By Cliff Rold, photos by Stacey Verbeek
In a fight hastened by a cut in the second round, undefeated 30-year old Juan Carlos Payano (16-0, 9 KO) of Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic, scored a unanimous technical to capture the WBA “Super” Bantamweight title from 29-year old Anselmo Moreno (35-3-1, 12 KO) of San Miguelito, Panama, on Friday night at the Mesquite Arena in Mesquite, Texas. Moreno was attempting the 13th defense of the title he won from Wladimir Sidorenko in 2008.
Both men weighed in a half-pound under the division limit of 118 lbs. The referee was Luis Pabon.
Reports of the fight, which did not air on US television, indicate Payano was cut by a clash of heads in the second round. The cut ultimately led to a conclusion of hostilities with six rounds scored. The scores came in 59-55 and 58-56 twice, all for Payano.
It is Moreno’s first defeat since a failed attempt at a 122 lb. title against Abner Mares in 2012. The card was promoted by Iron Mike Promotions.
Also on the card, junior middleweight Charles Hatley (24-1-1, 16KOs) survived a third round knockdown to dominate late replacement Richard Gutierrez (24-14-1, 17KOs) for the remainder of the fight. All three judges saw it 98-91.
Super featherweight contender Roberto Marroquin (24-3-1, 17KOs) stopped Miguel Soto (12-4, 12KOs) in three rounds. Soto was down twice in the third and refused to come out for the fourth round.