By Jake Donovan
Carlos Diaz survived the toughest test of his young career, outpointing Roberto Marroquin over 10 hard-fought rounds Saturday evening in Reynona, Mexico.
Scores were 96-94, 96-95 and a far too wide 98-91 in favor of the 21-year old Diaz.
The fight was sold on paper as being among Diaz' most difficult tasks to date, although most figured it to be just another name on his resume as he boldly marched into contention; Marroquin actually lived up to his potential on this particular night, offering his best performance in years, but just not enough to pull off the upset.
He came close in round three, when he sent Diaz to the canvas for the first time in his career. Unfortunately, it was also a frame where Marroquin was decked, leaving fans on the edge of their seat in believing a fight was about to break out.
It's exactly what happened as neither boxer was able to gain a sustained edge for very long. Despite one judge having Diaz win by a ridiculous seven-point margin, the 10-round bout was tooth and nail every step of the way.
In the end, it resulted in Diaz prevailing with his unbeaten record still intact. He improves to 20-0 (10KOs) with the win, his second of 2016.
Marroquin falls to 25-4-1 (18KOs), but perhaps breathes new life into his career.
The one-time noted super bantamweight prospect - now campaigning two divisions north - had fallen on hard times dating back to his lopsided loss to Guillermo Rigondeaux in Sept. '12. His record is just 3-3-1 from that point through present day, but managing to deliver his best performance in years on Saturday - even in defeat.
The bout aired live on TV Azteca in Mexico. For whatever reason, U.S. TV rights were not picked up by any network, as Azteca America and beIN Sport Espanol both offered boxing content not relevant to this weekend's schedule.
Jake Donovan is the managing editor of BoxingScene.com. Follow his shiny new Twitter account: @JakeNDaBox_v2