Golden Boy’s Newest Recruit Eric Tudor Decisions Damani Cato-Cain

(3.20.23) While nothing compares to the pre-fight anticipation of a world title match between two well-known, seasoned fighters, a showcase bout in an up-and-comer’s career can provide every bit of tension and drama to satisfy any fight fan. 

Saturday night’s super-welterweight contest between Eric Tudor of Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Damani Cato-Cain of Oakland, California on the undercard of Diaz vs. Gesta was a prime example of this, and a prime example of “styles make fights.” Both men had similar professional records: Tudor was 7-0 with 6 KOs, and Cato-Cain was 7-0-1 with 6 KOs. This fight would be the first eight-rounder in Tudor’s career, and the second for Cato-Cain, whose first eight-rounder ended in a majority draw back in November of 2022. 

Eric Tudor is well known in the South Florida boxing scene. His family moved from Romania to the United States when he was a child. Tudor began boxing at age eight and his younger brother Sasha is an accomplished amateur boxer. He boasts international experience as a member of the Romanian Olympic Team. Now, for the twenty-one-year-old Eric Tudor, the most recent addition to the Golden Boy roster, this fight was a chance to prove himself. For Cato-Cain, it was a chance to avenge the only blemish on his otherwise perfect record. As well as to prove himself. 

Tudor came out poised and confident, a trait that caught the attention of commentator and former champion Bernard Hopkins in Tudor’s fight against Ramon Duarte Marquez in November of 2022. Tudor scored consistently with a left jab followed by a straight right to Cato-Cain’s chin. Cato-Cain countered and continued to move forward and by the end of round two, both fighters knew they were in for a rough night. 

In round three, Tudor began to show signs of frustration and was not scoring as easily as he had in the opening rounds. According to Derik Santos, Tudor slightly injured his right hand when a punch landed knuckle-first to the top of Cato-Cain’s head, at which point the veteran trainer Santos instructed Tudor to “throw the right hand behind the hook.” Tudor obliged and in doing so, demonstrated another favorable trait, coachability.

Then in round four, an accidental head butt opened a sizable laceration above Tudor’s right eye. According to Santos, “he knew he was in trouble when he saw the blood,” and didn’t want the fight to be called prematurely. In turn, Tudor pounced on Cato-Cain and landed a four-punch combination to the body amidst a barrage of other punches, a sequence unlike any other we have seen from Tudor so far in any of his fights. 

Between the rounds, Santos instructed his fighter to “slow it back down,” but also acknowledged that Tudor “showed people what he was capable of.” From round five, both fighters continued to press on and do their very best until the final bell. Encouraged by his corner, Tudor made some adjustments mid-fight including increased head movement while Cato-Cain followed the directions of Bomac. Both fighters continued to throw combinations and body shots in a back-and-forth manner with Tudor narrowly edging out the rounds. 

When it was all over, the decision went to Tudor, with two judges scoring the bout 78-74, and one judge scoring it 80-72. But make no mistake-both fighters have a lot to offer the super-welterweight division. Regarding Eric Tudor, Santos said that after the fight “Oscar was happy,” and Bernard Hopkins said he “showed a lot of guts.” He proved himself. And so did Cato-Cain.