The bout in question was a bout for the WBO “interim” Super Flyweight title and was ordered by the WBO, who set up the fight due to an injury to champion Naoya Inoue, who made the right decision to order an interim title fight. The fighters, Warlito Parrenas (24-6-1, 21) and David Carmona (19-2-5, 8), may not be the best in the division but they put on a good fight, albeit one that didn't get the right result.
From the opening round it seemed clear the fighters were very different men. In the ring Carmona was the “better boxer”, the sharp puncher and the more technically correct of the two men, Parrenas however showed little regard to the correct but “pitty patty” shots of the Mexican and instead the Filipino tried to make the fight into a battle and enforce his style on to the bout.
Early on it was Parrenas' style that was in charge of the action with the Filipino walking forward, stalking his man and and landing his trademark power shots. Those shots early saw him establishing the early lead, a lead that was extenuated by a knockdown he scored in the second round.
The first round that could have gone to the Mexican was round 3, though even that was close and won on the back foot, a round that could easily have gone to the Filipino who looked stronger and more determined than the Mexican fighter. It was clear, however, that round 4 belonged to the Mexican who had managed to cut the gap on the score cards with good boxing, moving and making Parrenas look a little bit slow and clumsy. It was exactly what Carmona had to do.
Carmona's continued to make Parrenas look second best in round 5 with the Filipino clearly missing numerous times and being tagged by clean, but light, shots from the home fighter. Parrenas did have his moments but it was clear that he was second best as Carmona managed to level off the scores and get rid of the 3 point hole he had found himself in.
In round 6 Parrenas managed to make early inroads, landing an uppercut early on that appeared to shake Carmona slightly and lead to more success for the Filipino slugger who seemed to stem the tide from the previous 3 rounds. Carmona however settled back to his boxing by the end of the round and seemed to accept that he was going to have to move, a lot, just to survive the bout with the powerful Pinoy. Parrenas started round 7 with the same intention he had shown in round 6 and went off fast after the Mexican who was beginning to run and hold more than fight. It still seemed like Carmona was the better “boxer” but he was unable to use many of his skills as Parrenas looked to bully him and intimidate him. Notably, for Carmona, he did manage to end round 7 well, but for the most part seemed to come off second best.
Carmona's success late in round 7 seemed to continue in round 8, though Parrenas did well to establish himself through the middle of the round. Carmona, to his credit, didn't seem to worry as Parrenas came at him and instead the Mexican got back to hitting on the move, making Parrenas chase him. It was one of the bouts closest rounds but a round that would likely go to the home fighter, especially considering a late, eye catching, flurry that he landed. Carmona failed to build on his late success and began to look like he was slowing and running out of ideas, Parrenas wasn't changing anything about what he was doing but it didn't seem like he needed to, as the Filipino was in the lead and seemingly walking down his Mexican foe.
Going into final few rounds it seemed clear that Carmona would have to pull something out of the bag. He tried in round 10, and landed most of the telling blows late on, though again it was a case of much of his work coming too late to really steal the round. The 11th was another that Parrenas seemed to win with a tiring Carmona offering little in terms of quality or quantity against the big punching Filipino, who lacked accuracy but certainly landed the better shots. Sadly for Parrenas he too was looking like he was running out of steam and he wasn't helped by the referee who seemed to end the round a few seconds early, just as Carmona seemed to wobble.
It seemed, in round 12, that Parrenas was wary of fighting on foreign soil and swung for the fences seeking a final round knockout. From a neutral point of view it seemed he had a comfortable lead but, as we all know, being the away fighter can sometimes make winning on the cards very difficult. Unfortunately for Parrenas he was unable to get the knockout that he was seeking, though he did land many of the rounds most notable shots in what seemed like another clear round for the Filipino slugger.
Unfortunately for Parrenas he couldn't do enough to convince the judge that he deserved the win, instead the decided on a split decision draw, a very hard to swallow result given the knockdown by Parrenas early in the bout.
Neither man will be happy at the result, that's a given. It is however a result that could easily lead to a rematch. It could also see either of them becoming the next option for Naoya Inoue, who was supposed to fight the winner in 90 days from this bout. The one thing it does, for both men, is keeps them in the hunt for another shot, with neither really falling down the pecking order.
The other thing it does, which maybe more interesting to some fans, is it seemingly leaves Inoue without a clear dance partner. Instead it seems that Inoue may be able to return sooner than originally thought, possibly in September, and may find himself with a voluntary defense given that his mandatory challenger isn't clear. He may face either of these two, or the WBO may allow him to face someone of his choosing, which could be a more interesting option for fans and the fighter.
The judges, as they often do, got this wrong and Parrenas certainly has every right to feel aggrieved, something that was on his face after the cards had been read. He may however be able to get another big fight considering his style and the excitement he brought to this bout. As for Carmona it's hard to see where he goes after this somewhat negative performance that saw him being lucky to be the home fighter.