LAS VEGAS – Former lightweight title challenger Juan Lazcano improved to 36-5-1 (27) with a hard-fought unanimous decision over former 140-pound title challenger Ben Tackie in an entertaining 10-round junior welterweight slugfest that was televised on Telefutura from the Mandalay Bay last Friday night. Lazcano, who is now campaigning in the 140-pound division, used an accurate right hand and crisp combinations behind a sharp jab to out-box and out-work Tackie, who fell to 27-6-1 (16), for the majority of the competitive rounds. All three official scorecards read 98-92 for Lazcano, who was able to land most of his punches from long range – away from Tackie's dangerous right hand and body attack – but elected to stand and trade in the final rounds. “I knew I had to do that to show my skills and to show that I can fight too,” Lazcano said of the wild exchanges on the inside with Tackie, which thrilled the ballroom crowd. “I knew I had to risk a little bit to get my name out there for the big fights.”
Lazcano's promoter, Golden Boy Promotions, has talked about a possible May 27th bout with Ricardo Torres, the dangerous Colombian puncher who gave WBO title holder Miguel Cotto a scare in a brutal ring war last year.
However, Lazcano told the ringside media that he's setting his sights on higher-profile opponents. “Who is Ricardo Torres?” he asked. “Does he have a title? If not, then I don't need him.
“I've proven myself ready for a title shot with tonight's fight. Now I want the best. I want Cotto, I want Ricky Hatton or Floyd Mayweather.”
Lazcano, who lost a tough decision to Jose Luis Castillo in a bid for the WBC lightweight title that Mayweather vacated, says he has a special desire to get 'the Pretty Boy' in the ring.
“I was his mandatory at 135 pounds and he moved to 140,” he said. “Then I move to 140 and he decides to go to 147. Coincidence? You can call it that, but I think he's avoiding me.”
One thing Lazcano did not do Friday night was avoid a fight. He took the best body shots and right hands that Tackie had to offer, and fired back at long and close range.
“He's a good body puncher,” Lazcano said of Tackie, who was able to back the taller, rangier fighter up in spots with hard shots to the mid-section. “But I was able to roll with a lot of them and counter up the middle. Once I started hitting him back to the body, he stopped going there.
“Ricky Hatton didn't beat Tackie like that. Kostya Tszyu didn't beat him like I did. They didn't stand and trade with him. They never mixed it up like I did.”
In the co-featured bout of the evening, undefeated 122-pound prospect Abner Mares mixed it up with tough Puerto Rican journeyman Omar Adorno. Mares improved to 8-0 (5) with an unanimous eight-round decision. Mares, who won by scores of 80-71, 78-73 and a ridiculous 77-74, dropped Adorno in the second round and battered the more experienced fighter's body and head with heavy, accurate combinations punctuated by a thudding jab.
Adorno, who showed a lot of guts just by sticking it out, dropped to 14-6-1 (10). Mares, who fights with the confidence and poise of a boxer with 20 bouts under his belt, continues to improve and impress.
Junior featherweights Refugio Navarro and Juan Carlos Santiago slugged it out to a four-round majority draw at the start of the show. Scores were 38-38 (twice) and 39-37 for Navarro, now 4-3-1. Santiago is now 8-8-2 (2).