Moises Fuentes is not yet out of the woods but in a far better place than he was 24 hours ago.
The fallen former strawweight titlist responded well to emergency surgery performed Sunday morning following a brutal knockout loss to David Cuellar. Boxing Scene.com has been informed by event handlers from Saturday’s show in Cancun that Fuentes will need to remain hospitalized through at least Wednesday, though cautiously optimistic that his health will continue to improve.
Cuellar preserved his unbeaten record following a sixth-round knockout of Fuentes in their regional junior bantamweight title fight Saturday evening on ESPN+ from Grand Oasis Hotel in Cancun. The one-sided affair saw the 19-year-old Cuellar (20-0, 13KOs) end matters with a right hand, left hook combination. The left hook put Fuentes down and out, prompting an immediate stoppage and with the referee not wasting any time in urging ringside physicians to tend to the fallen boxer.
Fuentes remained motionless on the canvas before being transported out of the ring and to a nearby hospital for emergency care. It was determined that surgery would be required to remove a blood clot from his brain. The emergency procedure went well, though a long road remains for Fuentes before returning to full health.
The bout was the first for Fuentes (25-7-1, 14KOs) since September 2018, when he was stopped in the fifth round of what was tabbed as a comeback fight for Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez who hadn’t fought in a year following back-to-back defeats.
Fuentes—a 36-year-old from Mexico City—was out of his element on Saturday, to the point of his own manager as well as WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman calling for the fight to be stopped well before the sixth round. His corner opted to send him out, with Cuellar finishing the job in terrifying fashion at 2:11 of round six.
The sequence will undoubtedly put an end to his boxing career, as the only focus should be on Fuentes pulling through and enjoying quality of life. He held a WBO strawweight title in the early part of the 2010s, his reign best remembered for a fifth-round knockout of Ivan Calderon in the Puerto Rican legend’s final career fight in 2012.
Efforts to become a two-division titlist were unsuccessful, fighting to a draw with and knockout loss to Donnie Nietes in their two fight set between March 2013 and May 2014. Fuentes would go on to beat former titlists Oswaldo Novoa and Francisco ‘Chihuas’ Rodriguez, though proving to be his last hurrah as he would go on to lose five of his final six bouts including Saturday’s major health scare.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox