By Cliff Rold
24-year old Jr. Welterweight Ivan Cano (21-4, 14 KO) picked up his third straight win on Friday night at the Auditorio Plaza Condesa in Mexico City, Mexico, scoring a knockdown en route to a unanimous decision over 18-year old Mauricio Pintor (17-1-1, 11 KO) of Cuajimalpa, Mexico.
Cano came into the bout at the division limit of 140 lbs., Pintor a pound below at 139. Pintor is the son of former two-division titlist Lupe Pintor, best remembered for a controversial Bantamweight title win over the great Carlos Zarate and an epic, losing war with the great Wilfredo Gomez at Jr. Featherweight.
Cano came out aggressive, doubling the jab and wining a right to the body. Pintor calmly kept his hands up, reacting to Cano and taking the measure of his man. An errant low blow from Cano drew a brief pause as Cano was cautioned to keep them up. Returning to action, Pintor replied to a Cano uppercut with a glancing left hook. Perhaps still too relaxed, Pintor dropped his hands during a close exchange and ate a flush overhand right. Pintor dropped to the seat of his trunks.
Clearly rocked, Pintor rose and nodded able to continue after the mandatory eight. With thirty seconds to go in the round, Pintor stayed off the floor but took a few more rights for his trouble. He covered and slipped well in the closing seconds to earn a trip back to his stool.
The sharper Cano burst out for round two ready to test Pintor right away. The minute’s rest did the scion well, his legs steady as he dug to the body with single hard left hooks. Cano, near the ropes, came forward with a right and then a one-two to send a shudder through the frame of Pintor.
Another Cano right blasted the face of Pintor immediately into the third. A steady attack from Cano along the ropes drew a quick warning for backhanding. It had little effect on the ensuing action. Mixing up his left hand leads, both as jab and uppercut, Cano kept Pintor largely frozen. A desperate Pintor would lose a point for hitting on the break before the round was over.
The whitewash continued in the fourth, Cano’s greater activity and rhythm of attack too much for Pintor. Pintor had spare moments where he could get to the body, and was taking the right well, but he struggled to seriously get into the fight.
Matters appeared to improve for Pintor a bit in the fifth until a right to the body and two to the face landed stiff for Cano. Moments later, a clash of heads opened a cut over the left eye of Pintor and action was halted so the ring doctor could take a look. Deemed able to go on, a protesting Pintor pushed hard in the closing seconds but couldn’t land much of substance.
The referee was forced to bring both men to the center of the ring to caution for head clashes and a rabbit punch to Cano early in the sixth. Cano complained vociferously of the foul and his corner was allowed to ice the back of his head momentarily. The awkward break carried on for minutes, the referee apparently allowing for the five minutes recovery allotted for fouls. He appeared to tell Cano the fight would be stopped if he could not continue and both he and the fighter conferred with a ringside official before action resumed.
The men competed close to even at close quarters the rest of the way, Cano still the superior from range.
Cano stayed in control of the action in round seven and eight but lost a point early in the ninth following another head clash. It appeared incidental but there was no benefit of the doubt granted. Careful to keep his head at bay the rest of the way, Cano boxed and Pintor sought rushes of body blows through the finish of the bout in the tenth round.
It was a wise choice for Cano who received easy scores of 97-91, 98-92 and 98-90.
Lightweight: Luis Epazote (1-0) UD6 Jorge Urias (3-9-1, 3 KO)
Jr. Welterweight: Ernesto Ortiz (2-0, 2 KO) Juan Carlos Cortes Moncayo (0-1)
The card was televised in the U.S. on Telemundo, promoted by All-Star Boxing.
Cliff Rold is a member of the Yahoo Pound for Pound voting panel and the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at [email protected]