It would have been great to have a microphone in the ring to hear Petr Petrov and Gamaliel Diaz talk to each other on Friday. Russia’s Petrov speaks perfect Spanish and that’s Mexico’s Diaz only language. Neither speaks English.
But on Friday both did their talking with their fists and Petrov (36-4-2, 17 Kos) was too strong for Diaz (38-12-3, 17 Kos) over the 10 round lightweight contest at Omega Products International in Corona. Petrov won by unanimous decision in the foul infested match promoted by Thompson Boxing Promotions.
If you have ever seen Diaz fight before you must know the Mexican fighter knows all the tricks, including the dirty ones. It was those tactics that allowed him to defeat Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero 10 years ago. He wasn’t so lucky in the rematch.
Diaz wasn’t lucky in this fight against the stronger Petrov, who attacked and attacked despite the incoming low blows, head butts and variety of sleight-of-hand tricks Diaz fired at him. Despite a first round knockdown –that looked more like a trip – Petrov was in charge the entire fight.
Petrov used a bolo punch to continually land right hands. A leaping left hook connected and sent Diaz to the floor for a knockdown in the seventh round.
Diaz rallied in the next two rounds but fired too many low blows. Referee Jack Reiss finally had enough and deducted a point from the Mexican veteran. After some more hijinks inside the boxing ring by Diaz the referee admonished him and the fight resumed.
All three judges scored it for Petrov 97-90 twice and 98-89.
Ukraine’s Taras Shelestyuk (12-0, 8 Kos) needed a few rounds to adjust to New Jersey’s Juan Rodriguez (12-2, 5 Kos) in another southpaw battle. Shelestyuk is a former Olympic medalist and still has some bad amateur habits including a penchant for slapping combinations. But he trains at Wild Card Boxing under Freddie Roach’s tutelage and he’ll soon have that removed.
Rodriguez hung tough but aside from landing lefts to the body and occasional lefts to the head, he wasn’t busy enough. Neither fighter was very busy, maybe because of the awkwardness of fighting a southpaw. Heads collided many times because they were confused where to put their heads during inside clinches. Both suffered cuts during the fight.
After eight rounds all three judges gave it to Shelestyuk 79-73 twice and 78-74.
Emmanuel Robles (13-0-1) won a battle of southpaws with Wilberth Lopez (5-5) after six rounds. Robles used counter lefts against the taller Lopez to win the junior welterweight fight convincingly.
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