Urbano Antillon has been a professional for nine years and he’s 26 years old. Do the math, go ahead. Even if you are reading this after stumbling in from a night of carousing, you get it that Antillon started young. The California lightweight has been working on his trade, patiently, snagging solid wins and soaking up knowledge with top-tier sparring, with the likes of Manny Pacquiao. On Saturday, in the main event of the Latin Fury 10 card at the Grand Mayan in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico, it figured that Antillon would edge another notch up the ladder, and come away with the WBA’s interim lightweight crown. Miguel Acosta, only Miguel Acosta, just Miguel Acosta, stood in Antillon’s way.
Acosta came from Venezuela, with a rep as no dog, but definitively the underdog. He’d fought in the US just once, and had been busy in the last year or so picking off journeyman types to fatten up his record. Fatten it up Acosta did on Saturday, when he landed a hellacious right uppercut that short-circuited Antillon, and forced ref Russell Mora to halt the contest. The time was 1:47 of the ninth.
Antillon had his moments in the first half of the event. He stalked, dug to the body, and looked to be on his way to a systematic takedown. But the smart mover Acosta hung in, played it smart, and played a stellar card to the hilt. The win isn’t in the same league as say the Maidana/Ortiz upset, because Acosta does hold a win over Anges Adhajo, after all, but still, the Venezuelan didn’t adhere to the script at all.
(Some of you, including me, may be wondering why the WBA is holding an “interim” title fight on the selfsame night that their “world champion” “non interim” champion, one Paulus Moses was engaged in a title defense, in Namibia. That first crown defense, against Takehiro Shimada, went well, with Paulus taking a UD12. And you do know that the ‘BA says Juan Manuel Marquez is their “super champion,” don’t you? So stupid, such a farce…But let’s not digress into a rant on the goofy shenanigans of political bodies, shall we?)
Mexican Giovanni Segura (21-1) handled Juanito Rubillar (46-13), subbing for Filipino Sonny Boy Jaro, scratched with a visa problem. Rubillar, also from the Philippines, was coming off losses to seriously unheralded Edgar Romero and Omar Nino Romero. Segura, who can look a little crude at times, battered Rubillar, fighting on two days notice, and the loser’s corner threw in the towel in round six. Segura, a pleasing to watch lefty banger, won the WBA light flyweight crown (TKO4) from Cesar Canchilla in March, after losing a decision to Canchilla last summer. Like just about everyone in and around that weight, Segura would like a crack at Ivan Calderon.
Top Rank gave Sam Peter (31-3; 243 pounds, after weighing a basically disgraceful 265 in his previous fight four months before) softball opponent for his first go under their banner. Peter blasted out Marcus McGee (22-17), a 38-year-old Alabaman who functions as a designated hittee for heavyweights looking for a sure thing win, in the third round. If Peter keeps his weight under control, there is no reason the 28 year-old----wait, really, is he only 28, for real, has the birther brigade looked into this cat?—slugger can’t get right back into the title mix by the beginning of 2010.
Hernan Marquez (25-0) stepped up, well, maybe half-stepped up, when he gloved up against Juan Esquer (25-6) in a flyweight scrap. Esquer has at least been in with quality guys (Luis Concepcio, Ivan Calderon), even if he hasn’t beat them. Marquez went the distance, and got a UD10.
Would you pay to see Manny Pacquiao vs Saul Alvarez?