By Jake Donovan
A pair of title fights pit Panama versus Philippines in Panama City. Headlining the show, John Riel Casimero travels abroad to defend his 108 lb. title against hometown favorite Luis Alberto Rios.
In the evening's co-feature, Roberto Vasquez and Mark John Apolinario once again fought to a 12-round draw. Their latest stalemate once again leaves an interim bantamweight title vacant, after announced scores of 116-112 Apolinario, 116-112 Vasquez and 115-115.
Their first fight last November was a nip and tuck affair the entire way through, and offered by some as alleged evidence that Vasquez - despite just 29 - is done at the top level. The former flyweight titlist proved there is plenty of air left in his tires after Saturday's performance, even if still fought on relatively even terms.
Apolinario certainly had his say at points in the fight, particularly in the fourth round though only after falling behind early. Vasquez appeared to take the round off after sweeping the first three, but regained his second wind midway through the contest. Apolinario refused to wilt, standing tall down the stretch and forcing Vasquez to sweat out the final verdict, even at home
Vasquez is now 32-5-2 (22KO), while Apolinario heads back to Philippines having fought to a draw for the third time in his last four fights. His record now stands at 17-2-3 (4KO).
Azael Cosio had his way with Jose David Mosquera, riding a late knockdown to a 9th round stoppage in their regional welterweight title fight.
Cosio (16-2, 13KO) controlled the action while breaking down Mosquera (14-3-1, 12KO). A knockdown was enough to finally beat the fight out of Mosquera, prompting a stoppage at 1:45 of round nine.
Both fighters entered coming off of knockout losses.
Jose Forero and Mauricio Martinez (5-2-1, 3KO) fought to a majority draw in their eight-round featherweight scrap. The bout was fiercely contested throughout, with the judges rightfully torn when tallying up the official verdict. Forero (8-2-1, 6KO) won 77-76 on one card, but was overruled by knotted scores of 75-75.
Julio Escodero (13-3, 9KO) moved on from the first stoppage loss of his career with a 6th round TKO of Fredy Pengally (5-3-1, 1KO) in their super flyweight tilt. Escodero won nearly every round while scoring a pair of knockdowns and drawing blood from his countryman en route to forcing the stoppage.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board, Yahoo Boxing Ratings Panel and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: