By Jake Donovan
Felipe Orucuta remained in title contention in the super flyweight division, following a stoppage of Gabriel Pena in the 10th and final round Saturday evening in Hermosillo, Mexico.
The bout served as the main event of the TV Azteca-televised portion of the show. The show's true headliner airs live on UniMas, as David Sanchez faces Marco Demecillo in a 12-round regional super flyweight title fight.
Saturday's bout was hardly Orucuta's best night at the office, certainly nothing like when he snuck up on the world and nearly dethroned long-reigning super flyweight titlist Omar Narvaez a year ago. The Mexican puncher struggled in the early rounds, never truly sure of his punches as Perez proved a game challenger.
The tide turned in Orucuta's favor midway through the bout, showing signs of his current standing as one of the best super flyweights in the world. Combinations began to flow with regularity, as Pena slowly faded. A right hand late in round nine set the tone for a series of power shots, including a pair of digging left hooks to the body which hurt Pena.
The pain endured was enough for the underdog to decide he wasn't interested in fighting three more minutes. Pena remained on his stool at the start of the 10th round, at which point the referee - rather than waving off the fight - counted to ten to officially signal the end.
The official time was 0:10 of round 10.
Orucuta advances to 29-3 (24KO) with the win, his third straight since landing on the wrong end of a debatable decision with Narvaez in their title fight last May; Pena falls to 5-5-1 (2KO).
The TV Azteca-televised chief support saw Francisco Rodriguez score what was announced as a technical unanimous decision in a truncated affair with Ernesto Guerrero.
Rodriguez was in control for as long as the fight lasted, scoring a third round knockdown and laying it on the 24-year old journeyman. A sudden ending came in round five, when Guerrero attempted a right hand, but instead fell to the canvas in pain, holding his side shortly after getting caught with a left hook.
The bout came dangerously close to ending in disqualification, as Rodriguez landed two punches while Guerrero was on a knee, leaving him to tip over and lay down flat on his back.
Rather than rule Guerrero voluntarily down as a result of taking a knee, the referee instead insisted the fight ended due to a cut that never managed to present itself.
Nevertheless, Rodriguez was announced the winner by scores of 40-35 across the board, as he now improves to 13-2 (9KO). Guerrero falls to 17-9 (11KO).
In the TV Azteca televised opener, Luis Castro and Gilberto Gutierrez (1-0-1, 0KO) fought to a four-round draw. The flyweight bout was a spirited affair, but the unbeaten Castro (3-0-2, 2KO) only able to impress one of the three judges. Scores were 39-37 for Castro, and 38-38 even on the other two cards.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of the Transnational Boxing Ratings Board, Yahoo Boxing Ratings Panel and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox