By Francisco Salazar
STUDIO CITY, Calif. - Lightweight contender Jose Felix might have thought it was deja vu.
Over three months ago, Felix found himself on the canvas at the hands of Yakubu Amidu in the ninth round, moments after dropping Amidu.
Felix found himself on the canvas on Saturday night, courtesy of a right hand by Marcos Jimenez.
Felix would score a more legit knockdown later in the round and had to hold off a late rally from Jimenez to win a close 10 round unanimous decision before a sold-out crowd at the Sportsmen's Lodge.
Midway through the first round, Felix was dropped by a right to the head from Jimenez, who had not fought in about 18 months. After getting up, Felix dropped Jimenez moments later with a right cross to the head.
Felix was the busier and more effective fighter during the first half of the fight. He was able to use his reach to keep Jimenez at bay, countering whenever it was necessary.
Jimenez continued stalking Felix around the ring and seemed to find success landing more punches by the sixth round. While it looked like he was winning the round, Jimenez landed a punch well below Felix's belt-line. Felix went down in pain, prompting referee Thomas Taylor to deduct a point from Jimenez.
As the bout progressed into the later rounds, Felix's punch output dropped. Whether it was due to the impact of the low blow or not, Felix became more defensive, allowing Jimenez to gain more confidence and press the fight.
Jimenez did his best work while pinning Felix against the ropes, especially with right hands to the head.
Jimenez continued to find more success in the 10th and final round, taking the fight to Felix, who seemed to be thankful the final bell sounded.
All three judges scored the bout in favor of Felix, 95-94, 95-94, and 96-93.
BoxingScene.com scored the bout 95-94 in favor of Felix, who improves to 31-1-1, 24 KOs.
Jimenez drops to 20-6, 13 KOs.
Lightweight Pedro Duran stopped Erick Orozco in the sixth and final round. After an even first round, Duran (11-0, 8 KOs) began letting his hands go in round two, landing repeatedly with right hands to the head of Orozco. There were times when Orozco (5-3-2, 3 KOs) did connect with a left to the body or head, but not consistently. The fight took a dramatic turn midway a minute into round six when a right hand from Duran dropped Orozco. After getting up, Orozco was dropped again, this time by a right uppercut from Duran. Referee David Denkin waved the fight over at 1:32.
Light heavyweight Oleksandr Gvozdyk remained unbeaten, forcing Francisco Sierra to remain on his stool before the start of the sixth round. Sierra (27-9, 24 KOs) was able to hang in there for the first two rounds, but Gvozdyk began to display his pedigree from the third round on. Gvozdyk (7-0, 4 KOs) was accurate in landing straight rights and counter left hooks to the head, eventually mixing in an abundant amount of punches to the body. After the fifth round, a ringside physician and Sierra's corner advised referee Zac Young to stop the bout before the start of round six.
In the opening bout of the Top Rank/ Bash Boxing card, Lenny Zappavigna (34-2, 24 KOs) stopped Ramon Ayala in the sixth round. It was all Zappavigna from the opening bell as he walked Ayla down. Despite fighting with cuts along both eyes, Zappavigna landed at will with hooks and crosses. Ayala's (23-5-1, 11 KOs) punch output dropped as the bout progressed. After Zappavigna launched a barrage of punches that stunned Ayala, referee David Denkin stepped in and stopped the bout at 2:40.