Montiel TKOs Melendez in Final Round

fernando montiel05.10.07 - By Neil Dennis: Fernando Montiel (35-2, 26KOs) once again defended his WBO Super Flyweight title with a TKO victory over talented veteran Luis Melendez (25-2, 20KOs). The fight proved a challenge, but not a big one for Montiel as he dominated through most of the fight. Although his accuracy wasn’t quite high as Melendez’s early on, his workrate more than made of it as it ground down the challenger.

By round six, Montiel seemed to toy with Melendez, even doing the “Ali shuffle” before laying into Melendez at one point. Near the end of the round, Montiel dropped Melendez with a flurry of punches punctuated by a right hook. Unfortunately for Montiel, Melendez’s spirit was far from broken.

In round seven, Melendez traded regularly with the champion, hoping to turn the tide while worsening Montiel’s cut left eye. Less than two minutes into the round, Melendez clocked Montiel with a left hook that sent him to the canvas as well. Battered, Montiel backed off as he tried to survive the round while regaining his composure.

And composure must have been what Montiel found as he immediately reasserted himself. In spite of a slip in the eighth round, Montiel kept control of Melendez. Montiel kept peppering him with jabs, occasionally trading and coming off with the bigger hits. Just before the end of the eleventh round, Melendez was hurt again, this time from a body shot Montiel slipped in under his guard. This left the twelfth in Montiel’s hands, as he came out hard with a left hook to the body that drove out what little spirit Melendez had left in the fight and forced him to the canvas. Melendez got up, but referee Kenny Bayless soon stopped it as Montiel charged back in with a barrage that was too much for the challenger.

Not that it mattered, but the scorecards read all in Montiel’s favor: 107-100, 107-100, and 107-101. Their punch totals were as follows: Montiel 218/696 (31%), Melendez 122/515 (24%). This was the second defense for Montiel of his WBO title.

Article posted on 05.10.2007

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