Not even moving the party to his hometown could give unbeaten Andres Gutierrez much more of an edge over rival Jairo Hernandez. For the second time in six months, the pair of super bantamweights fought a nip-and-tuck affair over ten furious rounds, with Gutierrez once again prevailing in their rematch Saturday evening in Queretaro, Mexico.
The losses have rapidly piled up for Hernandez, with all seven career defeats coming in his last nine fights. That didn't prevent the 24-year old journeyman from digging in and making the fight as uncomfortable as possible for his countryman.
Both fighters were battered, bloodied and bearing the scars of an intense war. Gutierrez was reminded early that a challenge was once again on his hands, never truly adjusting until round three, a Round of the Year candidate as both fighters unloaded bombs throughout the three-minute frame.
Gutierrez appeared on the verge of a knockout in round five, but Hernandez somehow managed to remain on his feet and remain competitive by rounds end.
Ebb and flow continued to sway back and forth during the second half of the contest. Gutierrez clearly deserved the win by fight's end, but absorbed a world of pain in order to remain undefeated and in the hunt for a super bantamweight title fight.
With the repeat win, Gutierrez advances to 31-0-1 (22KOs). While gunning for a shot at unbeaten 122 lb. titlist Leo Santa Cruz, he may have to first face Hugo Ruiz in a title eliminator.
Hernadez was brave in defeat, falling to 10-8 (3KOs).
The bout aired live on Televisa in Mexico.
Former strawweight titlist Jesus Silvestre (30-5, 22KOs) had an easy night's work, forcing late sub Josue Vega to quit on his stool after five rounds of action.
Ganigan Lopez (25-5, 16KOs) picked up his second straight win at junior flyweight, stopping Genaro Rios inside of three rounds.
Anabel Ortiz scored a repeat split decision win over Etsuko Tada over ten rounds. Scores were 95-94 in favor of Tada (13-2-2, 3KOs), and 96-93 and a way-too-wide 99-90 in favor of Ortiz (16-3, 3KOs), who scored an upset win over Tada last July in Japan.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox