By Chris Cella
In this week’s edition of Friday Night Fights, coming live from Thunder Valley Casino Resort in Lincoln, California, an outdoor show in the near 100 degree heat, lightweights Josenilson Dos Santos (26-1, 16 KO) and Miguel Gonzalez (21-3, 15 KO) got the action started.
From the onset of the fight, Gonzalez bullied his way inside to take away Dos Santos’ reach, and worked to score points and accrue damage on the taller fighter.
Dos Santos could’ve easily changed the pace of the fight if he was able to establish his jab and make it effective, but what should’ve been his biggest weapon was nonexistent through the course of the rounds.
As the fight progressed, Gonzalez became more at home with getting his shots off and staying elusive from Dos Santos’ uppercuts, which he turned to halfway through the fight.
In the eighth round, Gonzalez continued his onslaught and caught Dos Santos with a body shot to the liver which sent him across the ring and into the corner on his knees, where he was then unable to continue.
Coming into this bout, Dos Santos had only lost once, but this fight showed that he has a lot to learn if he was going to step up in competition, as he did tonight against Miguel Gonzalez. For southpaw Gonzalez, he proved that he still belongs amongst contenders within the division, and can find himself battling for a belt within a fight or two.
Although the sun slowly faded off as the night of fights went on, the temperature was still at a high of 96 through the latter stages of the main event between Juan Carlos Burgos (30-1-1, 20 KO) and Yakubu Amidu (20-4-1, 18 KO).
Amidu took this fight on two weeks’ notice, and despite the lack of a training camp in preparing for the bout against Burgos, the fighter from Ghana looked conditioned and ready for a war.
The pace of the fight was fast from the start of the first round, with Amidu looking to get in and force Burgos to fight his style. Burgos has never been known to shy away from an opponent, and he stood and banged with Amidu in the center of the ring at times, while at other moments stayed on the outside and counter-punched when Amidu left himself open from throwing wildly.
Amidu started off slow in the opening stages of the fight, but looked far from a fighter who took the fight on two weeks’ notice. As each round progressed, he found more of a rhythm in both his attack and fight plan, landing more shots on the number 4 ranked fighter.
But Burgos did what he needed to do as a former title challenger. and stepped up when he needed to, making the most of the championship rounds and really seemed to be pulling ahead on the scorecards.
Amidu proved he was more than a game opponent capable of fighting hard against a quality opponent such as Burgos, and in the end the fight was declared a split decision draw with scores of 116-112 for Burgos, 116-112 for Amidu, and 114-114. This was Burgos’ second consecutive draw.
Amidu showed he can hang with the top dogs and will undoubtedly earn bigger fights. Burgos will be about going back to the drawing board and figuring out what he has to do to exit the ring with a ‘W’.