going Franco's way for the decision win.

Kayode Decisions Iannuzzi in Ten

In the co-featured fight, Nigerian cruiserweight Lateef “Power” Kayode looked less than spectacular in struggling to win a ten-round decision against Nicholas Iannuzzi, 16-2 (9), via unanimous decision.

Kayode, a methodical fighter, seemingly possessing only one gear, is too mechanical in his delivery of punches. Despite looking like a Greek statue, perhaps more work on his stamina is in order, as Kayode would begin to fade badly from the sixth round on, looking completely spent in-between rounds for the remainder of the bout.

Iannuzzi moved well to the sides, displayed good hand speed and was a game fighter. Despite throwing sloppy combinations, “The Showstopper” gave Kayode all he could handle through the ten-round bout. Iannuzzi took hard shots, covering up well and returning some very nice right hands and uppercuts, which momentarily rattled the Nigerian.

Iannuzzi would lose a point at the end of the fight, throwing a retaliatory punch on the break as the bell signaled the end of the bout.

Scores were all over the map at 98-91, 97-92 and 95-94 for Kayode, who remained undefeated at 16-0 with 14KOs.

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