1979-01-18 Antonio Cervantes w pts 15 Miguel Montilla, Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, NYC, New York, USA - WBA

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1979-01-18 Antonio Cervantes w pts 15 Miguel Montilla, Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, NYC, New York, USA - WBA/NY. Referee: Stan Christodoulou. Scorecards: 145-143, 147-142, 143-142. After Wilfred Benitez stepped up a division, the NYSAC recognised this fight as a championship contest. Almost back to his best, Cervantes (140) gave a master class of long-range boxing when defending the WBA belt against Montilla (138) and was well in control most of the way. Having had to shed half a pound on the day of the fight it was thought that Cervantes might be weak at the weight, but there was no sign of that as he delivered accurate blows to Montilla’s head in the opener. For his part, Montilla never stopped trying and was always looking to get inside the champion’s defences where he could work the head and body. After the tenth, Montilla realised that he was behind and went for broke. Despite nearly going over in the 12th from a cracking left uppercut, Montilla regrouped and went for home, but was never able to close the deficit enough and was well outboxed in the final round.