By David P. Greisman
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - A crossroads fight between Javier Fortuna and Omar Douglas started well and ended well, with plenty of sloppiness in-between, concluding with Fortuna taking the unanimous decision.
Two judges had it 96-93, while the third had it 95-94, with Fortuna docked a point apiece on those scorecards after being knocked down in the first round.
Fortuna (132.9 pounds) had found success strafing Douglas (132.1 pounds) with looping shots early on in the opening round and was doing it again later on when Douglas countered with a good left hand. Fortuna went down and rose on shaky legs.
Fortuna kept distance in the second round, sending out lead lefts and then moving. The success Fortuna found while tentative in the second allowed him to regain confidence in the third, as he moved in and out with quick flurries.
But the fight devolved into rounds full of holding and jostling in clinches, with Fortuna initiating much of that, including a front face lock in the fourth. Douglas expressed his frustration with a front face lock of his own in the fifth.
When Fortuna did fight, he was able to use his speed to make up for his flaws. Douglas tried to get in close and land more hard shots but wasn’t able to replicate the flush blow that dropped Fortuna in the first. Douglas shoved Fortuna’s head over the ropes in the seventh and also added a forearm to the throat later on. Finally, in the ninth, the referee twice warned Fortuna for holding.
The boos rained down, and they seemed as if they were going to continue after both men went down from a tackle early in the 10th. Suddenly, the wrestling stopped and the fighting truly started anew, both boxers exchanging combinations from firing range, Fortuna getting the best of those moments.
Fortuna got the best of the evening. The 27-year-old moves to 31-1-1 with 22 KOs. This was his second straight win since he got stopped in June and lost his secondary WBA “regular” belt to Jason Sosa. (Jezreel Corrales is the WBA’s “super” titleholder).
Douglas, 25, fell to 17-1 with 12 KOs.