By going backward and picking and pecking his way through much of the fight, and stifling his opponent's offense, Cosme Rivera got his first win in his trilogy with Antonio Pitalua tonight in Polanco, Mexico, winning on scores of 119-109, 119-109 and 117-111. Bad Left Hook scored it 118-111 for Rivera.
Rivera (34-14-3, 24 KO) boxed on the back foot for the vast majority of the fight, neutralizing the one-dimensional charge of the explosive but aging Pitalua (52-6-1, 45 KO). It wasn't nearly as good as their September bout, but there was always the danger of Pitalua landing one of his monster right hands on the 35-year-old Mexican. And Pitalua never did stop looking for one.
For a couple of old guys, they still have a lot of spirit. A fourth fight to break the tie wouldn't be unwelcome, but after this one may not be necessary anymore, unless Pitalua, 41, can figure out a way to take away Rivera's legs if they do it again. Not a body puncher by nature, Pitalua might have to change too much to make it competitive anymore, even if he did do that just a couple of months ago.
The win also gives Rivera the WBC Latino junior welterweight title.