On Thursday, August 22, 2019, live from Fantasy Springs Resort and Casino in Indio, California, Luis Feliciano turned in a dominating, but hard earned unanimous decision victory against fellow unbeaten prospect Genaro Gamez.
Feliciano secured his first version of a title belt in winning the NABF Junior Lightweight strap by scores of 98-92 twice and 99-91 against his game opponent who walked through fire in a spirited attempt to give as good as he got.
The clash of unbeaten prospects was presented by Golden Boy Promotions as part of their Golden Boy/DAZN Thursday Night Fight series and streamed live on Facebook Watch, RingTVLive.com and regional sports networks around the country.
The bout proved entertaining and exciting with a constant ebb and flow of action between the fighters who came out tentatively in the first minute and increased in intensity throughout.
As the opening rounds progressed, Gamez tried to impose his fight and pace with hard punches in combination, while Feliciano weathered the rough patches between a tight guard and began setting up sharp counter fire.
As Gamez continued moving forward, Feliciano found his range and his jab. He began to pick apart Gamez with hard straight blows, while sneaking in hooks behind the guard.
Feliciano began to take some of the steam and precision off of Gamez with hard jabs and hooks to the midsection as he took control of the center of the ring and began walking down the valiant Gamez who pressed forward with punches in bunches.
Gamez’s chin was on display as his face started to bust up from the crisp shots of Feliciano.
He began fighting in spurts with short, wider flurries and hard single shots to the body and head.
As the action progressed into the middle rounds Gamez was hurt on multiple occasions to the body while the fight regularly shifted from mid range to phone booth exchanges, most of which were arguably won by the precision-minded Feliciano.
The continued assault had the normally seek-and-destroy minded Gamez boxing defensively on the back foot to little success as Feliciano continued to patiently outwork and outland him.
Towards the end of the seventh round, an accidental low blow dropped Gamez, who took some time to recover and gather himself, resetting his aggression and forcing his way inside with a rejuvenated sense of urgency to close the round as he sought to change the tide through the eighth.
He found success with hard single shots on the inside and over the top, while occasionally getting the better of exchanges and perhaps arguably taking the round. But ultimately he found himself in the position of taking multiple shots to give one.
Unfortunately for Gamez, the accumulation of shots and fatigue setting in continued to hamper his ability to put together effective combinations to stop or hurt his opponent.
Feliciano continued to walk him down and began to show off a bit more of his arsenal. Mixing his combinations and punch selection up with an array of straights, uppercuts and hooks down the middle and behind the guard.
When the bell rang for the final round, Gamez came out pressing the action, possibly well aware he needed a knockout to win. Feliciano kept his composure and snapped his jab and right hand to stop and break any rhythm Gamez tried to build.
In the closing stanza of the fight, both fighters threw caution to the wind and exchanged until the sound of the final bell.
After a hard fought battle, Luis Feliciano was the victor by unanimous decision.
In his post fight interview, Feliciano commended his game opponent for a good fight and also spoke about his excitement for his progression from prospect to contender in the division and his commitment to learn and improve through experience.
“It was a very tough fight,” said Feliciano. “I knew he was going to come ready. A lot of people were criticizing him because of his problems in the past. But I knew he would come 100 percent, and he did. I’m taking these tough fights like these because I want to go from prospect to contender status.”