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Our resident boxing writer Diego Morilla serves up a full weekend wrap-up of the most relevant boxing events in the worldwide scene. Every fight that matters is right here, in one place, and at one click away. Follow Morilla on Twitter at @MorillaBoxing
Montreal, Canada, Jan. 18
Jean Pascal UD 12 Lucian Bute, light heavyweights
It is said that no one can be a prophet in one’s own land, but the case seems to be the opposite for both Bute and Pascal, who appear to be unable to take their message across anywhere but in their native Montreal. As entertaining and solid as they may be as fighters in their own right, both Bute (31-2, 24 KO) and Pascal (29-2-1, 17 KO) have seldom been able to energize the fans outside of their Montreal homeland (which oddly enough is not their native land, as Bute was born in Romania and Pascal in Haiti). This fight was no exception, as both went through the motions in the first few rounds before Pascal started cruising towards what appeared to be an easy decision in his favor. Bute saved his best punches for the final round, in which he mounted a menacing outburst that brought part of the crowd to their feet, but it was too little too late. The scorecards of 116-112, 118-110 and 117-111 went for Pascal, who in spite of the unexciting effort, looked good enough to buy himself another chance at a major televised card.
The winner goes on to: continue to cash in on his growing popularity in his adopted homeland with more lucrative bouts, hopefully against more interesting opposition.
Mike Perez D 10 Carlos Takam, heavyweights
Whenever a potentially fatal injury occurs during a fight, the consequences are felt in both opponents in the long term, and this appears to be the case with Cuba’s Perez (20-0-1, 12 KO), who was clearly gun-shy in his first bout since his terrific fight against Magomed Abdusalamov back in November, which ended with Abdusalamov slipping into a coma from which he still is trying to recover. In spite of being the most experienced and powerful fighter, Perez was visibly unfocused as he only managed to wrestle a draw against Takam (29-1-1, 23 KO), suffering a cut over his left eye in the process and looking pedestrian at best. This should not take anything away from Takam, who looked clearly ready for the challenge and deserved a better result than the 96-94 and 95-95 (twice) scorecards.
The winner goes on to: In a division in full rebuilding mode, both fighters can expect to get further exposure and bigger bouts in the near future after this unexciting but solid performance.
Hermosillo, Mexico, Jan. 18
David Sanchez KO 4 Marcos Demecillo, junior bantamweights
Rising junior bantamweight Sanchez (24-2-2, 19 KO) took his winning streak up to 14 straight victories with this demolition of Demecillo (19-2-1, 14 KO) of the Philippines in an entertaining bout. The visiting fighter put on an spirited challenge until a terrific straight right hand put Demecillo on the deck, from where he rose almost immediately only to collapse back down. Solid win for an entertaining fighter who is more than ready for the next level.
The winner goes on to: An elimination bout against undercard winner Felipe Orocuta would give any titlist in the division a real challenge.
Felipe Orocuta TKO 10 Gabriel Peña, junior bantamweights
Another brilliant boxing display for a fighter clamoring for wider recognition. Orucuta (29-0, 24 KOs) made his case for a rematch against WBO champ Omar Narvaez after their disputed fight in Argentina ended in a questionable decision back in May. He is now 2-0 since then and looking even more impressive after his demolition of Peña (5-5-1, 2 KO), a fighter with a poor resume but who came in to fight and gave a solid account of his modest talent until his corner decided to stop the carnage before the beginning of the 10th and final round.
The winner goes on to: If justice is served, Orocuta should be able to parlay this dominating performance into another world title chance very soon.
Guadalajara, Mexico, Jan. 18
Horacio Garcia TKO 1 Fernando Lumacad, junior featherweights
The growing boxing rivalry of Mexico vs. The Philippines added another small chapter with this quick victory by Garcia (25-0, 17 KO) over a tough veteran in Lumacad (29-6-3, 12 KOs) after a freak occurrence. A tough exchange of punches ended with Lumacad sustaining a wrist injury when trying to block a punch, and that forced a stoppage that led to Garcia’s victory by TKO. Still, the credit goes to Garcia for taking the fight to his visiting foe since the opening bell.
The winner goes on to: Hopefully, we’ll get to see more from “El Violento” in his next outing, and against a more durable opponent.