Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero recaptured the vacant IBF featherweight title last night in Copenhagen, defeating Spend Abazi after Abazi quit following the eighth round, bleeding heavily near his right eye.
Guerrero lost the championship last November to Orlando Salido, on the undercard of Mayweather/Baldomir, but Salido tested positive for nandrolone (a steroid) and was stripped and suspended. With the title vacant, Guerrero made his first trip abroad to face Abazi, who was on a 20-fight winning streak before being hammered by Guerrero, knocked down in the third and fifth rounds. All reports are that Guerrero had absolutely no problem with Abazi, and the loser seemed to agree with that.
"The blood bothered me, it was OK to stop. I did what I could," he said.
Guerrero improves to 20-2-1, and Abazi drops to 35-2.
In Albuquerque, 40-year old warrior Johnny Tapia defeated 29-year old Evaristo Primero in what has been billed as Tapia's "Final Fury," his farewell bout. Tapia won a majority decision, on scores of 98-92, 96-94, and 95-95.
After the fight, Tapia (56-5-2) tried and failed three times to pull off his trademark backflip. Primero (14-10-1) showed respect to Tapia, but also said that the former super flyweight, bantamweight and featherweight world champion "needs to retire."
"He's not the fighter he used to be. He's old," he said.
"He needs to retire. He's going to get hurt."
Primero was the fourth scheduled opponent for this fight. Colombian fighter Ilido Julio was the first choice, but Julio failed a physical on Thursday. Mexican Paulino Villalobos was then put into the slot, but the Tapia camp rejected the idea because of Villalobos' 26-35-1 record. Alberto Cepeda was next, but that fell through very shortly after (an hour or so, reportedly), before finally Primero -- scheduled for a six-round exhibition fight -- was cast into the role of main eventer at the Isleta Casino.
Tapia had last fought in 2005 at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago, being knocked out in the second round by unknown Sandro Marcos. Here's hoping Tapia really does retire, having gone out with a win in his hometown. After years and years of wars and title belts, he's earned a good retirement.