Love was up 90-82 on all three score cards when the ref called a halt (Photo courtesy of Team Love).
Referee Jay Nady Disqualifies Valenzuela in 8th Round
J’Leon Love (13-0, 7 KOs) was pitching a shutout on all three scorecards when referee Jay Nady disqualified Ramon Valenzuela (7-2, 1 KO) in their Showtime co-feature on Saturday night, leaving the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas with his 13th professional win in as many bouts. Nady took a point from Valenzuela at the end of the seventh frame before halting him for unsportsmanlike conduct after the Mexican fighter essentially went for a double leg takedown on Love in the following round.
“We dealt with the opponent we had,” Love said after the fight. “He was kind of awkward. We couldn’t get all the shots that we really wanted to off, but hats off to him. He’s a great competitor. It sucks that it happened like that, but I think we were winning the fight, dictating a lot. It was a great fight. First, I want to thank God for this great victory. My team, Al Haymon, my parents, Mayweather Promotions – the support of my team. It’s a great team, and I’m just glad to have the victory.”
Love used the jab effectively throughout this encounter, additionally using a nice shoulder roll to lure his opponent inside. Every time Valenzuela stepped forward, Love was seemingly there to greet him with a left hand. He also deceptively dipped his shoulder forward to insist aggression from his opposition, only to fire off a two-punch combination when he took the bait.
A Michigan native, Love looked very poised and contained despite the reckless nature he continued to see from his opponent, tactically frustrating him and capitalizing when openings presented themselves. The crafty orthodox puncher also landed with great accuracy when he came forward, and he began to throw in bigger doses as the action progressed. By the midway point of this affair, Valenzuela became increasingly more desperate, tossing wild swinging hooks that were easily being avoided. That desperation grew worse by the end of the seventh frame, where Love pounded his opponent into the corner late in the round. As he fired off a heavy dose of strikes onto a beaten Valenzuela, the Mexican native clinched and eventually lifted Love off the ground to earn a point deduction from Nady.
As soon as the bell got the eighth round underway, Love continued to turn up the heat. He again worked Valenzuela to the corner before spinning and then hammering him off the ropes. Seeking a way out, Valenzuela once again lifted Love off the ground in what looked like a double leg takedown attempt. After the point deduction at the end of the previous frame, Nady decided he had seen enough, stepping in and ending the bout. The official time of the disqualification was at the 37-second mark.
“It means that God really wanted this for me,” Love answered when asked to define what the victory meant. “He said ‘J’Leon, it’s your time,’ and we put me in a position to do it. We got it, we’re going to move forward. Where it puts me is up to my team, Al Haymon, Mayweather Promotions, so we’re just looking forward to moving on with my career.”
In terms of who his next opponent might be, Love says that is not his decision to make.
“Whatever they bring to the table,” he responded to the question. “I’m a fighter. I don’t really say who, what. It’s just whoever. I don’t choose my opponents. It’s whatever they put in front of me. I’m a fighter. It’s all up to Al, my team, like I said. Leonard Ellerby, Floyd Mayweather, and we go from there.”
The win on Saturday night was the fourth of the year for Love, who will likely get in at least one more fight before the conclusion of 2012.