WBC lightweight champion Humberto Soto had his second consecutive difficult defense, pounding out a very close unanimous decision over Urbano Antillon at the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA.
Antillon produced the best performance of his career, erasing memories of his KO loss to Miguel Acosta last year for the Interim WBA belt with a surging 12 round effort against Soto.
Soto and the challenger fought as if in a phone booth, exchanging withering fire from start to finish in a bout in which it was very difficult to determine a winner, although a low blow point deduction against Antillon proved to provide the difference.
In the end, Soto, 54-7-2 (32), won the scorecards by margins of 115-112, 114-113 and 114-113, retaining the WBC green belt for the third time while Antillon falls to 28-2 (20) after a very strong challenge.
Two ex-world champions clashed on the undercard with former IBF/IBO flyweight and Interim WBA super fly titlist Nonito Donaire, 25-1 (17), moving successfully to 118 pounds by hammering former WBA bantam supremo Volodymyr Sydorenko, 22-3-2 (7), to the canvas in the first and third frames before finishing off the Ukrainian for good at 1:48 of the fourth.
Donaire acquires the previously vacant WBC Continental Americas strap and is set to challenge WBC/WBO bantam king Fernando Montiel in February, should Montiel overcome the challenge of Eduardo Garcia next weekend in Mexico.