BROOKLYN - Jesus Cuellar defended his WBA Featherweight World Championship with a unanimous decision over Jonathan Oquendo in the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING co-feature.
Cuellar (28-1, 21 KOs) was the busier fighter from the outset, throwing nearly 1,000 punches in the 12-round championship fight, compared to just 637 for the challenger. Cuellar initiated the action and pressed forward, but his Puerto Rican opponent would not engage for most of the bout.
“We knew the fight would be difficult but we accomplished everything we wanted to during training camp,” Cuellar said. “The only thing that was left was the knockout, but because of the movement of his head it was impossible.
Oquendo (26-5, 16 KOs), who was cut over his left eye from an accidental clash of heads in the fifth, was knocked down midway through the fourth. Replays showed that Oquendo tangled his feet with his southpaw opponent.
The win, which was scored 116-111 twice, 120-107, likely sets up a major fight at 126 pounds for the Argentine Cuellar in 2016.
“First we’re going to rest and then we’re going to determine what’s next,” Cuellar said.
“We’ll have two more fights at featherweight and then move up in weight. Hopefully we get Leo Santa Cruz next.”
After the fight, Oquendo acknowledged that he didn’t properly implement his game plan.
"I have to give credit to Cuellar. I never got to use my game plan and he fought a good fight and he's a good champion,” Oquendo said. "I needed to start more aggressive but I started boxing. That was my mistake. The head butt made it hard for me to see as well.
"I have time to come back and get another world title opportunity. I am disappointed, but I will be back in the gym ready to get back to work soon."