posted on Aug, 14 2004 @ 11:27 AM
TEMECULA, Calif. (AP) - Eddie Sanchez of San Diego had just come to the Pechanga Resort and Casino for lunch and to watch his buddy box.
But the next night, Friday, he walked away with a unanimous 12-round decision over J.C. Candelo of Denver in a middleweight bout.
"I came for lunch and to have fun and walked away with a championship belt," said Sanchez.
When Candelo's scheduled opponent, Canadian super middleweight champion Joachim Alcine, was unable to fight due to hepatitis, promoters on Thursday
asked Sanchez, who was at the casino for a meal and to watch a stablemate fight.
Underdog Sanchez had to lose 10 pounds in 16 hours to make the contract weight of 160 pounds. Prior to Friday night's fight, he had never fought more
than six rounds.
Sanchez started strong, winning the first five rounds by landing consistently with right hands from the outside. However, in the sixth round, a right
hand from Candelo put Sanchez down on one knee for an 8-count, the fight's only knockdown.
Candelo was unable to capitalize, and Sanchez outboxed his opponent for the next six rounds.
The judges scored it 117-110, 118-109 and 115-112 for Sanchez.
Sanchez, who weighed 159], is 12-3-2 with eight wins by knockout. Candelo, weighing in at 153], is 26-7-3 with 18 knockouts.