Amidst lightning and torrential rain Friday night, Golden Boy Promotions and Star Boxing put on a card at the Paradise Theater in the Bronx, which aired on Telefutura. The venue was far from packed, but the fans who braved the inclement weather were the hardcore types that make club shows great.
Problem is, a real club show, where fighters are in theory matched fairly, is a compliment I cannot pay this card. Both the main and co-main events ended almost as quickly as they began.
In a scheduled six-rounder that served as the co-main, 19-year-oldphenom Eddie “E Boy” Gomez opened up the telecast against Marcus Hall, stopping him in two minutes. Gomez knocked him down within a minute with a left hook, straight right combo to the head. Hall never fully recovered, getting knocked down twice more, forcing the ref to end it.
Hall now goes 5-4-1, 2 KO’s. Gomez, a senior at JFK High School in the Bronx, goes 6-0 (5 KO’s), with four of his KO’s coming in the first and another one in the second. It’s going to be more of the same for a while; between his two-fisted power and the soft touches the welterweight will likely be fed, the only sweat he’ll be breaking will be in the gym.
He will be one of Golden Boy’s featured attractions—along with other East Coasters Peter Quillen, Paul Malignaggi, and Danny Jacobs—for their monthly boxing series at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn next year. Gomez hasn’t even taken a flush shot to the chops as a pro. He may not have even been touched by a sharp jab! Until he faces a decent journeyman or experiences some adversity in the ring, it behooves us to take a wait and see approach.
How he’s matched will be very interesting. While there seems to be almost no negatives to pick at (he’s rather cocky in interviews and at 5’7’’ is short for his weight class, but that’s about it), a poorly navigated career can thwart any talent.
A two-time Jr. Olympic national champion, he was by far the most impressive fighter (in any weight class) in the 2010 New York Golden Gloves. Fighting strong, grown men with experience in the open class, he strolled through the heats, showing an ability to exploit openings and mistakes and then quickly short-circuiting opponents with unusual power. When the knockouts weren’t there, he showed an array of other skills that would’ve made him a fine amateur even if punched with feather dusters—great footwork, balance, spacing, an impressive watchfulness, and poise that belied his age. He also took little punishment. Had he chosen to stay amateur and make a run for the US Olympic squad, he would’ve been the man to beat.
Those who follow the local scene might compare Gomez to Danny Jacobs, the last local hero saddled with great expectations. Danny was/is a genuine talent, but I believe he fell shy of the “special” label many attached to him. People compared him to Mark Breland but the comparisons weren’t apt. Breland had magical power in his fists. Danny never demonstrated anything like that. He put together graceful, fluid combinations and was just a very appealing athlete to behold.
When Jacobs was knocking out tomato cans early in his pro career, it was to be expected and doesn’t make him Tommy Hearns. When under pressure (see the Ishe Smith fight), he revealed some bad habits, often painting himself into corners and thinking he could rope-a-dope when, in fact, he couldn’t.
Will such shortcomings come to the fore as Gomez fights on? Or is his power, skills, and ring generalship of a higher order? Whatever the case may be, it will be fun finding out.
The main event, if you want to call it that, pitted Newark, NJ, lightweight Michael Perez against Miguel Rodriguez. The latter was stopped with a single body shot 49 seconds into the fight. Perez ain’t that big a puncher, so it was pretty upsetting to trudge through the rain to see such a non-fight.
Perez moves to 14-0-1, 8 KO’s while Rodriguez drops to 7-4, 2KO’s.
What redeemed the night was a six-round swing bout between lightweights Michael Brooks and Jamell Tyson. It was nonstop give and take between two fighters who fought with true desire and passion, something lacking throughout the evening. Powers won a UD6 and moves to 5-0, 1KO’s. Tyson falls to 2-3-1, 1KO’s but is better than his record suggests.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV