Advertisement
Advertisement

Abner Cotto Scores Road Win Over Jerry Belmontes

By Jake Donovan

Abner Cotto managed to overcome an early point deduction and the perils of fighting on the road to take a split decision win over Jerry Belmontes, Thursday evening in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Belmontes won 95-94 on one card, but was trumped by tallies of 95-94 and 96-93 in favor of Cotto, who lost a point in round three for low blows. 

The fight was must-win for both fighters, even with Belmontes riding a wave of momentum in a strong showing versus fellow Texan, unbeaten lightweight titlist Omar Figueroa earlier this year. The local boxer offered a spirited effort but managed to let the title opportunity slip away in the late stages of the fight.

History repeated itself, this time in his hometown and without a title at stake. 

Cotto showed no fear at any point in the fight, although he was understandably frustrated early on. A second cousin of four-division champ and reigning middleweight king Miguel Cotto, the rail-thin Boricua was caught with a low blow in round two, only to respond in kind in the next frame and have a point deducted for his efforts. 

The irony in the deduction was that Cotto went on to have his best round of the fight. Given Texas' shady history of its officials robbing visiting fighters blind, the round seemed to encapsulate Cotto's chances of scoring an upset - offering your best, but unable to overcome the hometown edge. 

Only, Cotto wasn't giving up that easily. Belmontes believed he could get away with brawling versus the visiting boxer, but his plan miserably backfired. Cotto constantly beat him to the punch, connecting almost at will upstairs save for the moments when Belmontes offered head movement in lieu of lifting up his guard. 

An odd sequence developed late in the fight, as the two became tangled, resulting in a double-takedown. Cotto stumbled to the canvas, accidentally tripping Belmontes in the process. Belmontes placed his gloves down in an attempt to steady himself, only Cotto was in the way of the fighter and the canvas.

Cotto took issue with the gesture, insisting he was pushed down and was ready to fight even after the bell. Referee Jon Schorle offered a rare moment of restoring order, immediately jumping in to calm down the fighter after having spent the better part of the main event and co-feature enjoying the guided tour rather than actually laying down the law. 

Belmontes seemed to need the final round big, but instead fought the 10th like a fighter who had either just didn't have enough left in the tank or believed he was far enough ahead to where he could coast. Cotto never relented, scoring repeatedly with combinations upstairs while Belmontes struggled to keep up.

The visitor's hard work was well-reflected on the scorecards. Having lost two of his last three heading in - including a 1st round knockout loss to Figueroa last April in his only other pro fight in Texas - Cotto now improves to 18-2 (8KOs), scoring one of the biggest wins of his young career.

Belmontes falls to 19-5 (5KOs). All five of his career losses have come in the span of his past seven bouts. 

UNDERCARD

Keandre Gibson earned an eight-round split decision over Jose Hernandez in a co-feature bout that threatened to spiral out of control.

Scores were 79-73 and 78-74 in favor of Gibson, while a third judge credited Hernandez with a 77-75 nod. 

Gibson found himself in a dogfight early, thrown to the canvas as the two fighters became tangled in a corner towards the end of the opening round. Referee Jon Schorle, pedestrian throughout, didn't even so much as issue a warning to Hernandez, who was aggressive to the point of bordering on dirty at times.

The role Hernandez intended to play was clear - make things as uncomfortable as possible for the unbeaten St. Louis native. He obviously succeeded, at least in the eyes of one judge. He was also able to get away with several questionable tactics, including another takedown in the eighth and final round, finally prompting a warning from Schorle, who otherwise did his best to make people forget about Vic Drakulich's inept role in Brandon Rios' disqualifcation win over Diego Chaves last weekend. 

Gibson overcame the fouls and the feisty nature of his challenger to prevail in the end, even if forced to sweat out the scorecards. The 24-year old improves to 11-0-1 (5KOs). Hernandez falls to 14-8-1 (6KOs), having now lost three of his last four. 

In the opening out of the telecast, Oscar Cantu kept his undefeated record intact with a six-round decision over a determined Joseph Rios. 

Scores were 60-54 (twice) and 59-55, not at all indicative of the action that took place in the ring. Cantu (8-0, 1KO) was the rightful winner, but the light-hitting bantamweight was forced to work every round in order to preserve victory.

