Friday night at the Rhode Island
Convention Center in Providence, IWBF featherweight and lightweight
champion Missy Fiorentino (15-1) won a close six round decision over
six time world title challenger Belinda Laracuente (22-16-3). The
bout was a rematch of their 2005 fight in which Fiorentino won a
lopsided unanimous decision. Judges scores were 58-57, 58-56, and
59-55, all for Fiorentino. WBAN scored the fight 57-57 even.
In round one, Laracuente used her long reach to frustrate Fiorentino,
as she effectively jabbed her opponent and landed several
combinations. Fiorentino was oddly inactive, as she struggled to
hunt down her lively foe.
In rounds two and three however, ‘The Fury’ pinned Laracuente
against the ropes and her busy work -- especially her clubbing right
hands -- wore down the Puerto Rico native. But a third round
accidental head butt caused a large gash over Fiorentino’s right
eye, and the fight was nearly stopped.
Laracuente must have gained confidence from Fiorentino’s bleeding,
as in round four, she landed several powerful left hooks and again
frustrated the hometown favorite with her stick and move job.
Perhaps sensing the fight to be going in
her Laracuente’s favor, Fiorentino’s work rate went up significantly
in rounds five and six, as she threw numerous wild combinations that
went unmatched by her opponent. The aggressiveness would seal the
deal for Fiorentino, who was happy with the win, but disappointed
about her large cut.
“It was a good, tough fight,” said
Fiorentino. “She was a tough fighter, and this time, she boxed a
bit more. I was supposed to fight for a 130 pound title in
February, but this cut is bad. That fight may have be postponed for
a few months.”