By Eric Duran
On Friday night, Oscar De La Hoya and Golden Boy Promotions brought live professional boxing to the Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, Ca. In the main event, once fringe contender and fan favorite, Alfonso Gomez faced off with Yoshihiro Kamegai in the Jr. Middleweight division.
Both Gomez and Kamegai are known for their fan friendly style. One look at Gomez’s resume and you’ll understand why he is a highly respected fighter in the game. Kamegai, virtually unknown until last year, was in a fight of the year candidate just two fights ago against Robert Guerrero.
In the co-main event, former NABF Featherweight titlist Ronnie Rios returned to action. It was be Rios’s first outing since losing is first bout as a professional to Robinson Castellanos in October of 2014. Rios faced Sergio Frias of Guadalajara, Mexico.
Prospect Jaime Kavanagh got things started against Miguel Zamudio in the lightweight division. Paulie Malignaggi and Beto Perez called the action from ringside.
Gomez (25-6-2, 12 KOs) won a thrilling, 10-round unanimous decision over Kamegai (25-3-1, 22 KOs). It was a actioned-packed bout as both fighters met in the center of the ring and exchanged combinations. Gomez’s accuracy prevailed over Kamaegai’s smothering style, as he landed the clearer blows early in the fight. Kamegai made a run late in the fight, but it was too late as Gomez had built up a big lead early on in the fight.
In the co-main event, Rios (23-1-1, 10 KOs) defeated Frias (16-4-2, 8 KOs) over 10 uneventful rounds.
Rios rebounded from defeat in his previous fight by using head movement and cutting off the ring against Frias. Frias didn’t come to lay down, but he was unable to gain any momentum during the fight. Rios on the other hand, never went away from his game plan as he piled up rounds on the judge’s scorecards
In the opening bout of the night, lightweight prospect (Kavanagh 18-1-1, 9 KOs) stopped 40-fight veteran Zamudio (32-7-1, 18 KOs) at the end of the fifth round. The ringside doctor determined Zamudio was taking too much damage has his eye continued to swell and close. Zamudio dropped Kavanagh in the second round, but had little success beyond that. Kavanagh controlled the pace and action of the bout from the opening bout.
Round by Round: Gomez vs Kamegai
Gomez is pumping the jab as Kamegai pressures him. Kamaegai is smothering Gomez on the inside, trying to establish a steady body attack. Gomez is using the ring, trying to offset the pace of Kamegai. Neither fighter established a lead in round one.
Gomez with a solid left hook, straight right combo to start round two. Kamegai continues to press forward as Gomez pumps the jab. It’s an actioned packed round as Gomez is opening up with combinations. Non-stop action from both fighters as the round comes to an end.
Gomez and Kamegai are fighting in a phone booth here in round three. Gomez is landing the more visible blows as Kamegia smothers his punches. The fighters are putting on a show as neither fighter is backing down and the pace is rapid fire. Gomez is starting to land counter-punches as the round comes to an end.
Gomez and Kamegai are exchanging heavy combinations here in round four. Gomez is deducted a point for leading with his head. Gomez with a solid right hand, snapping the head of Kamegai in the center of the ring. Kamegai fights back, but Gomez is landing a snapping a jab.
Kamegai continues to walk forward in round five. Gomez is able to land big punches as Kamegai is showing no head movement. A straight right hand from Kamegai. Gomez is keeping Kamegai off of him with a steady jab and left hooks. Kamegai has no other game plan but to walk forward and throw punches in bunches.
The fighters trade straight right hands to open round six. Kamegai is starting to show some basic footwork in this round. Gomez may be tiring as Kamaegai continues press the action. Good body attack from Kamegai along the ropes.
Kamegai tags Gomez with a counter left hook on the inside. It’s body to body action in the center of the ring as Gomez fires off combinations. Kamegai responds to every combination with his own. A very solid fight on paper has turned into a great fight. Gomez seems to be winning the fight on the scorecards as we head to round eight.
Kamegai continues to fight at a high pace here in round eight. Gomez, for his part, is fighting just as furious. Kamegai is landing the bigger shots as Gomez looks tired in round eight. Gomez lands a counter right uppercut off the ropes. Gomez is breathing heavily as round comes to an end and Kamegai continues to pound away.
Kamegai is pounding away at the body of Gomez here in round nine. Gomez is tired as Kamegai seems to have found a second wind. There is no stopping in Gomez though, as he fires back with Kamaegai. Kamegai scores with a crushing left hook to the chin of Gomez. Back and forth action as round nine comes to an end. Kamegai’s late surge may not be enough to win on the scorecards.
Both fighters’ eyes are swollen as they head into round 10. What a gut-wrenching performance as both fighters are fighting through fatigue. Gomez is holding on the inside as Kamegai continues to try and wear him down. Kamaegai scores with another left hook to the chin off Gomez as round 10 comes to an end.
All three judges score the bout the same, 98-91, for your winner by unanimous decision, Alfonso Gomez.
Round by Round: Rios vs Frias
Rios rebounds with a win against Frias, unimpressive in victory.
Jr. Featherweight Ronnie Rios was victorious in his first bout since losing his first professional bout. Although the scorecards seemed in huge favor of Rios, the actual competition from Frias was much closer.
Rios opens the action with a step back, overhand right in round one. Rios is being patient in his attack, not rushing in. Frias lands a left hook on the inside, getting the attention of Rios. Rios ends round one with a stiff jab.
A counter right hand from Rios catches Frias from the outside. Both fighters are trading combinations as round two is heating up. Rios is picking up the pace of the fight as he stalks Frias around the ring. Rios is looking good but Frias is keeping him honest with his sharp counters.
Although the shorter fighter, Rios has established a strong jab through three rounds of action. Rios is landing his straight right hand in the corner. Frias is no pushover as he has found a home for his right uppercut. Frias has a good round as he has found a nice rhythm against the pressuring Rios.
Rios is back to countering in round four. Rios scores with a three-punch combination to the body Frias in the corner, Frias with a digging left hook to the body of Rios. Frias is waiting to counter Rios as Rios walks forward. Frias catches Rios with straight right as Rios looks to load up along the ropes.
The fighters are exchanging combinations along the ropes here in round five. Frias is refusing to play the opponent for Rios as he continues to bang away with the favored fighter. Frias tags Rios coming in with a straight right hand. Frias is landing the more telling blows throughout the fight.
Rios is becoming more aggressive as he may feel the fight is close on the cards. Both fighters are landing heavy blows here in round six. Rios is starting to load up on the right hand as he gains momentum. Rios is making Frias pay when he makes a mistake, possibly seizing the momentum of the fight.
Rios lands a four-punch combination to the head and body of Frias along the ropes. Rios has become the more active fighter as the fight goes along, looking to lead instead of counter. Frias catches Rios with a counter right hook and seems to have visibly hurt Rios to end round seven.
There’s two-way action to start round eight, as both fighters stand and trade in the center of the ring. Rios is the cutting the ring and going to the body of Frias. A solid straight right hand from Rios lands after two range-finding jabs.
Rios cracks Frias with a left hook to open round nine. Frias lands a counter uppercut as he moves away from Rios. Both fighters trade combinations as the action continues through 9 rounds of solid action. Frias is pushing Rios back as round nine comes to an end.
Both fighters are either tired or confused as they stand and stare at each other in the center of the ring. Rios catches Frias with a counter right hand over the top of a jab from Frias. Frias is pressing the action as round 10 comes to an end.
Two judges scored the bout 99-91, while the third judge saw it 98-92 for your winner by unanimous decision, Ronnie Rios.
Round by Round: Kavanagh vs Zamudio
Kavanagh opens the action with a nice overhand right. There is already a knot under the left eye of Zamudio. Zamudio counters Kavanagh with a left hook to the body. Kavanagh is putting together combinations to the body of Zamudio to end round one.
Kavanagh catches Zamudio with a straight right hand open round two. Zamudio is focusing on the body, trying to bring the fight to Kavanagh. Kavanagh scores with a counter right hand over the top a body jab from Zamudio. A straight right hand to the body from Zamudio drops Kavanagh at the bell.
Kavanagh is boxing from the outside as Zamudio has had success on the inside. Kavanagh scores with a stiff jab as Zamudio swings wildly with a right hand. Kavanagh is cut over the right eye. Kavanagh lands with a left hook that stops Zamudio in his tracks. Soild action from both fighters in round three.
Kavanagh tags Zamudio with a overhand right to begin round four. Zamudio is still keen on attacking the body of Kavanagh. Kavanagh is still pumping his jab through four rounds, but Zamudio is closing the distance. Kavanagh catches Zamudio with a left hook to punctuate another solid round.
Zamudio is still pressing forward, although he is down on the cards. There is considerable sweeling under the left eye of Zamudio. Kavanagh lands a counter right uppercut on the inside as Zamudio has no response. Kavanagh is bouncing on toes as Zamudio appears to be breathing heavy towards the end of round five.
The doctor stops the fight between rounds five and six as the swelling under Zamudio’s eye has causen the eye to almost close, giving Kavanagh a TKO victory.