Former world champion Juan Manuel Lopez scored his first significant victory in almost three years as the 33 year-old ended a heated grudge match with Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. in the eleventh round.
The all-Puerto Rican clash had masses of hype and needle in the build-up but it was Lopez who took the spoils to move on to a potential world title fight in 2017.
After beginning the bout on the backfoot, Lopez clawed his way into the fight during the mid-rounds and eventually took over towards the end. In the eleventh, and with Vazquez struggling to see, Lopez piled on the pressure to force the stoppage.
Amazingly, ‘Juanma’ then goaded Vazquez’s corner until one of them entered the ring before a tired Lopez took a couple of heavy bare-knuckle shots for his trouble. The fighter was eventually grabbed and ushered away as the crowd began to get rowdy at the Roberto Clemente Arena, with a mass brawl luckily avoided for all concerned.
Elsewhere in Mexico, Cristian Mijares made is six wins in a row since losing to Leo Santa Cruz by ending Shohei Kawashima’s undefeated record with a unanimous points decision in Durango. Mijares, 35, edged the Japanese fighter with scores of 115-113 across the board to retain his WBC Silver featherweight title for the first time.
In Russia, amateur star Dmitry Bivol pushed his record to 8-0 by winning every round of ten against Yevgeni Makhteienko.