2018 Round of the Year: Alex Saucedo vs. Lenny Zappavigna round 4
Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury ended 2018 the right way with a compelling bout with a dramatic 12th round. Wilder was behind on the cards, but he shocked everyone with a clutch knockdown of Fury. Fury miraculously beat the count and boxed well for the remainder of the fight which ended in a draw. Round 12 was spectacular, but it wasn’t the best boxing round of 2018. That honor belongs Alex Saucedo and Lenny Zappavigna’s gory round four.
In July, Saucedo was 27-0, with 18 KOs. He was a super lightweight on the rise and stepped up his level of opposition against gritty veteran Lenny Zappavigna. Saucedo ultimately won the fight by TKO in seven, but he barely survived the fourth round.
Saucedo dropped Zappavigna in round three. It looked like Zappavigna’s night was just about over, but then he exploded in the fourth and briefly changed the tenor of the bout.
Zappavigna caught Saucedo with a straight right hand that badly hurt him. Saucedo was stuck on the ropes as Zappavigna crushed him with left and right hooks for more than a minute. Somehow, Saucedo stayed on his feet and survived the round. He recovered nicely and proceeded to beat Zappavigna into submission.
While talking to FanSided in November, Saucedo described his mindset during the brutal round four:
"Flashes would come to my mind of how hard I worked to get there. I was in my mind going, ‘you can’t go out like this. You worked so hard for this moment and now you’re here in front of all these people.’ That’s what was going through my mind because I could hear the people in the background going ‘OKC’ and shouting my name. That helped me a lot and woke me up. I was just thinking I couldn’t go out like that."
Round 12 between Wilder and Fury was dramatic and stunning, but round four of Saucedo vs. Zappavigna was devastating, bloody and beautiful all at the same time. There was no round like it in all of 2018.