Souleymane Cissokho (16-0) maintained his undefeated record but failed to impress against Mexican Isaias Lucero (16-1) in a welterweight contest, which was fought over twelve rounds in the Casino de Monte Carlo, Monaco. Cissokho would claim victory with a unanimous decision with two scores of 118-109 and a sole score of 117-111.
Cissokho started the opening round confidently behind the jab. However, Lucero wobbled the Frenchman with a counter right hand as Cissokho threw his jab, which wobbled the former Olympian visibly. Mexican Lucero would proceed to step on the front foot, but Cissokho was able to negate the danger and still land shots of his own.
Lucero would start the round on the front foot and take the lead of the action with the jab; however, it was Cissokho who would ultimately finish the round the stronger after scoring a knockdown of Lucero. A straight right hand would land flush on the Mexican as he fell to the canvas.
The third was a competitive affair, with Lucero demonstrating a high work rate despite the classier shots coming from Cissokho.
The fourth saw Lucero continue to pursue Cissokho and landed a right hand, which troubled the Frenchman, but he would finish the round strongly with several jabs and a one-two combination on the bell.
Cissokho would build on the momentum he gained in the fourth with a solid fifth, utilising his footwork and sharp counters, of which one right hand cut the left eye of Lucero. Cissokho would control the following round as Lucero looked visibly fatigued while still attempting to move forward, which allowed Cissokho to pick off the Mexican with fast hands.
Lucero would gather a second wind in the seventh and, for two minutes, would force Cissokho onto the back foot with a flurry of combinations and landing multiple times. Despite these shots landing, much of the sting had been removed. Cissokho did look fatigued, which was not expected.
Round eight would be a much more tame affair, with Cissokho returning to leading with a jab and catching Lucero attempting to close the gap. However, one observation to make is that Cissokho was not fully committing to the shots and was seemingly happy to point score in the amateur-esque style.
Lucero would start the ninth at a fast pace similar to several rounds previously, attacking with combinations. The referee would, however, take Lucero to the doctor to inspect the left eye of Lucero. After being cleared to resume, Cissokho would finish the round strong with some combinations of head and body as blood re-appeared around the eye.
Lucero was finally able to keep the momentum of starting a round strong for a full three minutes and was able to land several shots as both men began to exchange. Cissokho was happy to let Lucero take the lead and catch the Mexican coming in. Cissokho would land a flush right-hand late in the round to cause more damage to the eye of Lucero.
A lacklustre eleventh round of any quality soon turned into the twelfth as Cissokho saw out the contest despite Lucero’s best efforts to force a stoppage victory, knowing it was his only method of victory available to him.
Despite the victory, Cissokho flattered to deceive despite claiming a knockdown of his Mexican opponent, despite his post fight calls to Eddie Hearn to allow him to face one of the welterweight divison’s big names in the near future.