Saul Juarez and Mario Andrade battle to 10-round draw
Saul Juarez and Mario Andrade fought to a 10-round split decision draw on Friday at the Auditorio Blackberry in Mexico City.
The fight was a crossroads clash between two junior flyweights who reside in the Mexico City area.
Juarez entered the bout having snapped a four-bout losing streak by stopping the late Gilberto Parra in his last bout on Mar. 9.
Andrade, who was coming off a technical decision loss to Junto Nakatani on Apr. 15, dictated the fight early, beating Juarez to the punch.
Juarez was then deducted a point for an inadvertent head clash that opened a cut along the left eye of Andrade in Round 2. The WBC’s rule of deducting a point from the fighter who is not cut remains pointless.
By the midway point, Juarez began closing the distance. He connected with more consistency, although Andrade did land numerous right hands of his own.
Sensing he was down in the fight, Juarez (24-8-2, 13 knockouts) went for broke in the final two rounds, letting his hands go and putting Andrade on the defensive. Both fighters had their moments in the final session.
One judge scored the bout 95-94 for Andrade, another scored 96-93 for Juarez, while the third judge scored the bout 95-95. The point deduction from Juarez cost him a majority-decision victory.
After the fight, both fighters were open to a rematch.
“It was difficult to work from the outside to start the fight,” said Juarez, who is ranked No. 5 by the WBO and No. 8 by the WBC. “We were able to close the distance as the fight progressed. I did my work, but if that’s what the judges saw, I have to respect that.”
Andrade (13-7-6, 3 KOs) was equally diplomatic.
“I thought I gave a good fight. The fight could’ve gone either way. I’m content with a draw,” he said.
In junior lightweight action, Ricardo Garcia (3-1, 3 KOs) survived a knockdown in the opening round to stop Ivan Basurto (6-4, 6 KOs) in the fourth. Referee Laurentino Ramirez stepped in and stopped the bout at 2:45.
Junior featherweight Ernesto Ortega was successful in his pro debut, knocking out Brayan Zuniga (0-1-1) at 1:02 of the second round.
In a battle of lightweights making their pro debuts, Pedro Bernal knocked out Eduar Meza in the opening round.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for RingTV.com since October 2013. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing
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