Jonathan Oquendo was looking to bounce back from his last outing, a unanimous decision loss to Abner Mares, as he took on Gabino Cota in a 10 round featherweight bout at the Kissimmee Civic Center in Kissimmee, Florida.
Oquendo was a little too set in seek and destroy mode coming out following the opening bell while Cota was more than willing to pick his shots in a more methodical manner.
It was clear in the first round that Oquendo was the stronger fighter, but Cota did plenty of good things in that opening round and made it close on the scorecards, despite the discrepancy in skillset.
Moments into the second round, Oquendo landed a solid right hand that made Cota buckle and nearly touch the canvas. Cota never went down, but he was on defense the remainder of the round.
Oquendo started to open up as the rounds progressed. It was a sign of his dominance and the lack of difficulty he was having against Cota, but it also cost him some moments in the middle stretch of the fight where Cota capitalized with mere activity and forward pressure.
Cota was never satisfied with being a sitting duck or a punching bag for Oquendo to further his status in the featherweight division. Ultimately, the fight was separated by the power between the two fighters, and it was clear that Oquendo was stronger for longer in this fight. However, it wasn’t just the brute strength or power punching it was the stamina in the technique behind Oquendo’s punches. The Puerto Rican fighter rarely faltered from his punching delivery, which kept his power a factor in the fight.
Both fighters became noticeably fatigued as the fight came closer to its conclusion, but it was Oquendo who was more willing to muster through. Still, Cota’s chin, which was the most impressive thing about his game in the latter part of the fight, held up as Oquendo threw everything he had left in the 9th and 10th.
The fight eventually went to the judges, and they turned in the expected scores of 99-91 twice and 98-92, all for Oquendo.