Javier Fortuna picked up his first "world title" tonight at the Barclays Center, beating Bryan Vasquez over 12 action-packed rounds in the PBC on Spike co-feature. Official scores were 116-112, 117-111, and 117-111, with BLH scoring it 115-113 for Fortuna, who gains the previously vacant WBA "world" title, which is secondary to Takashi Uchiyama's WBA "super world" title.
Fortuna (28-0-1, 20 KO) promised a Mike Tyson-like performance in the first five rounds, and while he wasn't exactly bringing to mind the commercial glory days of "Iron" Mike, he did bring the action, especially when he had the range he wanted, but also when the two would get in close, which is where Vasquez (34-2, 18 KO) did his best work. Vasquez, whose only previous loss was to Uchiyama three years ago, never developed a sustained offensive attack, but did do some good body work over the course of the fight, just not enough to slow down Fortuna, who moved better and landed the more telling blows.
It's the best win of Fortuna's career, and wasn't a letdown performance against a better opponent, which he's had a couple times in the past, notably against Patrick Hyland and Luis Franco. There are still some flaws in Fortuna's game, certainly, but there are flaws in everyone's game, and he won this fight clean and clear with a nice performance, and one that was pretty entertaining if oversold by the Spike commentators. Lots of action, but often sloppy and wild from both guys, which certainly didn't hurt its watchability, but it wasn't exactly a Fight of the Year or anything.
For Vasquez, it's a setback, but he remains a top 10 guy at the weight. Fortuna's handlers at Sampson Boxing have long felt he is a special find, as they had in the past with Manny Pacquiao and Sergio Martinez, another couple of flashy southpaws. He's not likely on their level, but he got the better of a solid contender.