SAN DIEGO – Juan Carlos Burgos has found his niche in the sport.
Angel Fierro saw his hot streak briefly cool down, as the locally-based Mexican prospect was held to a ten-round majority draw against Burgos. Fierro won 96-94 on one card, overruled by scores of 95-95 twice to produce the majority draw Saturday evening at Pechanga Arena in San Diego, California.
Fierro has grown accustomed to knockout wins but figured to go rounds against the sturdy-chinned Burgos, who has never been stopped in 42 bouts heading into the night. The reputation was well-regarded by Fierro, who didn’t waste any punches while taking the fight to his fellow Tijuana native in the early rounds.
Burgos enjoyed success in spurts, landing enough counter left hooks to keep Fierro honest. Fierro—who is trained by Hall of Fame former four-division champion Erik Morales in Tijuana but who now calls San Diego home—adjusted his attack, continuing to come forward but at a measured pace.
Fierro was denied a knockdown late in round three despite managing to hurt Burgos. An exchange near Fierro’s corner saw Burgos briefly in retreat mode before falling to the canvas. However, it wasn’t the right hand from Fierro that caused the damage but rather stepping on Burgos’ right foot, immediately detected by referee Thomas Taylor who correctly ruled a slip.
Burgos found himself on the defensive at the end of round four, when Fierro unleashed a volley of punches. It paved the way for a productive round five for the 23-year-old rising contender, who grew increasingly aggressive though never to the point of threatening a stoppage or even a knockdown.
Fierro drew a rise out the rabid crowd on several occasions in round six. Burgos’ offense was slowed and his defense beginning to show cracks, with Fierro connecting with left hooks and straight right hands upstairs.
Burgos stood his ground more in round seven, fending off a straight right from Fierro to land a counter overhand right of his own in return. The momentum was carried over into round eight, where Burgos connected with a looping left hook and a right hand from wide range. Fierro rolled with a left hook and right hand to return fire with consecutive combinations at close quarters.
Both fighters had their say in a high-contact round nine. Burgos straightened his punches, connecting with a right hand before Fierro responded with a left-right straight down the middle. Burgos was forced to defend against an onrushing Fierro, catching a right hand but managing to expertly slip a left hook and follow-up right hand before countering on the inside.
Burgos fought back well enough in round ten to avoid a third consecutive defeat, despite being to the point of no return on one card. The veteran trialhorse is now 34-6-3 (26KOs), winless for the fifth time in six fights but continuing to provide a stiff test for rising contenders and prospects. Fierro joins that list as his record moves to 19-1-2 (15KOs), extending his four-fight unbeaten streak but snapping a run of three consecutive stoppage wins including a stunning fourth-round knockout of former 130-pound titlist Alberto Machado last March on the road in Salinas, Puerto Rico.
Fierro-Burgos served on a four-fight DAZN telecast. In the evening’s main event, former four-division champion Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez (50-3, 41KOs) faces WBC flyweight titlist Julio Cesar ‘El Rey’ Martinez (18-1, 14KOs; 2ND) whose title is not at stake.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox