World Boxing Council super bantamweight champion Yamileth “Yeimi” Mercado (17-2, 5KO`s) skilfully steered her way through some choppy waters, using her versatility and international experience, in spite of her young age, to win a UD against lanky hard hitting Alejandra “Rocquera” Guzman (11-2-2, 5KO`s), as top of the bill in a Zanfer and 2M Promotions extravaganza at Jardines Del Pedregal Hermosillo, Sorona.
In round one, they swopped hard punches. Yeimi (22) was landing long rights and moving away, but taller Alejandra (24), moved in and caught her flush in the face with a stinging right and then followed up with the same punch. Realizing the magnitude of the unfolding and unyielding challenge, Yeimi started round two with a peach of a left right combination, but had to soak up two hard rights to the head and then two more which snapped back her head.
More intense exchanges in the third and fourth but a change of tactics in the fifth by Yeimi, who`s Coach Alfredo Caballero, was energetically shadow boxing in her corner, to demonstrate what she should be doing. While Julio Cesar Chavez`s older brother Rodolfo in the other corner, was being more taciturn and less demonstrative.
Yeimi moved up a gear and trapped Alejandra on the ropes, getting the better of short range exchanges, and more of the same crowding plus slugging in round six. Yet in round seven Alejandra launched a blistering sustained attack, only to be forced back on to the ropes yet again. By the eighth Alejandra`s pace had noticeably slowed. She was plodding and throwing less punches. Yeimi was using her footwork better and landing well to body and head in the ninth. She had moved into a clear lead, going confidently into the tenth and final round.
Knowing she was behind on points, throwing caution to the wind plus the kitchen sink, Alejandra launched a ferocious onslaught in that tenth and final round, at long last letting her hands go. Lefts and rights slammed into Yeimi`s head, she was briefly staggered and her nose, which had been broken in her last fight against Irasema Rayas, who she had stopped in round four, started bleeding all over again. Yet she weathered the late storm, kept calm and finished the fight a deserved winner. Scores were: 98-92 twice and 98-93.
This was indeed an entertaining quality, competitive fight. A walk in the park first title defense…it wasn`t!
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