By: William Holmes
ESPN Friday Night Fights was broadcast tonight live from the UIC Pavilion in Chicago, Illinois. The broadcast wasted little time in getting to the opening bout of the night.
The elder statesman Jose Louis Castillo (64-11-1) and the loudest boxer on this planet, Antwone Smith (22-4-1) met in the junior middleweight division. It was obvious from the beginning that Smith had a significant speed advantage over Castillo: he took over the bout in round two and his punches began landing at a high rate as he bounced hard two-punch combinations off of Smith.
Castillo had a solid fourth round, and his jab hook combination was starting to land. He lost a point, however, for a low blow, and from that moment on he was never really in the fight. Smith nearly ended the fight in the seventh round, as he unleashed some vicious shots on Castillo when he was trapped in the corner, but he was unable to finish the fight.
Antwone Smith won a unanimous decision with scores of 110-90, 98-92, and 99-91.
The main event of the night was between Carlos Molina (20-5-2) and Cory Spinks (39-7) in the junior middleweight division.
Spinks has been inactive the last few years and it showed in the ring. The large crowd in attendance loudly roared whenever Carlos Molina landed and connected with early left hooks. Spinks began to resort to grabbing in the third round, as he was beginning to get hit with hard right hands. Spinks continued to hold excessively and was warned by the referee in the sixth round, but continued to get pounded with punches and hold on to survive.
Spinks was deducted a point in the ninth round for holding and he was knocked down by a left hook in the 11th round. A questionable knockdown was awarded to Molina again in the 12th round, but Spinks was clearly losing the fight at that point.
The finals scores were 119-106, 119-106, and 120-105 for Carlos Molina.