Cissokho Gets Off The Canvas To Defeat Tough Valenzuela By UD

Cissokho Overcomes Scary Moment to Outclass Hard-Hitting Valenzuela Jr

Souleymane Cissokho at face-off for Roberto Valenzuela fight
Souleymane Cissokho

Soulemayne Cissokho Outclasses Valenzuela Jr Over Ten Rounds


At the Pechanga Arena in San Diego, California, Souleymane Cissokho (15-0, 9 KOs) faced Roberto Valenzuela Jr (19-3, 19 KOs) in a ten-round, junior middleweight contest. Ranked twelfth by the WBA at 154 pounds, Cissokho is one of the more popular fighters in his home of France. The 30-year-old first made waves in June of 2018 when he scored a decision win over former IBF junior middleweight Carlos Molina.

He’s been on the steady climb since. A defining fight for him was a split-decision victory over Kieron Conway to capture the WBA continental junior middleweight title in May of 2021. Cissokho now makes the second defense of that title against Valenzuela. Based on sheer record alone, the resident of Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico carried the reputation of a big puncher and came in riding an eight-fight winning streak.

BOX, BOX, BOX

Understanding he was facing a fighter who was slower and likes to go straight down the line, Cissokho kept things at a distance. The Frenchman did an excellent job of pivoting and turning his opponent, never staying in one spot. He connected early with the jab, right to the body, and counter right uppercut to the head.

Valenzuela tried to up the pace. However, Cissokho’s eyes were on point. He easily saw the shots coming, slipped, slid away, and shot back with combinations. By the end of round three, the Mexican had swelling under his left eye and a small cut on the bridge of the nose.

HERE COMES THE POWER

Round four is a candidate for the round of the year. Early in the round, Cissokho made the mistake of pulling back with his chin in the air, and Valenzuela put him down with a right hand to the point of the chin. Valenzuela went all out for the finish. Just when it looked as if Cissokho looked to be vulnerable, boom; a counter right-hand by Cissokho put Valenzuela on the deck with fifty seconds to go in the round! Now it was the Mexican who was in retreat at the end of the round.

REGAINING CONTROL

Action settled down a bit in the middle rounds as Cissokho went back to establishing the jab and controlling matters from the outside. Frustration began to show on Valenzuela who was daring his opponent to stand and fight. But the fleet-footed, world-ranked 154 pounder wisely kept boxing and piling up the points. Ahead on the scorecards, there was no reason to engage in a war when it wasn’t necessary.

In the end, the judges scored the fight for Cissokho by a wide unanimous decision (100-90, 99-91×2). Outside of the fourth, the winner was impressive with his all-around ability. While he’s ranked at junior middleweight, during the lead-up, Cissokho expressed a desire to move down to welterweight. So, it will be interesting to see what he and his team plan to do moving forward.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

By: Michael Wilson Jr.

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About Mike W.2014 Articles
Mike is the host of boxing podcast "Pound 4 Pound Boxing Report" and is a Senior Writer for 3kingsboxing.com.