Argentina's Nicolino Locche jabbed his way to a points victory over Colombia's Antonio Cervantes to retain his World Boxing Association Junior Welterweight title in Buenos Aires on Sunday (12 December).
MV Boxers in pre-fight briefing by referee
GV Sign 'Round I'
SV Boxers, Locche in white trunks (3 shots)
GV Sign 'Round 8'
MV Cervantes on floor
MV Locche's seconds in corner tend to boxer
GV Sign 'Round 15'
SV Fight - Locche play-acting, dodging blows, announced as winner of fight
Initials ES. 1457 ES. 1600
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Argentina's Nicolino Locche jabbed his way to a points victory over Colombia's Antonio Cervantes to retain his World Boxing Association Junior Welterweight title in Buenos Aires on Sunday (12 December).
The 32-year-old champion had to use all his wiles to keep the fast-punching Cervantes at bay over 15 closely-matched rounds. Although Locche gained the judges unanimous verdict, it was the taller, slimmer challenger who appeared the fitter man at the end of the contest.
The fight -- which drew a capacity 25,000 crowd -- was the Argentine's fifth defence of the title he won from Paul Takeshi of Japan in Tokyo in December 1968.
SYNOPSIS: World Boxing Association champion Nicolino Locche of Argentina defended his Junior Welterweight title in Buenos Aires on Sunday. His challenger -- Antonio Cervantes of Colombia. A 25,000 crowd packed into the city's Luna Park stadium to shout for their 32 year-old favourite.
Locche -- in the white trunks -- was soon using all his ringcraft to slip his fast-moving challenger. Bobbing and weaving near the ropes, the champion proved a difficult target. And a stream of accurate left jabs kept the Colombian at a distance. But Cervantes -- the younger man by seven years -- kept pressing the stocky Argentinian. After a glancing blow in the sixth round -- apparently from a glove lace -- blood streamed from Locche's nose. His seconds easily staunched the flow.
But by the eighth round it was Cervantes who was in trouble. Shrugging and teasing his way inside the Colombian's guard, Locche battered home a flurry of head and body punches. Cervantes slumped to the canvas. But he was soon on his feet again.
As the fight progressed, the champion began to tire. He threw less punches, dropped his guard and seemed happy to keep out of range of the still-fresh Colombian. Cervantes, taller and slimmer was now hooking well, catching the Argentinian in bursts of combination punches.
But by the end of the 15 rounds, it was Locche who grabbed the verdict. He had done enough scoring in the early and middle rounds to make this his fifth successful title defence since 1968.