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Boxing: Sanchez drops unanimous decision

Distance, though too seldom talked about, is a crucial element in boxing.

Tuesday night in Las Vegas, Nevada, whether by his own choosing or that of opponent Christopher Diaz, Albuquerque’s Jason Sanchez did not consistently control the distance during a 10-round featherweight bout at the MGM Grand.

The result: a victory for Diaz by unanimous decision.

The scorecards read 98-92, 97-93 and 98-92, all for the Barranquitas, Puerto Rico native.

The Journal had the fight closer, 96-94, judging it even at four rounds apiece after eight. But Diaz closed out the fight with solid margins in rounds nine and 10, winning both an all three official scorecards as well as the Journal’s.

The Compubox numbers did not reflect a lopsided fight: 372 punches thrown and 116 landed for Diaz, 443 and 115 for Sanchez.

That’s a 31-percent connection rate for Diaz, 26 percent for Sanchez, and punching accuracy appeared to be the most telling statistic in the result.

Sanchez is now 15-2 with eight knockouts. Diaz, who trains in Orlando, Florida, is 26-2 with 16 KOs.

The Albuquerque boxer’s best moments appeared to come in rounds three through eight, when after a tentative start he began moving in behind the jab, throwing combinations and occasionally putting Diaz on the defensive.

After eight rounds, Compubox showed Sanchez out-landing Diaz 98-85 — a figure mentioned only in passing by the ESPN broadcast crew while believing, correctly, it turned out, that Diaz was comfortably ahead.

Too often, however, Sanchez stayed at a distance that put him on the end of Diaz’s punches. Hence the final outcome.

GREENE TO J-W: UFC heavyweight Maurice Greene (8-4) is now training at Albuquerque’s Jackson-Wink MMA, as reported on Tuesday by mmajunkie.com.

Greene is scheduled to face Gian Villante (17-11) on Saturday at UFC Apex in Las Vegas.

The Illinois native had been training in Colorado but decided Jackson-Wink was a better fit, he told MMA Junkie.

Greene has been in Albuquerque for approximately three weeks, according to posts on his Instagram account.

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