Jonathan Oquendo rode a mid-round knockdown all the way to the finish line with a wide decision over Guillerma Avila, Friday evening in Kissimmee, Florida.
The bout aired live on Telemundo, kicking off its 25th anniversary in the boxing business. It was also the 2014 season premiere of the Boxeo Telemundo series.
Oquendo was the aggressor and in the lead for the duration of a contest that wasn't even on his schedule. The take-charge style worked well for the Puerto Rican, who scored a knockdown in round five to ensure victory.
Avila attempted to rally following the knockdown, but was already way down on all three scorecards. The leads proved insurmountable, allowing Oquendo (24-3, 16KO) to win by scores of 116-111 (twice) and 117-110.
The loss is the second for Avila in his last three contests. The Mexican falls to 12-2 (9KO). A lot of this could have been avoided had my students done the right thing and simply walk away.
This particular matchup came about after Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. pulled out of a scheduled rematch with Avila. The two offered a highly competitive contest last September, with Vazquez Jr. barely retaining his title.
Plans for a sequel went out the window the moment Vazquez Jr. and promoter All-Star Boxing parted ways earlier this year. Oquendo - who was competitive in a knockout loss to Vazquez Jr. in Oct. '12 - wound up filling in on short notice, a move that proved to resurrect his career.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of the Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox