SAN DIEGO, April 15, 2012 – With a victory now behind him in a unanimous decision over the game but overmatched Sergey Fedchenko, will Juan Manuel Marquez get his rematch against Manny Pacquiao later this year? He’s crossed the first hurdle.
Fedchenko seems awkward and lacking in punching power, but he stood in for 12 rounds against Manuel, and there are not all that many fighters who can lay claim to this. Manuel looked extremely muscular and fit, and he did just enough to win agains the Ukrainian. Fedchenko stood in, fought gamely, and certainly won himself the right to another fight for some decent money in North America again soon.
Marquez, now 54-6, with 39 KOs, has a fourth belt in the light welterweight division. He has the respect of nearly everyone in boxing. He’s a hero in his native Mexico. But all he wants is that fourth chance to definitively beat Pacquiao, and then the 38-year-old can retire from the sport and enter the Boxing Hall of Fame on his own terms.
The shocker came in the co-feature out of Las Vegas between Brandon Rios and Richard Abril. Whether it was his attempt to make weight the past few days or some other distraction, Rios seemed sluggish and unfocused. He hardly lived up to his pre-fight smack talk of delivering a beating to Abril. The unlikely opponent Abril employed an odd defensive style that seemed to mess with Rios’s head. He never got into the fight.
Abril took the opportunity to narrowly win round after round with the lackluster Rios, or so it seemed. But at the end of the fight, Rios won a split decision by a narrow margin, shocking most observers. Whether you call it a robbery, outrage, or a disgrace, Abril clearly won the fight according to every knowledgeable observer of the sport, except for the two judges Glen Trowbridge and Jerry Roth who gave Rios (now 30-0-1, 22 KOs)the victory.
Abril (17-3-1, 8 KOs) got his shot, won in the eyes of many, and made his point. He’ll get another opportunity. As for Rios, how he can sleep at night claiming this win after all the trash talking he did about laying waste to Abril, who knows. But he’ll kiss the weight class goodbye and make the move to 140 pounds that he should have made months ago.
This is the kind of result that turns people off from boxing, a dubious victory that seems politically expedient. Rios has a lot of loyal fans, he’s moving up to a more fitting weight class, and needed the victory to continue to be a moneymaking draw. So he got one, at Abril’s expense. What do you bet we won’t hear the same sort of trash talk out of Rios before his next bout?
The undercards bouts provided by far the most fun of the night. In the opener, Filipino lightweight Mercito Gesta (25-0-1, 12 KOs) remained unbeaten, taking care of Oscar Cuero (15-8, 12 KOs) with some style and emerging promise to get a TKO after the eighth round. Will the personable southpaw really be the heir apparent to Manny Pacquiao that everyone hopes him to be? Cesta’s only 24 years old so he’s got time, and he should take all the time he needs to build up his resume and his confidence before making a bid for that designation. For now, he’s fun to watch and a social media darling on Facebook and Twitter, he and his camp posting photos and updates throughout the fight.
The second fight was the real crowd pleaser, an old school straight ahead brawl between “Mile High” Mike Alvarado and Mauricio “El Maestro” Herrera. The two 31-year-olds both came rather late to the sport of boxing, and they are making up for lost time. They stood toe to toe and gave the crowd a lot to watch and a lot to cheer about.
Each had their moments, but Herrera took more punishment, with his right eye closing up and obscuring his vision. The unbeaten Alvarado gained momentum as the fight progressed, but to his credit Herrera never stopped, despite his corner asking multiple times whether he wanted to stop, which would have been understandable. This is the kind of fight people pay to see, gladly. NOTE: An earlier version of the story had an incorrect result; this bout went the distance to a decision for Alvarado.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Media Migraine in the Communities at The Washington Times. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +
Copyright © 2012 by Falcon Valley Group
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