Kavanagh (140) known as the Nuisance, opened FOX Networks 'Fight Night Club' at Los Angeles' Club Nokia venue in a 4 round contest against Luis Sanchez (140 1/4). Sanchez came into the fight with a record of one fight and one loss which came by way of a fourth round stoppage in a
keenly fought contest against Artur Bernetsyan in April.
Conversely 'The Nuisance', currently trained at Freddie Roach's Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles, was fresh from a points victory a over William Ware on the undercard of the Amir Khan-Paulie Malignaggi bout at Madison Square Garden, New York.
The opening round of the fight was a cagey affair with Sanchez using his significant height and reach advantages to keep Kavanagh at bay. But the shorter Irishman was eager to impress his new paymaster, Oscar de La Hoya, on his west coast debut and the Golden Boy looked on intently as Kavanagh came out for the second round. Kavanagh came out and landed a variety of countering left hooks to the head and body which discombobulated the rangey San Diego based fighter but he was unable to keep consistent pressure on his awkward foe and this pattern continued into the third round.
Kavanagh's superiority showed in the final round as he finally stepped on the gas and outclassed Sanchez who was struggling to keep up with the Dubliner's quick movement.
Kavanagh pressured Sanchez keeping him against the ropes and delivered a variety of meaty combinations which were mixed to the head and body. Kavanagh pulled back to create enough space and caught his much taller opponent with a thunderous right hand to the temple which buzzed Sanchez.
To his credit Sanchez fired back with an ungamely volley but Kavanagh's head movement and footwork ensured that these all found air. Kavanagh grew in confidence as the final round progressed and again caught Sanchez with a heavy right hand as the final bell sounded.
After a nervous start Kavanagh got into his rhythm in the final stanza and in truth could have done with a further couple of cantos to highlight his work as he was barely warming up toward the end of the fight.
That said 'The Nuisance' showed glimpses of the quality that has earned him a World Youth silver medal a slot as a sparring partner for Manny Pacquaio.
His countering left hook and body shots combined with the variety of shot selection, fast hands and busy combinations with plenty of action switching from head to body left the crowd wanting a little more from Kavanagh but that is sure to come in future fights.
There was no surprise when the three judges at ringside delivered a unanimous decision, scoring the fight 40-36 twice with the other judge have it 39-37 giving Sanchez a single round.
Team Kavanagh now look to continue the Dubliner's busy start to his professional career with an outing on July 22 again at the Club Nokia venue.