Boxing--and Hilario Zapata of Panama narrowly beat Venezuelan challenger Reinaldo Becerra in Caracas on Monday night (1 December) to retain his World Boxing Council (WBC) flyweight title.
GV WBC flyweight champion, Hilario Zapata (black shorts), of Panama, facing Reinaldo Becerra (red shorts), of Venezuela, in first round of fight, as crowd look on (2 shots)
SV Boxers exchanging heavy blows
GV Zapata attacking with Becerra responding in ninth round
SV Becerra receiving attention in his corner at the end of round nine
SV Girl holding placard announcing start of round ten
GV Of boxers exchanging punches with Becerra forcing champion, Zapata, into corner
GV Becerra attacking and forcing Zapata onto ropes
GV Becerra seated in corner waiting for start of round 15
GV Of girl holding placard announcing start of round 15
GV End of final round showing Zapata being declared winner, raising arms (2 shots)
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Background: Boxing--and Hilario Zapata of Panama narrowly beat Venezuelan challenger Reinaldo Becerra in Caracas on Monday night (1 December) to retain his World Boxing Council (WBC) flyweight title.
SYNOPSIS: Hilario Zapata, in the black shorts, has won 14 of his 15 professional fights. It was the fourth time he'd defended his flyweight title. In this gruelling battle against Venezuela's Becerra, has was mainly on the defensive.
For most of the 15-round bout, the champion infuriated the crowd by dancing away from the Venezuelan's attacks and avoiding close-range combat. Zapata preferred to fight from a distance, but quickly raised some swelling on Becerra's left cheek and cut his eyebrow with long right jabs.
The champion survived a bad moment in the tenth round when Becerra caught him with an effective punch. The challenger then waded in furiously and, for a time, the fight was going his way. But Zapata used all his evasive skills, bending sideways and backwards, to avoid further punishment until the bell.
The battle was close until the end of the last round. The judges differed in their scoring, so the referee decided the fight in champion Hilario Zapata's favour. But there were cheers for Reinaldo Becarra who'd forced the pressure until the last minute.