At the age of 24, Alex is a six-year pro – he made his debut at 17. A rising young contender, he is the WBO’s No. 1 ranked mandatory world title challenger. He was an amateur standout in the junior division before his debut – he turned pro before he was old enough to compete in the “open” division.
He has stayed active in the ring and made good progress as a pro – he fought six times in 2012, four times in 2013, five times in 2014, four times in 2015, three times in 2016, and three times in 2017.
Alex also stepped up in class of opposition and gave impressive performances.
In his last fight on June 30 in Oklahoma City, he won by seventh-round TKO against Lenny Zappavigna. The bout was co-featured with Gilberto Ramirez’ super middleweight world title defense, but Alex was the major draw for the event in his hometown.
ESPN.com’s Dan Rafael reported from ringside [excerpts]: Alex Saucedo had all the pressure on him when he faced Lenny Zappavigna.
Saucedo was fighting in his hometown of Oklahoma City for only the third time and doing so in his first fight with significant television exposure, in the co-feature of the Top Rank Boxing on ESPN card at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Saucedo also knew the bout was the last hurdle to a likely world-title shot in the fall, and he got the job done – but it was a grizzly, brutal, fight-of-the-year contender that featured wild action from start to bloody finish when Zappavigna’s corner threw in the towel in the seventh round as he was taking punishment and had blood gushing from his mangled face.
Saucedo got off to a strong start when he opened a cut over Zappavigna’s right eye in the second round, which was no surprise given how often Zappavigna has been cut.
Saucedo cracked Zappavigna with a counter right hand in the third round that dropped him to his rear end. He got up, and they went toe to toe for most of the rest of the round.
The wild action continued in the fourth round, but it was Zappavigna who got the better of it. He rocked Saucedo with a right hand and opened a cut over his right eye.
There was more intense action in the fifth round. They were both pouring blood from their cuts when Saucedo hammered Zappavigna with a right hand that rocked his head back seconds before the round ended. As they continued to pummel each other in the sixth round, both were covered in blood – their faces, their chests, their trunks. After the round, the ringside doctor took a long look at the cuts and swelling around both of Zappavigna’s eyes.
Saucedo continued to pound Zappavigna, whose left eye was also virtually closed in addition to the horrific cut over his right eye. Zappavigna’s corner threw in the towel in the seventh round, and [the] referee waved off the fight at 2 minutes, 31 seconds. [End Rafael item]
In an earlier interview, Alex said, “Abel Sanchez has been my trainer since November, 2016 – it’s been six fights now. You have to be ready to be trained here – his training is really no joke. Every day, Abel pushes you to the limit. There are no easy days here.
“I was in the process of looking for a new trainer because my old trainer, he was having trouble with his visa. He’s back in Mexico, and he can’t come back for now. I decided to look for a new trainer, and Abel was the first one that came to my mind. At the time, Triple-G was doing really well. I remember I had just seen a video on YouTube of them two training, and I said to myself, ‘Wow – that’s cool.’ We called him up to see if he was interested in training me. Now that I’ve been here, I’ve seen so many people call him and he hasn’t taken not one fighter out of all those guys. I’m very thankful that he took me – that he seen something in me that he wanted to work with me. That’s awesome!
“I’m aggressive – I like to put pressure and I know I have power in both hands. I like to go forward, just throwing punches. It’s really hard for somebody to take those punches – I feel the punches when I hit them. I have a lot of skills, too – my amateur career really helped me a lot. I use them when I need them, but I always like to be aggressive.”
Regarding his nickname, he said, “It comes from when I used to live in Mexico. When I was about five years old, they started calling me ‘El Cholo.’ I have an older brother, he’s four years older than me, I used to wear his clothes when I was out riding my bike. It was a little town, and I used to go everywhere wearing my big brother’s clothes – they were real saggy. I used to live in front of an elementary school and the guy that used to clean it started calling me ‘cholito’ – little cholo – because I was wearing those saggy clothes and everybody started calling me that. In English, cholo means ‘gangster,’ but we don’t take it like that.”