–After two fast-paced opening rounds, it was more of the same in the third as Immanuwel Aleem landed a beautiful combination, working both the head and body of Jonathan Cepeda with his left hook.
–Aleem picked up where he left off at the start of the fourth, landing left hooks to the body and a couple of lead rights to the head. Cepeda was game, though, landing a left hook to the head as both fighters continued to throw almost without pause.
–Aleem continued to land with devastating results in Rounds 5 and 6, digging in to throw punishing left hooks and vicious combinations against Cepeda, whose fortitude proved astonishing.
Immanuwel Aleem dished out all he could over eight rounds, and Jonathan Cepeda proved he could take it.
In an action-packed, 160-pound bout, Aleem (16-0, 9 KOs) dominated from start to finish to gain a unanimous decision over Cepeda (17-2, 15 KOs), who pressed through the punishment as he fought back to the final bell.
All three judges scored the bout 79-73 in favor of Aleem, who ended Cepeda's five-fight winning streak.
Both fighters threw bombs from the start. Aleem landed the harder blows initially in Round 1, but Cepeda retaliated with some heavy shots of his own in the final minute. A cut developed in Round 2 above Cepeda’s right eye, but the New York City resident was undeterred as he continued to come forward against Aleem’s attack.
Aleem, 22, began to take command in the middle rounds, landing combinations with pinpoint accuracy and drilling his 31-year-old opponent with left hooks as both fighters worked tirelessly. Aleem continued to batter the unyielding Cepeda into the late rounds, and nearly finished the job toward the end of the seventh.
Cepeda survived, however—in fact, despite absorbing countless brutal haymakers, he never hit the deck, displaying incredible resilience in his first fight in more than a year.
- Aleem vs Cepeda