By Jake Donovan
An interim title fight between David Carmona and Warlito Parrenas to determine the next challenger for unbeaten 115 lb. titlist Naoya Inoue ended in a stalemate Saturday evening in Hermosillo, Mexico.
Carmona was valiant in fighting his way back from what was well on its way to becoming a major upset. The fringe contender from Mexico was floored late in round two, digging an early hole before rallying late in the fight to pull ahead on one card and even on another.
Scores were 115-112 Carmona, 115-113 Parrenas and 114-114 even, leaving the interim title vacant.
Worse, there likely won't be an interim title available for either fighter once Inoue is back in the ring. The World Boxing Organization (WBO) created the interim title opportunity solely to bide time while Inoue—BoxingScene.com's 2014 Fighter of the Year—was still recovering from hand surgery.
Should the unbeaten two-divsion titlist prove to be fit to return any time in the near future, there would no longer exist the need for an interim titlist. Worse, it could pave the way for Omar Narvaez to land a second fight with Inoue. The ex-titlist claims a rematch clause exists in the contract for their first fight, in which Inoue knocked out Narvaez in two rounds to win the title last December.
Of course, Carmona and Parrenas could wind up in a final eliminator bout while that mess gets sorted out. The guaranteed purse that comes with mandatory challenger status, however, is significantly less than going into a purse bid as an interim titlist.
For now, Carmona can consider himself lucky to have escaped without a loss. On the upside, his unbeaten streak extends to four straight, although that's about as good as it gets on the bright side of what should have been a showcase win.
A victory on Saturday would have guaranteed a second shot at a major title, having come up well short in a knockout loss to then-titlist Omar Narvaez in 2013. Instead, the 24-year old from Mexico City exits Saturday's fight with a mark of 19-2-5 (8KOs).
Carmona had won three straight coming in to the bout, including a 10-round decision over Daniel Lozano in March to claim top honors in the Telemundo 115 lbs. tournament.
Parrenas survived his first career fight outside of Asia with his own unbeaten streak still intact. The 31-year old Filipino moves to 24-6-1 (21KOs).
The bout aired on TV Azteca in Mexico.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox