Nine months ago, the world watched as Fernando Montiel, then a bantamweight titlist and one of the top fighters in the world at 118 pounds, was demolished inside of two rounds by Nonito Donaire, live on HBO. After the devastating loss, Montiel wasted no time in moving up to 122 pounds and targeting a title in his fourth weight class. Wins over Nehomar Cermeno in June and Alvaro Perez in August set him up for tonight's shot at the WBC Silver title at super bantamweight, where a win was expected by most, and would serve to put him in line for a title shot next year.
His opponent, Victor Terrazas, had other ideas.
Terrazas and Montiel put on quite a show tonight in Los Mochis, Mexico, going the full 12 rounds with plenty of action, Montiel fighting his heart out down the stretch and looking for the knockout. But he couldn't find it, and the battered, cut up, and bloodied Montiel could only listen and hope as the scores were read off: 115-112, 115-113, and 114-113, all to Victor Terrazas.
Those who had seen Terrazas before -- and surely Montiel, as well -- knew that he wasn't some patsy here to lose. For as bogus as the vacant title at stake may have been, the fight and the matchup were legit. Terrazas (32-2-1, 18 KO) has been knocking on the door of top contention for a while now, with a 2010 loss to Rendall Munroe his only misstep since losing his pro debut back in 2003.
For Montiel (46-4-2, 36 KO) this is a step back in terms of momentum, but I don't think it's a devastating loss or anything. Terrazas is a good fighter, and Montiel was in the fight. If anything, I think both stocks were raised in the division tonight, though obviously Terrazas takes the bigger step forward. He's a serious contender now, and in the mix at super bantamweight.