Omar Figueroa and Jerry Belmontes didn't exactly put on a great show last night, as their fight started fast before petering out over the course of their 12 rounds together, and in the end, Figueroa was left with a somewhat controversial split decision win.
That means that he retained his WBC lightweight title, but the result wasn't impressive. Expected to overpower the light-punching Belmontes, a fringe contender at best, Figueroa (23-0-1, 17 KO) was instead flustered for much of the fight, as Belmontes (19-4, 5 KO) at times was able to outbox him, and as the fight wore on, simply managed to keep Figueroa's output relatively low.
Figueroa, 24, blamed Belmontes for not making for an enjoyable fight, but was happy to overcome a fighter he'd lost to five times in the amateur ranks.
"He gave me more than trouble,'' Figueroa said. "He wouldn't make a fight out of it. I'm sorry to the fans. It was more of a sparring match than a fight. I prepared so much and this was the outcome.
"He almost made me cry again but of laughter saying he was going to beat me. I prepared well. I came 100 percent. I knew he was going to run. My hands are a little sore but nothing bad, nothing crazy. Now take my time off. I have been training since January. But it is up to Al Haymon."
The 25-year-old Belmontes thought he'd done enough to win. BLH also scored the fight for Belmontes, 116-112, and Showtime's Al Bernstein and Steve Farhood both had him winning the fight, too, with Daniel Jacobs scoring it a draw.
"Honestly, I thought I won the fight. I thought I landed the clearer more effective shots," Belmontes said. "I don't fight like that (running) but sometimes I pay attention to the fans when they are booing so I went inside and fought like a Mexican warrior. He couldn't handle my jab. He couldn't handle me on the outside. I thought I won the fight."