Lamont Roach edged out Angel Rodriguez to earn a shot at the WBA 130-pound title. Photo by Tom Hogan/Golden Boy Promotions

LOS ANGELES — Lamont Roach and David Jimenez won WBA title elimination bouts over undercard Ryan Garcia-Javier Fortuna on Saturday at Arena. Both fights were streamed live on DAZN.

Roach (23-1-1, 9 KOs) scored a unanimous decision — 117-111 and 116-112 (twice) — over Angel Rodriguez to line up to face WBA 130-pound titleholder Roger Gutierrez, the No. 3 of the Ring. -Rated junior lightweight.

Jimenez (12-0, 9 KOs) won a shot against WBA 112-pound titleholder Artem Dalakian, The Ring’s No. 4 flyweight, with a close majority decision – 114-112, 114-112 and 113-113 – on local favorite Ricardo Sandoval.

Roach stayed above Rodriguez (20-2, 10 KOs) from the opening bell, stalking the long Colombia-based Venezuelan behind a clean shot and high guard. Whenever he was in range, he fired a right hand straight arrow or compact body shots.

Rodriguez tried to retaliate to the body but his shots strayed low in round four, which saw Roach take a delayed knee after being entitled to the protective cup. Roach recovered and finished the round strong. The 26-year-old Washington DC native kept the heat up in round five when he landed a short to the jaw of his 34-year-old opponent.

Roach’s technical pressure put Rodriguez in a defensive shell during the second half of the fight.


Sandoval was expected to do to Jimenez what Roach did to Rodriguez, but with a bit more violence as the 23-year-old Californian is known to indulge in slugfests.

David Jimenez was often on the move against Ricardo Sandoval but he landed his share of punches. Photo by Tom Hogan/Golden Boy Promotions

However, Jimenez brought a herky choppy style and a bit more attitude than Rodriguez had to offer. The 30-year-old, undefeated but unheralded Costa Rican not only frustrated Sandoval with that hitting tactic, he scored an 11th-round knockdown to clinch the decision over his younger, more aggressive opponent.

“We executed our game plan perfectly,” said Jimenez. “In the first six rounds, there was a lot of movement and aiming. After the sixth round, I started enjoying it. My rival was very tough and stubborn. He has a lot ahead of him. »

Most ringside watchers thought Sandoval (21-1, 15 KOs) had outplayed Jimenez — up to +900 according to some odds makers — and deserved the nod, but they also admit the unorthodox underdog was in the fight from start to finish. Not too shabby considering Jimenez’s upset win over The Ring’s No. 5 flyweight.

Sandoval, a freestyle boxer from Rialto, Calif., climbed the rankings with back-to-back wins over British contender Jay Harris and four-time world title challenger Carlos Buitrago. However, Jimenez didn’t provide Sandoval as much of a target as those two fighters.

Sandoval remained the aggressor throughout the fast-paced 12-round fight, but Jimenez’s lateral, volley pot-shot style limited the exchanges. When close, the Costa Rican would tie up Sandoval and engage in rough-and-tumble tactics, such as holding and striking, an infraction that cost him a point from referee Thomas Taylor in Round 7.

Sandoval had success with a focused body attack during the final rounds, when it looked like his pressure and high punching power had put Jimenez in survival mode, but he was let go by a short right cross in Round 11, which energized the crafty Central American. Both flyweights let it all hang out in an entertaining final round.

“I felt like I boxed it properly, so I feel great,” Sandoval said. “I also counter it down and up. But you know these things happen. I felt like I had won the fight. People won tonight and had a hell of a fight.