Omar Figueroa and Jerry Belmontes engaged in a nice lightweight rumble for the first half of their bout, to kick off the night on the TV portion of the Golden Boy card at the StubHub Center in CA. Things chilled out in the second half, when Belmontes started moving more, so when they went to the cards, you could have flipped a coin. Would they go for the slicker boxer or the volume guy?
The judges liked the volume guy, Figgy, by scores of 115-113 (Belmontes), 116-112 (Fig) and 118-110 (Fig).
After, Fig said it takes two to tango, and Belmontes didn't want to fight. He said the fact that Bel beat him five times in the amateurs had him knowing what the loser would do. Bel thought he won, and he hated the 118-110 card. "C'mon, man," he said.
Fig went 188-837 to 161-434 for Belmontes.
The WBC lightweight title held by Fig was up for grabs.
Belmontes did nice work to the body, but a tradefest was cooking by the third, and Omar liked that. Bel showed nice hand speed, and slipped smartly, as well. Fig's three punch combo landed clean but Bel didn't blink twice, and handled the power OK. Fig tossed 100 punches in the third, and you knew the judges liked that.
In the fourth, Bel looked for opps to counter, but maybe waited too much. Fig went lefty midway through and then switched back. We wondered where Bel's jab was, and his volume was weak in the fourth as well. Blood dripped from Fig's nose at the end of the round. They fought in tight to start the fifth, with Bel being more busy than the previous round. He made Fig miss in fine fashion, and Fig's power was somewhat blunted with Bel in his face at times. But he threw 128 punches and c'mon, you had to think that would take the round.
Bel showed the faster hands in the sixth.
Bel ate jabs to start the seventh, but then he went lefty, and that jab fell off. Al Bernstein and Steve Farhood tied while Danny Jacobs had Fig up a round, after six. Bel started moving more in the seventh, giving a different look. He kept that up through nine, and the crowd disliked it. So did Fig, as his face registered frustration in the ninth. The crowd, too, made it clear they wanted the rumbling pair, not the mover Belmontes doing his smarter thing, to minimize contact. He landed a real nice right cross, though, maybe the best power shot of the round.
In the tenth, Fig went lefty, threw, and fell in, and blunted himself. Al and Steve had Bel leading, while Jacobs liked Fig's work more. A left slapped Fig, snapped his head back and it showed Bel's confidence was sky high fighting as a mover. His legs were taking rounds, and taking Fig out of his comfort zone, making him a chaser, often fruitlessly. In the 11th, Bel snapped the jab, trying to drive through the target, as opposed to Fig.They worked through the 12th, and went to the cards.
Al B had it 115-114 for Bel, Farhood saw it 116-112 for the loser, and Jacobs saw a draw. I liked Farhood's card the most, btw.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV