SPOKANE -- Cristobal Cruz captured the International Boxing Federation featherweight crown here Thursday by winning a 12-round split decision over fellow Mexican Orlando Salido.
Two judges awarded the vacant title to Cruz by identical scores of 116-112 while the third judge saw Salido a 115-113 winner.
Cruz, 31, improved to 37-11 with one drawn. It was his second split-decision triumph in a row, having defeated South Africa's Thomas Mashaba in the same manner last March.
Salido, 27, came away empty for the third time in as many world title fights, falling to 31-10 with two drawn.
Mexico's Juan Manuel Marquez denied Salido in his first title bout in 2004 and the second title bout, in 2006 against American Roberto Guerrero, was declared a no contest.
Guerrero moved up to the junior lightweight division in June, leaving the IBF crown vacant and up for grabs between the Mexican rivals.