INDIO, CALIF.—Alfonso Gomez had not fought since last summer, but found Japan’s Yoshihiro Kamegai’s style of fighting much to his liking on Friday.
Once again Gomez (25-6-2, 12 Kos) fooled the boxing fans and fooled Kamegai (25-3-1, 22 Kos), whose pressure style was pretty much nullified for all 10 rounds at Fantasy Springs Casino. Many had picked Gomez to be a mere pit stop for the Japanese warrior in the Golden Boy Promotions event.
From the opening bell Gomez seemed to have Kamegai all figured out as he moved around, not allowing the Japanese pressure fighter to corner him or sit down on his blows. Meanwhile Gomez unloaded rights and lefts to the head as Kamegai focused on the body.
It was a continual formula for both fighters as the rounds zipped by without much of a change. Plenty of holding by both occurred and plenty of accidental and purposeful head butts by each fighter took place. A point was deducted from Gomez when he launched himself head-first into the Japanese fighter. It ignited a rally from Gomez, who whipped left hooks and rights that snapped Kamegai’s head back violently.
The Japanese fighter was never hurt or wobbled but he was annoyed. At times he was willing to take a punch to give a punch from Gomez. But the Mexican born fighter seldom allowed a shot to land flush.
After 10 rounds all three judges scored it 98-91 for Gomez.
In the semi-main event Ronny Rios (24-1, 10 Kos) returned after his first loss and defeated Mexico’s Sergio Frias (16-5-2, 8 Kos) after 10 rounds in a featherweight match.
Rios was massacred in his last fight in the same venue. This time it didn’t look good in the first round when he was wobbled in the first by a Frias counter right. He survived.
The Santa Ana boxer looked tentative and slow as Frias seldom initiated the action for the first three or four rounds. Instead the Mexican fighter proved to be strictly a counter-puncher. Once Rios realized that, it was all downhill.
Behind a lightning-rod jab Rios began to find a rhythm and establish dominance from the fifth round on. Frias was intent on landing counter right hands and that proved to be his undoing. That stiff jab snapped Frias head back repeatedly and allowed Rios to speed up the tempo and use all of his combinations with swiftness and precision.
You could see the confidence build in Rios and by the 10th and final round he was back to the old Rios. All three judges scored it for the Santa Ana boxer 99-91 twice and 98-92.
Ireland’s Jamie Kavanagh (18-1-1, 9 Kos) survived a second round knockdown at the hands of Miguel Zamudio (29-7-1, 17 Kos) and rallied to stop the Mexican in round five. Kavanagh found his timing in the fourth and fifth round and was landing explosive rights on Zamudio. It was clear that Kavanagh was in control against the tough veteran Zamudio during the last two rounds of the lightweight clash.
Ireland’s super middleweight Jason Quigley (5-0, 5 Kos) needed a round to figure out Tolutomi Agunbiade (2-3) before lowering the boom. Behind some steady jabs Quigley was able to keep Agunbiade on defense. In the second round Quigley connected with several withering body shots then followed up with several booming rights to the head. Referee Ray Corona decided to stop the fight despite no knockdowns at 1:41 of the second round.
Abraham Lopez (17-0-1, 12 Kos) needed some rounds to shake off the rust after a three-year absence and fought to a majority draw against Juan Carlos Martinez (20-16-1). Lopez caught fire in the second half of the fight but took too long to figure out Martinez.
Arizona’s Jose Marrufo (5-2-2) defeated Riverside’s Alberto Herrera (9-11-1) by unanimous decision after six rounds in a welterweight clash.
L.A.’s Rafael Gramajo (2-1-1) defeated Fresno’s Sal Perez (2-7-2) by unanimous decision in a featherweight showdown.
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