MORONGO CASINO-Former Contender star Alfonso Gomez proved too sharp even at middleweight for Calvin Green in winning by knockout, and Michael Franco battled to a win too on Saturday.
Gomez moved up in weight to fight the bigger Green (21-6-1, 13 KOs) but it didn’t prove to be much of a task as he was simply the superior boxer before a near sold out crowd at Morongo Casino on the Top Rank fight card.
“I want to fight Victor Ortiz,” said Gomez (23-4-2, 12 KOs), who barely broke a sweat.
Gomez showed some slick counter punches immediately and caught Green flush in the opening 30 seconds of the fight. Green tried to get close but was out maneuvered by Gomez.
In the second round Green pressed harder but those right hand counters kept landing. Finally, a right hand counter stunned Green who just couldn’t protect himself as Gomez picked and fired shots through the Texan’s guard. A right uppercut caught Green and Gomez jumped all over him. Referee Tony Crebs wisely stopped the fight at 1:24 of round two.
Gomez had beaten yet another middleweight.
“It was just an opportunity to get recognition. Now I plan to contend at welter unless I can get Canelo,” said Gomez of possibly fighting Saul Alvarez for the WBC junior middleweight title. “People now see me as a slugger but I see myself as a counter puncher.”
Michael Franco withstood a very poor first round and reloaded with body shots from there on to win by unanimous decision over Rafael Lora (11-6, 5 KOs) in a featherweight clash. Another factor was the constant loss of Lora’s mouthpiece.
Lora was the faster fighter and showed it in the first round by peppering Franco with stiff jabs and slapping left hooks. Round one emphatically went to Lora who fights out of New Jersey.
“He really didn’t have a whole lot of punch. He wasn’t too quick or too fast,” said Franco (19-0, 12 KOs). “I’m kind of getting back into it, getting some of the rust off.”
Riverside’s Franco switched gears in round two and began trading blows instead of trying to block Lora’s slapping blows. From then on it became easier to land the body blows that slowed Lora to half speed. Despite some heavy blows to the jaw and chin Lora absorbed the punches well.
“I should have boxed a little more,. But I wanted to get in there and mix it up. I missed the whole set up (no jab),” Franco said. “I thought he was going to move forward.”
After eight rounds all three judges scored it in Franco’s favor 77-73 twice and 76-74.
Indio’s Gabino Saenz (3-0, 3 KOs) floored Milwaukee’s James “Super Strong” Owens (4-4) with a left hook to the body and finished the job with a four punch combination in a featherweight fight. Saenz walked in the ring with pound for pound fighter Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley who trains in Indio.
A battle of southpaw sluggers was won by Filipino lefty Michael Farenas (30-3-3, 26 KOs) in an eight round junior lightweight match. Nigeria’s Daniel Attah (25-7-1, 9 KOs) had some moments early but once Farenas landed a solid left to the body the fight shifted. Farenas floored Attah with a four-punch combination in round seven and eventually won by majority decision 75-75, 79-71, 78-72.
El Monte’s Ricky Duenas (9-1) faced Alfredo Rivera (1-8) whose record doesn’t look good but has never given an opponent an easy fight. This was no exception as Duenas needed all of his skill to keep the hard punching Rivera from landing the big blow. After six rounds of the welterweight bout Duenas won by unanimous decision 58-56 twice and 59-55. Duenas is trained by Ben Lira who is one of the better trainers in Southern California. Rivera’s last bout was a remarkable upset when he stopped formerly undefeated boxer Angel Estrada.
Fresno’s Ramon Morales (3-0, 2 KOs) floored Garden Grove’s Santiago Alonso (0-2) twice in the first round with right hands behind the ear. An overhand right hand finished the job at 2:51 of the first round of the junior featherweight match. Morales seemed to have a four inch height advantage.
Santa Ana’s Jose Roman (10-0, 8 KOs) cracked Mexico’s Jose Mendoza (6-2, 3 KOs) with a left hook for an eight count in round one. Then after the fight resumed an overhand right knocked out Mendoza at 2:03 of the first round lightweight bout.
Russia’s Vahe Saruhan bludgeoned Huntington Park’s Jose Pacheco (2-15-6) with a barrage of punches to the head and body in a lightweight bout. Finally, a right hand put Pacheco down for a knockout at 2:59 of the first round referee Zack Young counted 10. It was Saruhan’s pro debut.
Who will win the Sergey Kovalev vs Andre Ward fight?