World Boxing News is sad to report that former Mexican world champion boxer Moises Fuentes died from injuries suffered in the ring.
But that’s not the full story here. There is undoubtedly a way this outcome could have been avoided.
Serious questions need to be raised on how Fuentes was allowed to face a 19-0 knockout specialist after three years out and two straight KOs.
The 37-year-old went down to defeat in one round by the undefeated Daigo Higa [14-0] in a Japan clash in February 2018.
Seven months later, Fuentes went straight into another world-level battle with former Pound for Pound king Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez.
Moisés Fuentes was out for three years
Without a warm-up fight, Fuentes was stopped in five rounds. He was clearly lacking in confidence.
So, therefore, begs the reasoning for pitching Fuentes – effectively retired for three years – in with knockout beast David Cuellar Contreras [then 19-0 and now 23-0] without a fight in between?
The fateful contest in October 2021 was one-sided. It predictably went the way of Contreras via sixth-round knockout.
But why the Cancun Commission would sanction the fight when Fuentes was without a good performance in four years leaves much to be desired.
Assessing Fuentes in a comeback bout should have been standard practice with boxers who believe their careers may be over but then decide to accept a return.
At least make them compete at a lower level between extended periods out of the ring. Just so the Commission, the boxer, the promoter, and their team can assess how much the levels have dropped after so much time away.
In his prime, Fuentes was a tough competitor. He twice fought Donnie Neites for the world light-flyweight title and won a WBC belt at minimumweight.
Lives on the line
They say boxing is broken. Well, this is one thing that needs to be changed as soon as possible. A boxer’s life was on the line and has now sadly been lost.
The World Boxing Council commented on the sad news without delving into what WBN has since uncovered.
Fuentes spent over a year in a coma until the decision was made to let the three-weight world title challenger go.
“It is with profound sadness and grief that Mexican champion Moises Fuentes has passed away.
“On October 16, 2021, Moi suffered a KO loss in Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico. The defeat resulted in a blood clot on his brain.
“He underwent emergency surgery in Cancun. Fuentes was transferred to Mexico City to receive care and rehabilitation.
“Moi fought bravely for over a year, but unfortunately, he lost his life this Thursday.
“The entire family of the World Boxing Council and its president Mauricio Sulaimán, send our deepest and most sincere condolences to Moi’s family and many friends.”
To honor Moises Fuentes, an investigation needs to be initiated to root out this continued problem. Allowing boxers to compete against top up-and-coming stars after being out for years shouldn’t be standard practice.
There should be regulations in place to protect those competitors at all costs. If it were, Fuentes and many others would still be with us today.