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CESAR CUENCA DOMINATES IK YANG, WINS IBF LIGHT WELTER TITLE


PhilBoxing.com




CotaiArena, The Venetian Macao – For the second time in Macau, a local boy failed to win a world title for China when crowd-favorite Yang Lian Hui (Ik Yang) lost by unanimous decision to Cesar Cuenca of Argentina who captured the IBF junior welterweight title here Saturday night to the dismay of the 5,109 paying fans in attendance. This came in the heels of the loss of two-time Chinese Olympic gold medalist Zou Shiming to Amnat Ruenroeng of Thailand in March this year.

It also marked the second time when a Freddie Roach-trained fighter failed to win a world championship bout. Trainer and conditioning coach Justin Fortune and Roach assistant Marvin Somodio subbed for Roach in tonight's fight as Roach, who was reported to be in need of back surgery, stayed in Los Angeles.

The question was always can Yang catch a constantly moving target in Cesar Cuenca? He did catch Cuenca in the 5th round and scored a knockdown giving hopes to the home crowd that Yang might pull it off. However, Cuenca, all throughout the night, scored on left straights, right crosses and well-timed counters to frustrate Yang and the crowd. Cuenca himself scored a knockdown in the first when Cuenca tagged Yang with a lead right that sent Yang backing to the ropes that prevented the Chinese from falling down.

Cuenca, who said he had always trained for his fights to go the distance, again outlasted Yang, who never went beyond eight rounds in his entire career, appeared to have been spent by the 10th round. Although Yang tried hard to walked through Cuenca in the final two rounds, his punches appeared to lack the power that he had in the early rounds. Yang was deducted a point in the final round as he tackled Cuenca to the canvas due to perhaps to frustration as Cuenca opted to holding when Yang came to the inside.

Judge Ben Kelly scored it 117-108, Ian Scott had it 115-110 and Mike Fitzgirald had it 116-109, all in favor of Cuenca.

Cuenca, fighting for the first time outside Argentina, upped his undefeated record to 48 and 0 with 2 no contests in 50 fights, tying Floyd Mayweather's undefeated record of 48-0 and one win shy of tying boxing's longest undefeated record of 49-0 established by the legendary Rocky Marciano. Ik Yang, meanwhile, suffered his first defeat and dropped to 19-0-1 with 1 no contest in 21 fights.

“The whole key was my experience,” the newly minted world champion Cuenca, 34, said after the bout. “He hurt me a bit, but I was smarter and my experience pulled it off,” Cuenca said.

For Yang, and other Chinese boxers, it remains to be seen if the Macau boxing events can or will produce a world champion in the future.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Dong Secuya.


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