Boxer Hilario Zapata of Panama successfully defended his World Boxing Council light flyweight title in caracas, Venezuela, on Monday (4 August).
GV World Light Flyweight champion Hilario Zapata, of Panama, introduced to crowd by referee, in Caracas, Venezuela.
GV Flight begins Zapata attacks pressuring Hector Ray Melendez (dark shoes).
GV Melendez begins to come back into the fight and attacks the champion (Zapata white shoes) and takes him on to ropes before Zapata breaks away.
GV Last round: Melendez and Zapata go into clinch followed by close fighting, round finishes, boxers return to corners.
GV Zapata surrounded by press and officials, declared winner.
Check commercial sale with sports Editor
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Boxer Hilario Zapata of Panama successfully defended his World Boxing Council light flyweight title in caracas, Venezuela, on Monday (4 August). Zapata went into the fight as favourite against challenger Hector `Ray' Melendez of The Dominican Republic.
SYNOPSIS: The Panamanian has built a formidable reputation during his relatively short career in world class boxing, and the crowd was not expecting the Dominican challenger to upset a result which most predicted would be a foregone conclusion. From the beginning of round one Zapata wearing the white boots, set out to show Melendez just why he is reigning champion. Melendez had no effective counter to the pressure. Zapata is regarded as a formidable new find in the 108 pound (50 kilogram) light flyweight class. Still not eighteen years old (birthday 18 August), he is an exceptional puncher, capable of both accuracy and finesse.
For his part, Melendez was determined to make the best of what was his third, and possibly his last serious bid to secure the light flyweight championship. By the time midway point of the fifteen-round bout had reached, the Dominican made his move, taking the champion on to the ropes on several assosions, with a series of well placed left hand blows. Zapata survived the storm of the offensive, largely through his clear superiority in height and reach.
The last rounds saw both men tiring noticeable, and both were willing to lapse into clinches followed by a flurry of activity in which they attempted to take advantage. Neither Zapata nor Melendez have a punch heavy enough to decide a bout by knockout, a condition not uncommon among contenders in the lighter classes, Zapata won on points, his second successful defence since taking the title from Japan's Shigeo Nakajimi in March.