Andales claims title, Nazarov retains
Earlier today we had a show in South Korea featuring a pair of WBO Oriental title bouts.
The first of the title bouts saw former world title challenger ArAr Andales (12-2, 5) score a TKO win over Viatnam's Minh Phat Sam (7-4, 5), for the WBO Oriental Minimumweight title.
From the off it was clear that Sam was the naturally bigger man, sadly for him that was pretty much the only advantage he had, as Andales was quickly, sharper, and more technically skilled. As early as round 3 Sam's face was swelling, and both eyes were rapidly closing and in round 4 the swelling got worse and it seemed a stoppage was inevitable, but Sam tried to gut it out and fight back.
As the rounds went on Sam's face become more and more swollen, whilst Andales looked very comfortable, using Sam's face as target practice. In round 7 the swelling was bad enough for the referee to take Same to the ringside doctor who waved off the bout, saving Sam from further punishment. The correct decision by the doctor, and one that saw Andales crowned the new champion.
In a much slower paced fight we saw WBO Oriental Flyweight champion Olimjon Nazarov (26-5, 14) retain his title with a win against Filipino challenger Michael Mendoza (11-2-2, 4). This fight was much slower and more technical than the opening bout with both men trying to out box the other, and both wanting to be the counter punch for much of the bout. The Filipino was the sharper, quicker man, and did seem to land the better single blows, in most rounds, but he seemed happy to be very conservative, and may well have given rounds away at times against the promoters fighter.
Whilst the bout did end up warming up, particularly in rounds 7 and 12, it never really caught fire and as neither man was all that willing to take risks. Nazaraov was the man often seen coming forward, and taking shots as a result. Mendeoza looked the much more polished, but he seemed almost happy to do just enough to win rounds. A risky tactic when he's the away fighter, and a tactic that backfired with Nazarov getting the decision 115-113 form all 3 judges to retain his title.
Ater the bout we can't help but think Mendoza will be kicking himself, especially given that he visible shook Nazarov a number of times, but seemed unwilling to roll the dice ina bout he could have won, very easily.
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