Macau: Argentina`s Cesar Cuenca moved a step closer to boxing history by beating China`s "IK" Yang Lian Hui on points to win the International Boxing Federation junior welterweight title in Macau on Saturday.
The undefeated Cuenca improved his professional record to 48 wins, just one short of Rocky Marciano`s all-time 49-0 record as he won his first world title on his debut outside his home country.
He dominated from the start knocking Yang (18-1, 13 KOs) backwards in the first round, which was controversially ruled a knockdown by inexperienced Filipino referee Danrex Tapdasan.
But from then on he largely outboxed the man from Dalian despite the Argentine being knocked down himself by a Yang right-hand in the fifth.
A furious final-round flurry from Yang was to no avail as the Chinese boxer was deducted a point for intentionally throwing his opponent to the floor in a clinch, another controversial call by Tapdasan, in charge for his first world title fight.
However, the three judges unanimously awarded Cuenca the bout in his first ever appearance outside Argentina scoring it overwhelmingly 117-108, 115-110 and 116-109 in his favour.
"I think it was my experience that counted," a delighted Cuenca told AFP afterwards.
"We worked so hard to prepare for this fight and he hurt me with some punches, but I was able to be a bit smarter than him."
Yang`s corner man Justin Fortune was frustrated at the outcome and said his man had not thrown enough combinations to score heavily enough against a nimble opponent with 13 years of professional experience.
"He was just throwing one shot at time, and it was never going to be enough," said Fortune.