In an intriguing step up in competition, undefeated up-and-comer Brandun Lee (25-0, 22 KOs) took on the test of Zachary Ochoa (21-3, 7 KOs) of Brooklyn.
For Lee, this was a fight that could show the world that he is ready for the big-name fights in the Super Lightweight division and maybe even find himself fighting for a world title, should he look impressive over Ochoa.
For Ochoa, a win over a highly-touted young fighter could put him in a position for more significant paydays and right in the mix for Super Lightweight gold.
As both fighters sized each other one last time before the opening bell, it was Lee who appeared the slightly larger man. The opening sequences showed Lee being the aggressor and pressing Ochoa onto his backfoot, a sign of what was to come for most of the fight.
Lee did a fine job looking for openings and letting his hands go in the early rounds, while Ochoa remained calm and seemed content waiting for Lee to throw first in the exchanges. The La Quinta native continued to press forward, but failed to cut off the ring at times to corner Ochoa and have him in less-than-ideal situations.
Ochoa lacked the output for most of the rounds to really steal them from Lee. When Ochoa did decide to throw, it was Lee who landed the cleaner leather.
The fight went the distance, with Lee seemingly pitching a shutout on my ringside viewers’ unofficial scoring and the judges seemed to think similarly. The final scorecards read 100-92, 99-91 and 99-91, all in favor of Brandun Lee, who easily earned the unanimous decision.
With this victory, Lee catapults himself into the contender position and will likely wait and see what undisputed champion Josh Taylor elects to do with his belts. Should Taylor vacate and move up in weight, it leaves Lee in a sweet spot to fight for one of the coveted titles in the division.