By Jake Donovan
Cristian Mijares scored perhaps his most significant victory of his current win streak, while potentially sending countryman Rafael Marquez into retirement in the process.
The former two-time super flyweight titlist picked up his 11th straight win with a 9th round stoppage of Marquez in their TV Azteca-televised headliner Saturday evening in Mexico City.
Mijares led throughout the bout, but never by a great margin as Marquez remained competitive for as long as his 37-year old body would allow. WBC open scoring (one of their minor titles was at stake) revealed Mijares to lead by split decision after four rounds and again through eight.
Every time it appeared that Marquez was on his way out, the legendary former two-division champ would dig deep and rally back in the very next round. His warrior's heart allowed for a fight that was probably closer on paper than was the case in reality. While Marquez kept within striking distance, at no point did it appear that he would permanently turn the tide in his favor.
Conversely, Mijares' worst moments were always followed up with superior boxing to resume control of the action. Marquez clawed every step of the way, but eventually gave in just short of the bout reaching double digit rounds.
Mijares improves to 47-6-2 (21KO). Three years after he was assumed to be all washed up, the 31-year old becomes a major player in a loaded 122 lb. division.
The future is nowhere nearly as bright for Marquez, who falls to 41-8 (37KO). He has now lost three of his last five and vowed to retire if he failed to come out victorious in this bout. Whatever he decides once he has time to ponder the decision, the younger member of one of the best boxing brother tandems in boxing history has enjoyed a hell of a career.
In the TV Azteca-televised co-feature, Edgar Sosa (47-7, 28KO) won a 10-round majority decision over Myung Ho Lee (15-3, 5KO).
The bout was meant as a placeholder for Sosa, who is a mandatory challenger for WBC (and lineal) flyweight champion Toshiyuki Igarashi. Instead, Sosa was forced to dig deep in the super flyweight tune up, winning by scores of 96-94 on two cards to overrule a 95-95 verdict on the third card.
Sosa's best moments came in the second half of the fight, as Lee was able to leave a lasting impression early on. A major upset threatened to surface, before Sosa turned around the fight in round seven. A rally down the stretch allowed the house favorite to play it safe down in the final round, boxing smart while avoiding any risk of a fluke knockout.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: