Originally Posted by la-califa
Pete Ranzany,Harold Weston Jr., Clyde Gray & Angel Espada were all fine Boxers. Although not in the class of Cervantes, but they could not hold off Cuevas. I am not sure did Cervantes fight any powerpunchers during his title reign?
Nobody like Cuevas. DeJesus and Peppermint Frazier were probably the most accomplished punchers, along with Pryor. Coming off the Price loss, Pipino dethroned Espada in Mexico, catching Angel sleeping. Espada gave Cuevas hell in the return bout on his home turf, until Pipino broke his jaw. Weston also acquitted himself fairly well, until Cuevas literally busted his chops too. Ranzany never had a chance to get his machine gun jab going, and Gray wasn't able to get off the ground either.
Even in losing his title, Cervantes demonstrated that he could start quickly, dumping Pryor early in the first. His ability to get off to a fast start would be crucial against Pipino. Kid Pambele also managed to win round two, despite Pryor's furious onslaught, slipping Aaron's windmilling attack, and countering effectively in retreat. I think Cervantes demonstrated enough skill against Pryor to raise a question about how much better a peak version might have performed. Cervantes also decked DeJesus, another known fast starter, in the first round.
I don't see Kid Pambele stopping Pipino, or putting him down. Antonio would need to win by decision. If he could drive Jose backwards, as Espada was able to do in his best moments of their sensational middle fight, and get Cuevas pinned against the ropes as Angel did, that would be enormously helpful for winning some rounds. Espada exposed Jose as not being particularly effective in retreat, or if cornered.
Pipino may have been the most prolific bonebreaking top boxer of his generation. He was prone to roundhouse on occasion though, opening his chin to counters.
Should the match last 15 rounds, I can't see Cuevas taking the match on points. Nor do I expect that Cervantes could take Pipino out. While neither would wear down, Kid Pambele's extensive 15 round background demonstrates that he would know how to negotiate a distance win in a situation where that would have to be be his intention going in. I think he would be able to defend effectively against whatever Jose was doing. Knowing how lethal his opponent was, Cervantes wouldn't let his guard down for an instant. He was competitive enough with the blindingly fast and defensively gifted Benitez and Saoul Mamby to show he could score frequently on the slower and more accessible Cuevas. (Keep in mind that Wilfredo only won by a split verdict in Puerto Rico.)
As always, Pipino would need just one punch to prove me wrong.