Rios (13-10-2, 4KOs) did his best to make the local prospect uncomfortable throughout the bout. Cantu was forced to brawl at times when he would rather box, but was able to fend off the stiff challenge and prevail in the end. 

The bout was just the second ring apperance of 2014 for Cantu, who recently celebrated his second full year in the pro ranks. Rios, coming up on eight years as a pro, has now lost three straight. 

All three bouts aired live on Fox Sports 1. 

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene.com, as well as the Records Keeper for the Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and a member of Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by cabalas on 08-08-2014

Belmontes has lost 5 of his last 7 fights (the last 2 for split decision) and I don't think his future looks as promising as two years ago,

Comment by Beercules on 08-08-2014

Belmontes got that ass wooped

Comment by nycsmooth on 08-08-2014

a god local card w/good scoring...the main go was over rated w/ 2 B fighters...

Comment by Hyper Knuckles on 08-08-2014

Abner Cotto ain't sh1t :gives:

Comment by TaurusJ27 on 08-08-2014

It almost looked like Cotto wasn't going to survive that 1st rd.

Post a Comment/View More User Comments (8)
Top Headlines Holyfield Cautions That Khan Must Make Adustments At All Times Anthony Yigit Aims To Steal The Show at Barclaycard Arena Video: Virgil Hunter Discusses Factors in Canelo vs. Khan David Haye: I'll Be Surprised if Shannon Briggs Beats Dimitrenko Video: Lennox Lewis Hits Las Vegas For Canelo vs. Khan Canelo's Trainer: Golovkin is Not a Difficult Fight, It's Only Tough Hopkins: Big Not Always Better, But Canelo KO's Khan in 9 or 10 Glen Tapia on David Lemiex Fight: I Will Turn My Haters Into Fans Video: WBC Prez on Canelo-Golovkin Situation, Khan, Stevenson Hunter: Khan Winning is No Upset, Canelo is NOT Very Good Video: Evander Holyfield Breaks Down The Heavyweight Division Hunter Feels Canelo's Edge Due to Weight a Bit Exaggerated Video: Hopkins on Donald Trump, Caitlyn Jenner, Canelo-Khan Khan Says KO is Tough, Confident He Can Box Canelo's Ears Off Photos/Weights: Marvin Quintero vs. Petr Petrov, More De La Hoya: People Laughed at My Pacquiao Fight - He Retired Me! Video: Lucas Matthysse on Career Status, Future in Boxing Video: Eddie Hearn Talks Joshua, Fury, Crolla, Groves, Murray Photos: Canelo vs. Khan Undercard Final Press Conference Hunter Admits Amir Khan Lacking 'Killer Instinct' in His Arsenal Felix Diaz vs. Miguel Vazquez: PBC on FS1, 5/28 WBC: Adonis Stevenson Must Face Eleider Alvarez After Next Fight Video: Joe Gallagher Talks Crolla vs. Barroso Clash Canelo-Khan II Would Be Pursued in '16 if Khan Wins De La Hoya's Story in Doubt as Trump 'Great Golfer' Video Surfaces Alantez Fox Faces Milton Nunez on PBC on Bounce Video: Anthony Crolla Ready For Barroso Showdown WBC Prez: Mayweather is Champion Emeritus Like Klitschko Was Lemieux: I Still Believe That I Can Beat Gennady Golovkin Zolani Tete is Upset By Withdrawal of Zhanat Zhakiyanov WBC: If Khan Wins, He Can Choose Golovkin at 160 or Garcia at 147 Kermit Cintron Ready For Battle With Eduardo Flores Photos: Canelo vs. Khan Undercard Open Workouts Photos: Anthony Crolla, Ismael Barroso Go Face To Face Deontay Wilder Possibility Helped Draw Joshua To Showtime Broner: I Showed More In Maidana Loss Than In My Wins Khan: Look at Kell Brook's Last 10 Foes, Is It Worth Fighting Him? Jason Quigley: For Me - It's Live Fast and Die a Legend Hearn: I Made Derry Mathews Offer For Dodd on Bellew-Makabu Pulev vs. Chisora Provides Heavyweight Punch To AWE Doubleheader
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement