In a thrilling fight at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Abner Mares used every possible boxing technique in the book to defeat Anselmo Moreno via unanimous decision.
The match was for the WBC bantamweight title. Abner is the reigning champion, and he retained his title after Moreno moved up four pounds to fight the titleholder.
Moreno (34-2-1) had several firsts in the bout, but none that will make headlines in a positive way. He was knocked down for the first time in his career in the sixth round and lost for the first time in over a decade. He had won 22 straight fights since 2002, but that streak will come to an end after Saturday night.
Boxing writer Michael Woods noted that Moreno's camp felt the wild swings and unpredictable nature of the fight should have led to a closer score than the 116-110 on two of the judges' scorecards.
Moreno thinks fight should have been closer, calls Mares great champion. CLASSY GUY— Michael Woods (@Woodsy1069) November 11, 2012
He was also deducted a point on a controversial call for pulling Mares' head in toward his body after the Mexican champion continued to dive in head first on his attacks.
Mares (25-0-1) continues his impressive streak of wins.
Always on the attack, Mares repeatedly forced Moreno into the ropes and the corners in an attempt to suffocate the shifty Moreno. Even when Moreno seemed to have an advantage, Mares baited him into trading blows, which favored the 122-pound-tested Mares.
ESPN's Bernardo Osuna wasn't a fan of the final scorecard, a 120-106 decision for Mares, but he too had the fight going the champ's way.
120-106 is ridiculous, but I had @abnermares00 winning 115-110— Bernardo Osuna (@osunaespn) November 11, 2012
IBF bantamweight titleholder Leo Santa Cruz also defended his title, and speculation of a bout between the two is sure to head to the forefront in the next few weeks as bouts are scheduled for these two champions.
Mares and Moreno traded over 1,000 blows in the fight. Mares had a far lower percentage of connected shots but managed to make his hits count. Moreno was looking for a more technical bout but could never gain enough balance to counter the onslaught that Mares brought all night.
Ethan Grant is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report's Breaking News Team.