By: William Holmes
The undercard of Pacquiao vs. Marquez featured three world title bouts at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
HBO wasted little time in getting to the action and the first bout of the night was between Javier Fortuna (20-0) and Snooki promoted Patrick Hyland (27-0) in the featherweight division for the WBA Interim World Title. Fortuna started off strong and showed the superior hand speed with quick combinations while Patrick Hyland seemed content on staying in a defensive posture. In round four Fortuna threw a punch after the end of the round and was warned by the referee. Hyland started to pick up the pace in round six as Fortuna started to lose steam. Hyland stole a couple of the middle rounds, and cut Fortuna’s eye and hip tossed him to the ground in round nine. Fortuna fell to the ground again in round ten, but ended the fight strong and clearly won the last round. Javier Fortuna won the WBA Interim World Title with scores of 118-110, 116-112, and 115-113.
The next bout of the night was between Filipino Mercito Gesta (26-0) and Miguel Angel Vazquez (31-3) for the IBF Lightweight World Title. Gesta is an undefeated fighter, but he looked like a statue in the middle of the ring. Vazquez stuck with his game plan of sticking and moving and clearly outlanded the slow and flat footed Gesta. Gesta visibly showed his frustration at multiple times throughout he fight and grinned often when he was hit. But Gesta looked like an amateur inside the ring and was unable to successfully cut off the ring.
Quite simply, this fight was a snoozer.
Miguel Angel Vazquez easily defended his title with a 117-111, 119-109, and 118-110.
The final undercard bout of the night was between Michael Farenas (34-3-4) and Yuriorkis Gamboa (21-0) for the WBA Super Featherweight Title. Fortunately for the fans in attendance this bout was much more exciting than the previous two bouts. Farenas was considered by many to be overmatched in this bout, but he brought everything he had into the ring and gave Gamboa a much tougher fight than expected.
Photo: Chris Farina/Top Rank
Gamboa tagged Farenas numerous times with crisp accurate combinations, but Farenas’s southpaw style gave Gamboa trouble at times as his left hand was able to find its way through Gamboa’s defense and surprise him. Gamboa scored a knockdown in the second round with a short right hook. Farenas’ eyes were both cut in round three, but Farenas landed hard left hands to possibly win round four.
Farenas threw wild punches in the middle to late rounds as he must have known he needed a knockout to score a victory. Farenas was knocked down in the seventh round after a combination caused Farenas to touch the ground with his glove. Gamboa went for the finish in the ninth round when he hurt Farenas by the ropes, but Farenas fired back and hurt Gamboa with a counter left hand that knocked him down.
Even though Farenas was doing better than expected, it was clear that he needed a knockout in the last round over the now bloody Gamboa to win the fight, but was unable to do so.
Yuriorkis Gamboa remained undefeated with a 117-109, 118-108, 117-108 decision victory.