Jaime Munguia successfully defended his WBO junior middleweight title by outpointing a game Takeshi Inoue over an entertaining 12 rounds in the main event of an action-packed card Saturday night at the Toyota Center in Houston.
While the scores were wide -- 120-108, 120-108 and 119-109, all for Munguia -- they belied just how hard Inoue pushed Munguia (32-0, 26 KOs). Munguia tried his best but couldn't put away Inoue (13-1-1, 7 KOs), who was hurt several times in the late rounds but never wavered in his effort as he continued to make the fight difficult for the young champion.
Munguia threw nearly 1,000 punches and landed 311, many of them power punches, and while he hit Inoue with a multitude of left hooks to the body and head, Inoue never left his feet.
"It was a great fight," said Munguia after the bout. "He was a great warrior. It was a great battle for me."
Inoue certainly had his moments in the fight, pressuring Munguia and backing him up to the ropes, but Munguia landed the majority of punches in most rounds.
"I was surprised by him," Munguia said of Inoue. "He did great. But I'll take the title. I got the win, and that's what matters."
Xu scores decision over Rojas
In the semi-main event, Xu Can (16-2, 2 KOs) captured the WBA regular featherweight title with a decision over Jesus Rojas ( 26-3-2, 19 KOs), who came into the bout as the defending titleholder.
Both fighters started the bout quickly by letting their hands go, and the pace never let up. While Rojas, 32, had the heavier punches, his offensive output was more than matched by the 24-year-old Xu. He won by lopsided scores of 118-110, 117-111 and 116-112.
"This is my second time to come to the USA to fight. Before I came here, I knew it's a very hard fight," he said. "So I got ready for this fight. I did a lot of work for this.
"I respect my opponent, Rojas, my friend. He's very tough. But I knew I can win."
With this victory and his new belt, Xu could be in line to face Leo Santa Cruz.
"I'm not scared of anyone," he said.
Unbeaten Ortiz stops Valdez after five rounds
Highly regarded junior welterweight prospect Vergil Ortiz remained undefeated by stopping Jesus Valdez after Valdez did not leave his corner for the sixth round.
Ortiz (12-0, 12 KOs) was steady in breaking down Valdez (23-5-1, 12 KOs), who was the first opponent to take Ortiz past Round 3 in his young career. Valdez was hurt in the fifth and cut over his left eye. His corner made the decision to wave the white flag before the start of the sixth.
"I gotta give credit to him," Ortiz said. "He has a lot of heart. ... As a fighter, I really respect him. I can only respect him for doing with he did in there."
Ortiz, 20, has made it clear that at some point this year he would like a shot at the title.
"I'm waiting for a world title shot. It could be the next fight," he said.