Willie Monroe Jr. (19-1, 6 KOs) earns his 9th consecutive victory by out boxing the very determined Bryan Vera (23-9, 14 KOs). Monroe showed great footwork in the opening rounds by continuously circling around the ring, establishing his jab, and using great defensive awareness to avoid any of Vera’s offensive attack. Anytime the range shortened between the two fighters, Monroe would either smother Vera’s offensive attack, or land a short combination on the inside and quickly slip away.
This was very discouraging for Vera but he continued to apply pressure knowing that was his best chance of getting the victory. Then in the beginning of the 4th round the tide slowly begin to turn as Monroe for some reason decided to lay against the ropes in a squared up flat footed manner, thus giving Vera the opportunity to land punches. It wasn’t until the last minute of the round that Monroe decided to get off the ropes, but Vera had done enough to win the round.
In the very next round Monroe corrected his mistake by going back to the game plan of circling around the ring, displaying great countering abilities, and getting off quick combinations in spurts. This lead to Monroe scoring a knockdown in the 5th round off an exchange on the inside even though it was more due to Vera being off balance. Vera seemed upset it was called a knockdown, but Monroe continued to stay smart and moments later caught Vera in an exchange that visibly stunned him.
Monroe continued to coast after his very successful 5th round. Vera did a decent job of cutting off the ring, but every time he planted his feet to throw a punch, Monroe would tend to beat him to the punch, or counter whenever Vera got off first. There were few moments of Vera landing an occasional punch but Monroe was too slick and skilled and walked away with an easy UD victory. All three judges had Monroe winning by an accurate lopsided score of 98-91, 97-92, and 99-90.
Monroe’s performance was quite an impressive, and demonstrated that he is a serious contender in the middleweight division. He is currently in his prime at 28 years of age, and certainly deserves to face more well known opponents in the immediate future.