NEW YORK (Oct. 29, 2011) – Middleweight prospect Brandon “Flawless” Gonzales won an eight-round split decision over veteran Ossie Duran by the scores of 77-75 two times for Gonzales and 78-74 for Duran. In the co-feature, Artemio Reyes scored the biggest win of his young career by upsetting 2008 U.S. Olympian Javier Molina by the scores of 78-74 twice and 77-75 in an eight round welterweight bout from Bally’s Grand Ballroom in Atlantic City, N.J.
In an extremely tight main event, Gonzales (15-0-1, 10 KOs), of Sacramento, Calif., threw crisper, cleaner punches in the early going. In a solid third round where Gonzales was able to successfully stick-and-move, he suffered a cut beneath his left eyebrow that didn’t seem to faze him throughout the fight.
By the middle of the bout, however, Duran (26-9-2, 10 KOs), of Paterson, N.J., began to stack rounds by pushing the action with constant pressure and a hard jab. He displayed his experience advantage over Gonzales by catching him with hard shots from odd angles.
Gonzales’ trainer Virgil Hunter had strong, inspiring words for his young fighter entering the sixth round. Gonzales, 27, responded by boxing and moving. He landed punches in combinations to stop Duran’s momentum.
To the pleasure of the crowd, the fighters fought the final two rounds as if they needed the points to win. At the final bell, SHOWTIME analyst Steve Farhood scored the fight 78-74 for Duran while boxing expert Antonio Tarver scored the fight a draw.
“We expected an all-out brawl coming in,” said Gonzales. “The 10-month layoff didn’t make it any easier. Virgil (Hunter) said I had to step it up those last three rounds and that’s exactly what I did. I listened to my corner and stayed compose and let my hands go first. I think it was a great victory tonight. I hired the best trainer in boxing in Virgil Hunter. We pulled it out.”
The opening bout featured the tale of two game plans: The quicker Molina (9-1, 4 KOs) of Norwalk, Calif., wanted to use his jab and box while the hard-hitting, slower Reyes (14-1, 11 KOs) of San Bernardino, Calif., wanted to apply pressure to keep Molina off his bicycle. However, Molina only dictated his game plan in round one before Reyes dictated the final seven sessions in a toe-to-toe thriller.
Molina snapped his quick jab and kept his distance for the first three minutes of the contest but capitulated to Reyes’ desire to close the space between them from the second round on. Molina tried to punch with the older Reyes – but with little efficacy.
Reyes smothered the shorter fighter and Molina could not shake Reyes’ pressure. With no room to work, Molina tried to brawl with Reyes but had no room to work. He threw ineffective arm punches with his oft-injured right hand paving the way for Reyes to dominate most of the fight.
Reyes’ father has been in a coma since a tragic car accident in 2008 left him in a vegetative state. “Fighting 4 Pops” is his life statement and those words are written into his trunks.
After his emotional win, Reyes said of the fight, “We trained hard, ridiculously hard. It was insane, man. I didn’t stop punching the entire time. We knew it was going to be a long fight, you know, eight rounds. It was a good fight. We trained hard.”
The telecast will replay on Thursday, Nov. 3 at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME EXTREME and be available on SHOWTIME On Demand from Oct. 31 through Nov. 13.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV