In a battle for the interim WBA Featherweight title Jesus Marcelo Andres Cuellar (23-1, 18) upset the hotly tipped Claudio Marrero (14-0, 11)
The fight started on a very even keel with both men looking to establish their jabs in the opening round. Although Cuellar seemed to do just enough to claim it it was very even and certainly not a round many would deny could have gone either way. Marrero seemed to claim the second round, though again it was close. In fact many of the early rounds were close with 38-38 seeming the likely outcome but scores of 39-37 or even 40-36 could have been argued either way.
Through the first 4 rounds it was obvious that we had two fighters were not only evenly matched but also had contrasting styles. Cuellar was the busier man easily throwing and landing more than Marrero however Marrero was the man looking more skillful and using his defensive techniques well.
Cuellar's pressure was starting to take it's toll in the fifth round, a round that he appeared to clearly win before opening up some space on the scorecards by dropping Marrero in round 6 to take a 10-8 round. Although the first 4 rounds had been razor thin it now appeared that Cuellar was taking over the bout against his previously unbeaten opponent.
Although Marrero fought back hard in the following round it was obvious that Cuellar was getting to him and the pressure and relentlessness of the Argentinian was really making Marrero work harder and harder than he'd have wanted.
The fact Marrero had a good round 7 was nothing other than a blip as Cuellar re-established control of the bout with his work rate backing up Marrero almost at will. Marrero continued to show good hand speed and movement but by now his lack of power and work effectively allowed Cuellar to do as he wished as he walked in time and time again swinging volley's of shots in Marrero's direction. In fact for many of the later rounds Marrero's best defense was his ability to tie Cuellar who rocked him hard in the final seconds of the bout to confirm his victory.
For Marrero this was disappointing, many had been hyping him, myself included, due to his performances in the past, for Cuellar however it's put him near to the "Big Boys Table" and may well have opened the door to a fight with Vasyl Lomachenko early next year.