Featherweight Patrick Hyland of Dublin, Ireland, residing in Marlboro, NY, took on Javier Fortuna in the TV opener on the Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez pay-per-view card in Las Vegas.
He came on late, as Fortuna faded, but not enough. After twelve rounds, the judges gave Fortuna the decision, by scores of 118-110, 116-112, 115-113.
Fortuna, trained by Sergio Martinez' tutor, Pablo Sarmiento, with Martinez in his crew ringside, came out hesitant in the first. The lefty's jab showed his hand speed, better than Hyland's. The Dominican boxer scouted and posed as did the Irishman early on. A right to the body worked for Hyland.
Fortuna, at 21-0, started getting warmed up in the second. The 27-0 Hyland stayed smart, tight and composed. In the third, the ref warned Fortuna for going low in the third. The Dominican had his hands low, and got loose and into a dancing rhythm by now. He and Martinez share some traits. The crowd hooted a few times in each round, not liking the feinting. Fortuna outlanded Hyland, 24 to 7, in that round, according to Compubox.
Could Hyland, who is backed by part-time promoter Snooki, change the trend, watchers wondered? Fortuna slowed some by the eighth, so maybe he wouldn't have to, it looked like. The Irishman picked up the pace, as he needed to, as he had to know he was down on the cards. Fortuna got thrown to the mat in the ninth, but no point was taken. Then, Hyland almost had a point taken for going low. Finally, we got a fight. Blood flowed from a cut on Fortuna's left eye. Hyland hurt Fortuna with ten seconds to go, after landing a clean right before.
Referee Russell Mora warned Fortuna for spitting his bit in the tenth. The Irishmen smelled blood in the water. But Fortuna held it together enough to see the final bell, and get the win.
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