Pedro Vilella didn't think it was as bad as the numbers read, but didn't dispute the outcome.
Maurice Blocker had won, and won decisively. In his hometown, Blocker defeated Vilella in a 12-round unanimous decision to take the North American Boxing Federation welterweight title last night before about 2,000 at the Washington Convention Center.
The judges scored the fight 120-108, 117-112, and 118-110 in favor of Blocker.
"This is the first belt, but there's a few more to get," Blocker said to a photographer setting up a picture of him wearing his NABF belt, surrounded by family and friends. "Get it all. It's on me. It's on a new man now. It's on the explosive thin man."
Thin is right. Blocker was only a half-pound heavier than Vilella, who weighed in at 146 1/2. But Blocker is 6 feet 1, and Vilella 5 feet 7.
Vilella (21-3-1) tried to take away the reach and height advantage Blocker had by going inside. But Blocker (21-0) managed to escape fairly quickly, although Vilella said the referee didn't help him much there.
"The referee (Milton Greene) didn't let us fight inside," said Vilella, sporting a welt under his right eye. "He knows he's a big fighter and he knows my fight is inside. Every time we were inside, he'd say, 'Break.' "
Blocker, 22, said most of those inside punches hit only his shoulder.
"I was told to box and move more," Blocker said. "I wanted to use my reach and quickness. As far as inside, he was a lot stronger, so it made it look like he was a lot stronger inside, but a lot of those shots didn't hit my body."
In the last two rounds, Vilella, realizing he was behind on points, stepped up his assault. But Blocker staggered him with a left hook in the middle of the 12th round.
"That was a sweet hook, wasn't it?" Blocker said with a broad, bright smile. "It hit him right on the button."
Vilella had won the title from Marlon Starling June 15, 1984. Blocker was the No. 8 rated contender according to the NABF, although Ring Magazine's world ratings had Blocker sixth and Vilella ninth.
When the fight started, it looked like Blocker might have an unhappy evening. Vilella drew blood from Blocker's nose, although Blocker's corner was able to control the bleeding between rounds.
Blocker also had to get used to facing a left-handed opponent.
"Those southpaws give me problems," he said. "They're coming from the same side you shoot the jab. He put up a good fight. But it came out just as I expected."
Washington's Simon Brown also did as expected, though he did it quicker.
Brown is rated higher than both Blocker and Vilella as a welterweight by Ring, but last night he fought as a junior middleweight at 153 pounds. He knocked down Randy Mitchum of Lincolnton, N.C., three times in the first round before the referee stopped it at the 2:05 mark. Brown improved to 21-0.