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Montiel-Valdez declared tech. draw

12
Sep

What appeared to be a tremendous upset on the Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.-Jason LeHoullier headlined card from Tepic, Mexico on Saturday became a setback for one of Mexico's most accomplished active fighters.

Former two-division titleholder Fernando Montiel had his fast hands full with 5-to-1 underdog Alejandro Valdez in their non-title bantamweight bout that was ultimately declared a third-round technical draw.

Montiel (39-2-2, 29 knockouts) dropped the tall southpaw with a hook-left uppercut combination in the first round but suffered a bad cut over his left eye before the opening stanza ended.

However, Valdez (21-3-3, 16 knockouts) found his range in the second round and dropped Montiel with an uppercut of his own. Valdez teed off with his jab in the third round, backing up and frustrating Montiel with his accuracy and a few accidental headbutts.

With his left eye nearly swollen shut Montiel's corner claimed that the 30-year-old veteran could not continue, knowing that if the fight ended before the completion of the fourth round the bout would be declared a No Contest or technical draw (in Mexico, bouts that end before four rounds due to accidental fouls are usually declared technical draws).

The fight was stopped and it was announced as a technical draw but then changed to a third-round TKO for Valdez while both fighters were still in the ring. However, the TKO verdict was later reversed by the commission a few hours after the fight.

Even though Valdez didn't get the “W”, Saturday's fight was still a breakthrough performance for the unheralded 25-year-old Sonora native, who was stopped in two rounds by bantamweight titleholder Hozumi Hasegawa last October.

Although Montiel escaped a loss his injured left eye will likely cost him a good payday on a high-profile boxing card.

The talented Los Mochis native was scheduled to fight Eric Morel on the Miguel Cotto-Manny Pacquiao pay-per-view undercard on November 14. That slot will now probably go to someone else.

In the main event of the Top Rank-promoted card, Chavez (40-0-1, 30 KOs) made quick work of Jason LeHoullier (22-2-1, 8 KOs), overwhelming the New England-area club fighter in the first round with a series of power shots. Chavez, who might face middleweight fringe contender John Duddy next, took care of LeHoullier in 2 minutes and 43 seconds.

In the best fight of the card, Donnie Nietes retained his 105-pound title with a hard-fought split decision over game Manuel Vargas.

The Philippines' Nietes, who won by scores of 118-110, 116-110 and 112-116, was the faster, more elusive and accurate-punching boxer. However, the Mexican challenger was the aggressor throughout the fight.

Vargas marched forward throwing hard hooks and uppercuts and seemed to get stronger in the late rounds, but Nietes was able to block and slip many of the Mexican's punches while stepping back.

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