Hernan ‘Tyson’ Marquez survived a scare in barely outlasting Fernando Lumacad in their main event Saturday evening in Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico.
Scores were 95-95 even and 97-94 (twice) in favor of Marquez. Both fighters came in at 114 ½ lb in the sanctioned super flyweight elimination bout.
The night served as a belated 50th birthday celebration for hometown legend Julio Cesar Chavez, who sat ringside and served on the broadcast along with Marco Antonio Barrera. With plenty of star power seated just on the other side of the ropes, Marquez was given a huge stage to shine at his brightest.
He didn’t quite hit the mark.
The heavier weight seemed to impact Marquez’ performance, as the free swinging knockout artist appeared fleshy and sluggish. At no point did he resemble the fighter who enjoyed a career-best year in 2011. Three straight knockouts in a time-capsule campaign last year have now been followed up with back-to-back decision wins.
Lumacad appeared to take notes from Marquez’ rematch with Richie Mepranum earlier this year. Marquez wasn’t given much room to get off his punches, spending much of the evening plodding forward and struggling to figure out the in-and-out style of his opponent.
Marquez enjoyed success at center ring midway through the contest, effectively backing up Lumacaa for the first time in the bout. The difference in power finally surfaced in the second half of the fight. As Lumacad’s bouncing in and out didn’t serve him as well once Marquez figured out a way to effectively cut off the ring.
The closest the fight came to an early ending was in the eighth. Marquez had Lumacad pinned in a corner, unleashing with overhand lefts as the crowd rallied behind the southpaw. No knockdowns would come of the moment, proved to be a pivotal point in the fight as Marquez was doing his best to avoid a huge career letdown in the presence of his boxing idol at ringside.
Lumacad attempted to take the lead in the final two rounds, but was falling short with rapid-fire right hands. Marquez had his opponent timed well, sliding out of the way just enough to avoid the incoming and to be in perfect position for immediate counter opportunities. Lumacad enjoyed a late surge, but not enough for the Filipino to score a major upset on the road.
Marquez wins his seventh straight fight as he improves to 34-2 (25KO). The flyweight titlist has enjoyed a career resurrection since suffering back-to-back losses in 2010, including a one-sided 8th round knockout at the hands of current pound-for-pound entrant Nonito Donaire.
Lumacad snaps a six-fight unbeaten streak (5-0-1, 3KO in that stretch) as he falls to 26-4-3 (11KO).
There were talks of Marquez heading for a fall showdown with Brian Viloria. The sanctioning of this fight puts him in line for a title shot against the beltholder of his choice, though logic suggests his handlers aim for interim titlist Liborio Solis of Venezuela if he chooses to remain at super flyweight
Marquez still claims hardware at flyweight, though the logistics of a unification bout with Viloria could prove complicated. The 23-year old still owes a mandatory defense to interim titlist Juan Carlos Reveco. It also stands to reason that his past two bouts suggest perhaps now is not the best time to face the always unpredictable Viloria, at least not until he’s ready to fully commit to one weight division at a time.
Tomas ‘Gusano’ Rojas continues to pick up the pieces of a nearly disgraced career, scoring his second straight win with a 4th round knockout over Manuel de los Reyes Herrera.
Rojas was temporarily banned by the WBC over allegations of taking a dive in a 2007 bout with Jorge Arce. The claim first surfaced last December and was initially denied by Rojas, only to flip flop a day later. Appearing before the commission earlier this year, Rojas explained his train of thought and why he made such comments. The alphabet group appeared convinced, lifting the ban in February.
Two fights have followed, including Saturday night’s destruction of Herrera. Rojas scored knockdowns in each of the first two rounds and battered Herrera before flooring him again. The fight ended with the Colombian southpaw twitching uncontrollably on the canvas before being immediately restrained by his cornerman. Medical assistance was given while Herrera remained flat on his back before being taken out on a stretcher.
The official time was 1:20 of round four.
Rojas picks up his third straight win following a super flyweight reign which ended last August in Japan. Now campaigning as a bantamweight, the Mexican southpaw improves to 39-13-1 (26KO).
Herrera has yet to win on the road, as he falls to 19-10-1 (13KO).
In the televised opener, Ricardo Dominguez scored a minor upset with a unanimous decision over Gilberto Gonzalez in an eight-round lightweight bout. Scores were 78-74 across the board for Dominguez, a former two-time lightweight title challenger. The win is his second straight as he improves to 36-8-2 (22KO).
Gonzalez suffers his second loss in three fights as he falls to 18-3 (12KO). Things were moving alog in his career before hitting a brick wall after suffering a Dec. ’10 knockout loss to journeyman Noe Bolanos. The loss to Dominguez was just his second fight since then and his first in 2012.