Ramon Marchena scored a unanimous, 12-round decision over Greg Puente to take the California super featherweight title from Puente Monday night in front of 1,402 at the Irvine Marriott.
It was the second time the two have fought. Marchena (31-5-1) of Westminster won a 10-round split decision over Puente (9-4-2) of El Monte, last February at the Irvine Marriott.
Neither fighter was able to establish much in the first five rounds, but Puente took a slight lead in rounds six and seven thanks to a series of combinations that finally started to land.
But in the eighth round, Marchena tagged Puente with a strong right and opened a cut on the side of Puente's left eye.
In the next two rounds, Marchena also cut Puente on the left eye, the bridge of the nose and the right cheek. To protect his cuts, Puente was forced to cover his face most of the final five rounds and wasn't as aggressive as he needed to be to win the fight.
Marchena kept a steady stream of jabs going in the final five rounds and never stood toe-to-toe with Puente until the last 20 seconds of the final round, when both fighters landed strong punches.
In other fights: Heavyweights Jim Ashard (14-5-2) of Eugene, Ore., and Richard Harrell (5-4-2) of Anaheim fought to a six-round draw. At 134 pounds, Rocky Cazares (14-2-1) of Blythe scored a six-round majority decision over Remington Garcia (20-13-1) of San Diego. Heavyweight Dwain Bonds (15-5-1) of Detroit scored a fifth-round knockout over Rod Smith (12-8) of Eugene, Ore.
At 135, Oscar Ornelis (1-3-3) of Los Angeles and Raul Gonzales (0-0-2) of Pasadena fought to a draw. At 127, Juan Marchena (4-0) of Westminster won a four-round decision over Juan Hernandez (0-3-2) of Mexico. At 142, Lance Lopez (1-0) of Diamond Bar knocked out Lupe Lorza (0-1) of Huntington Park in the first round.
Monday night's card will be televised on KDOC Channel 56 May 6. No time was announced. . . . The next scheduled fights at the Irvine Marriott will be Thursday, May 28, instead of the usual Monday because of Memorial Day.