By Mark Vester
On the undercard to Kelly Pavlik-Bernard Hopkins at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, Marco Antonio Rubio (43-4-1, 37KOs) came from behind to win a split-decision over Enrique Ornelas (28-5, 18KOs) in a WBC middleweight eliminator for the right to face champion Kelly Pavlik. The scores were 115-113 for Ornelas, 115-113 for Rubio and 116-112 for the winner Rubio.
Rubio started fast, moving forward with hard combinations. Ornelas switched up his game in the second, pounding Rubio with more accurate punches, and continued the trend in the third. Rubio tried to press back in the fourth, fifth and sixth, but Ornelas would steal them with numerous combinations that found their mark in the final minute.
During the eight, Rubio began to work his way back into the fight, pushing Ornelas back with power shots. The two would trade hard shots in the during the ninth, with both fighters looking battle worn. Ornelas fought back well in the tenth, with Rubio not being able to get off with enough punches.
Rubio got Ornelas in trouble at the end of the eleventh, but was unable to finish him off. During the twelfth, Ornelas showed his heart, lasting to the end with two badly swollen eyes as Rubio was pounding on him and tried to close the show with a close fight on the line.
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