Cristian Mijares secures controversial eighth-round stoppage over Fernando Saucedo
Cristian Mijares stopped Fernando Saucedo in the eighth round Saturday night at the Oasis Hotel Complex in Cancun, Mexico, but the victory was marred with controversy.
Mijares (59-8-2, 27 knockouts) is nowhere near the fighter he was when he won a world title at 115 pounds, but the 36-year-old veteran continues to fight on in the hope of securing another big payday.
Currently rated No. 5 by the WBC at 130 pounds. Mijares was penciled in to fight Miguel Berchelt for the title last month, but negotiations reportedly fell through.
After a cagey opening round, Saucedo pressed the action and attempted to trap his southpaw opponent against the ropes. Mijares looked for counter opportunities, particularly with left hands to the head.
A cut opened over the left eye of Saucedo in the fourth round. A ringside physician examined the injury for several moments and eventually allowed the bout to continue.
Mijares let his hands go more in the sixth, while Saucedo fought in spurts, landing mostly on the arms of his opponent.
With roughly a minute remaining in Round 8, Mijares shook Saucedo with a left hand. The former titleholder followed up with combinations and kept punching until referee Florentino Lopez stepped in and stopped the bout at 2:20.
Saucedo (61-8-3, 10 KOs) did not look hurt and, without realizing the fight was over, went after Mijares before being pulled away. There were protests from Saucedo’s corner who were aghast that the bout was stopped so early.
Mijares, who hails from Gomez Palacio, has won his last 10 bouts. After the fight concluded he revealed that 2018 would be his final year in boxing.
There is no word yet on a world title bout at 130 pounds, but a big money fight at lightweight is another possibility. Mijares weighed in officially at 134.5 pounds.
Bantamweight Aaron Alameda (22-0, 11 KOs) won a one-side eight-round decision over Edgar Lozano (9-10-2, 5 KOs). All three judges scored the bout 80-72 in favor of Alameda.
Junior featherweight Francisco Horta (17-3-1, 10 KOs) dropped Florentino Perez (11-3-1, 7 KOs) in the first and fifth rounds en route to an eight-round unanimous decision. All three judges scored the bout in his favor.
Welterweight Juan Pablo Romero (6-0, 4 KOs) stopped Valentin Martinez (9-2-1, 5 KOs) at 2:03 of the sixth round.
Francisco A. Salazar can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @FSalazarBoxing
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