By Jake Donovan
Hector Tanajara and his team pegged Saturday’s clash with Ivan Delgado as the toughest fight of his young career to date.
The 22-year old from San Antonio survived that tough test—and the sight of his own blood—even if the ringside physicians weren’t quite up for the task.
A cut over the right eye of Tanajara pre-empted an entertaining lightweight battle after four rounds, settling for a technical decision win Saturday evening at Auditorio Municipal in Tijuana, Mexico.
Scores were 40-36 across the board in favor of Tanajara, who suffered the wound from a 3rd round headbutt in the co-feature to a welterweight clash between former titlists Brandon Rios and Humberto Soto.
Los Angeles’ Delgado (13-2-2, 6KOs) was brought in to test the mettle of the unbeaten rising prospect but seemed hesitant to let his hands go as he waited for a big opening that never presented itself. It allowed Tanajara to dictate the pace, working his jab and keeping Delgado at a desired distance.
That was, until they were close enough to cause havoc.
An inadvertent headbutt by Delgado in round three left the Robert Garcia-trained Tanajara (17-0, 5KOs) with a diagonal cut over his right eye. The incident resulted in a point deduction from Delgado, or so suggested the referee prior to the start of the 4th in line with a long-standing rule by the World Boxing Council (WBC) disciplining the uncut fighter in the event of an accidental headbutt.
It ultimately proved inconsequential, as Tanajara enjoyed a clean sweep on the scorecards. It was just a matter of getting past four rounds to make it an official fight, which is precisely how long the bout lasted. His corner seemed to have the flow of blood well under control, but the ringside doctor felt otherwise in calling for the early ending.
Further confusion set in when the scorecards were read, suggesting 10-9 rounds scored across the board with none of the three cards reflecting the point deduction.
All told, Tanajara’s debut in Mexico is a successful one. Meanwhile, Delgado is now 2-2-1 in his last five starts.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox