Johnny Tapia, blood trickling down his face from the first round on, pranced and pounded his way to a unanimous decision Friday over Rodolfo Blanco of Colombia to retain his WBO and IBF junior bantamweight titles.
Tapia (43-0-2, 24 KOs) celebrated his 31st birthday and remained unbeaten, but couldn’t put away the durable Blanco (28-11-1, 17 KOs), a former IBF flyweight titleholder.
It was Tapia’s 13th defense of the WBO title he won by stopping Henry Martinez on Oct. 24, 1994, and his second defense of the IBF title he took from Danny Romero with a unanimous decision last summer.
It also was Tapia’s 23rd straight win since his return to the ring in 1994 from a suspension of more than three years for cocaine use.
Earlier, WBA junior middleweight champion Laurent Boudouani of France retained his title with a majority decision draw against Guillermo Jones of Panama.