Miguel Gonzalez talked a heck of a game coming into the main event against Mike Dallas Jr. on ESPN's "Friday Night Fights," which unfolded at the College Park Center in Arlington, Texas. But his fighting didn't match his pre-fight bluster. Dallas was the busier man throuby scores of ghout, and boxed smartly to a unimous decision after ten rounds which looked remarkably similar. The judges scored the slightly listless event for Dallas, 100-90, 100-90, 100-89, who broke a two-fight losing streak. Dallas went 184-600 to 92-398 for the loser.
"The Silent Assassin" Dallas (17-2-1 entering, with seven KOs; 140 pounds) lives in Bakersfield, CA while Gonzalez (20-2 with 15 KOs; 139 pounds) lives in Cleveland, Ohio.
Teddy Atlas said before the bout that Gonzalez had had his left hand in a cast two weeks before the bout, while his dad Sonny, who trains him, told the analyst it was in a cast four weeks ago.
In the first, Dallas, trying to send a message, was aggressive. Gonzalez, who had told me that he wanted to end things early, so he could have a nice night of winding down with friends and family, slipped quickly when Dallas charged.
In the second, a cut opened on left eye of Dallas from a head clash. But that didn't make him shrink; Dallas sent the message that he wanted to be first.
In the third, the lefty G popped the jab but didn't really follow up with a plan after that. He wasn't setting up combos at all.
In the fourth, Dallas went low and was warned from the ref, Neil Young. He didn't want it to occur again, leaving Gonzalez "Helpless." Dallas glared at the "Old Man," and proceeded to flurry, "Like A Hurricane." We wondered if the man from "Ohio" would get untracked, let loose his power left at all, or if the hand was still tender.
In the fifth, it occurred to me again that Gonzalez had told me he wanted to wrap this up early, score an early stoppage. Was that bluster? Because he wasn't fighting in a manner suggesting he truly wanted this. was he trying to psych himself up with that talk?
In the sixth, it was more of the same. Dallas was busier, more aggressive, winning rounds, in a ho hum fight. In the seventh, there was again an excess of smothering and clinching at times. Ref Young was featured way too much for my liking in this one. In round eight, Dallas stepped it up. His body work was maybe paying dividends at this point. His foe looked to clinch even more quickly by the middle of the round.
In the ninth, we heard Atlas say that Dallas' trainer, Virgil Hunter, Andre Ward's trainer, told him to, "Keep whuppin' him." Atlas took a sideswipe at Alexander Povetkin when he complimented Ward as the ultra pro, and said he wished there were more classy people like him in the game. Poor Teddy, he has such high expectations for people.
In the tenth, Dallas finished strong, unworried that he'd get caught by Gonzalez, who didn't often enough get out of defensive mode.
Not sure what is going on in the head of Shawn Estrada, who weighed 196 on his first attempt Friday for an over-the-weight light heavyweight match against Terrance Woods. He then made 191, so he enjoyed a 14 pound edge over Woods, 177 pounds. We heard that the second weigh-in for Estrada was allegedly not done publicly, so once again, the Texas commission is involved in some strange circumstance. They got ink when Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and the other boxers on the Feb. 4 San Antonio card didn't have to furnish urine samples post-bout, because no lab had been booked to do the sampling. Texas allows a 15 pound disparity in weight in pro bouts, and many if not most experts and heck, even casual fans, think that is too much. Luckily, Woods didn't get hurt.
Estrada had balance and accuracy issues, though his volume wasn't horrid considering it looks like he didn't go heavy on the roadwork, or even the recumbent bike, before the bout. The 26 year old Californian, who made the 2008 US Olympic squad, rose to 14-0, while the Texan Woods drops to 9-4.
Note: We're not sure what made Estrada so heavy for this bout. He's battled a heavy load of injuries the last couple years, and now his focus and professionalism will be questioned. He did win a UD8, with one judge scoring it 78-74. That judge is named Erwin Sparks, and that card is beyond bad. Woods ate shots and scored quite infrequently. Was Sparks giving points for chin and heart?
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV