Sadly for Eto, and his fans, he was to come up short, though he did put up a brave effort against Cuadras, who seemed too quick, too sharp and too smart for the challenger.
Eto, a former WBA interim Flyweight champion, started slowly with Cuadras having too much skill and speed earlier on. The good start for Cuadras saw him run out to a 40-36 lead when the scores were first announced, after 4 rounds, and bloody the nose of Eto who applied pressure but was ineffective early on.
The middle portion of the fight was more competitive, with Eto having real success in round 6, though Cuadras seemed to be comfortable despite the fact Eto was having more success. The cards after 8 continued to show Cuadras's lead, with the cards reading with Eto having real success in round 6, though Cuadras never 79-73, twice, and 78-74.
Knowing he had to turn the fight around Eto gave his all looking to pull the win out of the fire. This saw him have a great round 9 but he couldn't ever do the damage needed to stop Cuadras who used his feet to secure a decision win, with cards that read 117-111, twice, and 116-112.
The win sees Cuadras retain the title and it now seems like he will be facing Thailand's Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, in a rematch of Cuadras's title winning effort from last year. If that bout ends up being made, as expected, then we could be in for a really explosive one with Srisaket likely to start faster than he did in their first meeting, where a slow start ultimately cost him a technical decision.
(Image courtesy of daily.co.jp)