By Jake Donovan
Javier Prieto pulled off a surprise win on the road, scoring a unanimous decision over former titlist Vicente Mosquera in their lightweight eliminator Saturday evening in Colon City, Panama.
Scores were 115-112 (twice) and 116-111 in favor of Prieto, who scores by far the biggest win of his career.
It hasn't been a memorable year at all for Mosquera, who was cheated out of a 140 lb. title fight over the summer. The former lightweight titlist saw a vacant title fight versus Joan Guzman die at the scales when his troubled opponent showed up more than a full division over the weight limit.
Mosquera went on to instead face and beat late sub Cosme Rivera, scoring his ninth straight win since returning to the ring in 2011. The motivation behind returning to the ring five years after losing his lightweight title to Edwin Valero in 2006 was to, of course, return to the championship stage.
The opportunity on Saturday evening seemed tailor-made for the 33-year old, fighting at home against a durable yet beatable journeyman. Prieto had other ideas, showing no fear in outfighting the house fighter enough to convince the ringside judges to not deny him the well-deserved win.
Prieto improves - in every sense of the word - to 24-7 (18KO), picking up his eighth straight win in the process. The upset victory puts the 26-year old in line to face lightweight titlist Omar Figueroa sometime in 2014.
Mosquera's valiant comeback isn't quite yet over. However, there was a deflating feel to Saturday's performance as he falls to 33-3-1 (18KO).
In undercard action, former two-division titlist Celestino Caballero picked up hist first win in nearly two years with a 2nd round stoppage of Jimmy Aburto.
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: @JakeNDaBox