Frank Sanchez vs Nagy Aguilera produced the expected results on Saturday night, but not in the expected manner as the Cuban heavyweight prospect prevailed by a controversial technical decision.
Sanchez (now 18-0 with 13 inside distance) won on the scorecards after Aguilera was unable to continue when a punch skimmed his shoulder and grazed the back of his head in Round 6. Much to the frustration of the huge crowd assembled for the Canelo vs Saunders showdown at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Sanchez started fast, moving well with fluidity, and stiffened Aguilera’s legs in the first 40 seconds with a cracking right hand which landed flush. At this stage the over/under – set at 3.5 rounds by Vegas sportsbooks – looked about right.
But Aguilera, who had fought just once in almost four years coming into this one, regained his composure and avoided any further major issues for the remainder of the opening session.
Round 2 was better for the 34-year-old Aguilera (now 21-11), who defended smartly and occasionally kept Sanchez honest with a stiff left jab. Frank, for his part, continued to use the jab to tee up that big right hand, and mixed it in with hooks and the occasional uppercut.
Sanchez vs Aguilera analysis
Aguilera almost paid a heavy price for losing concentration early in the third. He turned to complain to the referee about being hit behind the head. As he did so, Sanchez clobbered him flush with a right hand. Luckily for Aguilera it connected with more neck than chin.
This angered Nagy, and he really stepped up his game for the remainder of the round, showing much more energy and starting to push Sanchez back a little.
Aguilera continued in the fourth to try and push Sanchez back, coming forward and leading with that stiff jab. Sanchez landed a couple of nice right counters, but failed to really show any variety in his punches. Bar one uppercut, there was nothing to the body.
Sanchez did mix in more body shots early in Round 5 but then reverted to type and tried to tee up the big right hand. Aguilera again showed good movement as he put up a very respectable effort. Frank finished the round strong with a nice flurry.
Bizarre end to the night
What was becoming a frustrating night for Sanchez ended abruptly midway through the sixth. Aguilera complained and fell to the canvas after a cuffing shot from Frank skimmed the shoulder of Aguilera and grazed the back of his head.
Was this punch by Frank Sanchez behind the head? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/BTLafDijRN
— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) May 9, 2021
The ring doctor decided Aguilera could not continue and the fight went to the scorecards after what was deemed an unintentional foul. It appeared Aguilera’s shoulder was hurt more than the back of his head.
All three judges scored identically at 60-54 for Sanchez, giving ‘The Cuban Flash’ every round. The huge crowd booed, apparently unimpressed by Aguilera’s antics.
Sanchez, much avoided by the heavyweight division, will now continue his education and hopefully step up in class. The 28-year-old is ranked in the top 15 by three of the four sanctioning bodies, as high as #6 by the WBO.