Immanuwel Aleem dished out all he could over eight rounds, and Jonathan Cepeda kept on taking it.
In an action-packed, 160-pound bout from the Sands Bethlehem Event Center in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Immanuwel Aleem (16-0, 9 KOs) dominated from start to finish Tuesday night to remain undefeated with a unanimous decision over Jonathan 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, and although Aleem landed the harder blows initially in Round 1, 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.
“[Cepeda] was a tough guy. I hit him with some good shots, but he kept his ground, and I respect that,” said Aleem, who was born in New York and resides in Richmond, Virginia. “I was trying to take my time to get him out, but I was being too hasty.
"I am a student of the game, and I was taking my time.”
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.
For a complete look at Aleem vs Cepeda, visit our fight page.