Alex Saucedo scored a hard-earned junior welterweight victory over Sonny Fredrickson in the main event of Top Rank's card Tuesday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Saucedo set a quick pace from the start and constantly let both hands go, throwing 301 more punches than Fredrickson over the duration of the bout. Saucedo landed 146 more punches than his opponent and won by a wide margin on the cards, with the judges scoring it 100-90, 98-92 and 99-91.
"We worked on a lot of things in the gym," said Saucedo. "It was important for me to get the rounds in, and Sonny was a tough opponent."
The hard-hitting Saucedo (30-1, 19 KOs) is now under the helm of new trainer Pedro Neme. Early on, it was evident the changes that have been implemented. There was more head movement, better usage of the jab and tighter defense.
After getting shaken in the first round from an overhand right, it looked like Fredrickson (21-3, 14 KOs) wouldn't last long. But he gathered himself and had his moments, connecting time and time again in between Saucedo's flurry of punches. Fredrickson put up a strong effort, but he was simply overwhelmed by the pressure and volume of his opponent.
In this incredibly high-striking affair, Saucedo threw 885 punches, landing 318 of them. Fredrickson threw 584 punches, landing 172.
The constant pressure of Saucedo had Fredrickson backing up along the ropes for large segments of the fight. Fredrickson would take a steady barrage of punches from Saucedo, who planted left hooks to the body and overhand rights with consistency. But to the credit of Fredrickson, he hung in the fight and landed more than his fair share of uppercuts on the inside during the middle rounds.
Saucedo gave himself only a C+ grade for the night's effort.
"It was a good performance, I was able to get the rounds in, get the experience," he said. "I felt a little better than before, my movement was better. I still got caught with some punches I didn't want to get caught with. So we definitely got a lot of work to do."
Neme, who was brought in to replace Abel Sanchez, was tasked with making the aggressive Saucedo a more responsible fighter defensively. There were clear signs of progress versus Fredrickson, but also evidence that there is still work to be done. The goal is to make sure that the next time he fights for a world title at 140, he will come out victorious, unlike his 2018 loss to Maurice Hooker for the vacant WBO title in which he was stopped in the seventh round.
"We'll see what happens, we'll see what they offer," said the 26-year-old Saucedo. "I believe I'm ready."