Photos by Sumio Yamada
STEVEN LUEVANO vs BAUDEL CARDENAS
A staple on the Telefutura network, southpaw featherweight Steven Luevano returns this Friday with a 12-rounder against durable Mexican Baudel Cardenas.
This will be Luevanos third fight since losing his unbeaten record on a unanimous decision to the rougher, tougher Martin Honorio last November.
Cardenas is a tough journeyman sort who was stopped twice early in his career six years ago but since then his four losses have been on points. He made a game showing against Martin Honorio in August, losing a unanimous decision. Even though Cardenas got dropped in the first and third rounds he was competitive and landed plenty of punches even getting credit for scoring a knockdown although Honorio seemed to slip. The Telefutura scorecard was a draw, which is an indication of how well Cardenas rallied after the unpromising beginning.
It would seem reasonable to think that Luevano will be going into the fight to try to go one better than Honorio by stopping Cardenas, to try to look really good. I am not sure that this is Stevens way, though. He just likes to box nicely, keep winning rounds, using the jab, shooting in the hard straight left hand from his southpaw posture. If he is not under pressure he seems quite content to box his way to a stylish win on points. Even his manager, Cameron Dunkin, will tell you that Luevano is just too nice.
Luevano has talent and with his impressive 31-1 record (just 14 stoppages) it seems very surprising, in this day and age, that he has not yet boxed for a world title.
I think that a decisive, inside-the-distance win over Cardenas would help Luevano. He could get such a result because Cardenas, although tough and gritty, is likely to be right in front of him. What will probably happen, though, is that Luevano will sit Cardenas down a couple of times with left hands in the early rounds, then box his way to a unanimous decision.