Antonio DeMarco managed his third straight win while on the comeback trail, though his 10-round war with Lanardo Tyner offered enough proof that he shouldn't consider a future in the welterweight division.
The former lightweight titlist recovered from an opening round knockdown to take a unanimous decision over the American trialhorse Saturday evening in Tecate, Mexico.
Anxious moments arose right off the bat, as Tyner flew off of his stool ready to fight. DeMarco, fighting out of the southpaw stance, was not prepared for the early bum rush, or the unorthodox manner in which Tyner imposed his will.
An exchange along the ropes saw DeMarco's chin exposed just enough for a right hand to whistle past his guard and land flush on his chin. Tyner threw the punch as a follow up to a wild left hook, flooring the former champ one minute into the contest.
DeMarco managed to peel himself off the canvas and rediscover his legs as the round progressed. By the time round two began, DeMarco was in control of the fight although Tyner never backed down.
An exchange towards round four provided thrills for the crowd. DeMarco banked the previous two rounds and was well on his way to taking another before Tyner rallied late. A combination upstairs caught DeMarco's attention, but body shots straying just below the beltline prompted a warning from the referee as the round came to a close.
It was the last true scare for DeMarco, who widened his lead with each passing round as Tyner's best shot at an upset came and went.
The three judges appeared unimpressed with Tyner's opening round effort, as all three scored the fight 98-92 in favor of DeMarco. The scores suggest either a 10-9 opening round despite the knockdown, or all three officials finding one round to score even.
Whatever the case, DeMarco picks up the win and improves to 31-3-1 (21KOs). The 28-year old Tijuana native earns his third straight win since a lightweight title-ending knockout loss to Adrien Broner in Nov. '12.
Tyner falls to 31-11-2 (20KOs), suffering his third straight defeat.
The bout aired live on beIN Sports Espaρol in the United States and TV Azteca in Mexico.
The co-feautre ended in bizarre fashion, as Edivaldo Ortega remained unbeaten when Rey Perez failed to answer the bell at the start of round six.
Ortega was winning the bout handily, but appeared to get away with a shot well below the border, landing on Perez' hip in round five. The shot, coupled with the general flow of the fight, was enough to prompt Perez to call it a night.
Perez came off of his stool in round six, not to fight but to raise Ortega's arm in victory. The referee interrupted the celebration, ordering Ortega to a neutral corner before formally halting the contest and declaring the bout a technical knockout.
The official time was 0:10 of round six.
Ortega - a stablemate of DeMarco, both of whom hail from Tijuana - moves to 19-0-1 (10KOs). Perez falls to 19-6 (4KOs), as he is now 0-4 outside of Phiippines, including three losses in Mexico.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox