By Sean Crose
Things got off to a hairy start on Fox Sports 1’s Golden Boy Live telecast on Friday when seven foot Chinese heavyweight Taishan (4-0) knocked severely overmatched Missourian Lance Gauche (5-8-2) out in the first round at the Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California.
After lying unconscious on the mat for far longer than one would expect, Gauche was taken out of the ring on a stretcher and was sent to the hospital for a brain scan and observation. The ringside doctor told Fox Sport’s Jessica Rosales that Gauche most certainly had a concussion at the very least.
The second fight of the night featured respiratory therapist Abraham Lopez (17-0-1) engaged in a featherweight bout with Alfred Tetteh (23-3-1). The early portion of the bout belonged to Lopez, who engaged in a disciplined distance act. His punches were crisp, if not destructive, and his footwork was impressive.
Tetteh was able to land hard at the end of the third, however, proving that he hadn’t come all the way from Ghana just to pick up a paycheck. Lopez, however, remained disciplined in the fourth. Yet Tetteh was now moving forward with a bounce to his step. It was clear no one was going to just walk away with a victory, that a win would have to be earned.
And a victory was indeed earned – by Lopez, via a vicious body blow in the fifth. Tetteh, who had been game throughout the fight, was left withering on the mat.
Middleweights Paul Valenzuela Jr (7-1) and Antonio Gutierrez (18-0) took to the ring next for a scheduled six rounder. The two had fought before, meaning they were familiar with each other’s styles. Valenzuela started the fight off moving forward and swinging hard. Gutierrez was swinging, too, however, making for an entertaining affair.
It was indeed a high energy fight, but by the third, both men appeared gassed. Still, each fighter swatted away at his opponent throughout the fourth. By the fifth, both were chopping away at their opponent’s bodies. Clearly, neither fighter was into pacing himself.
Regardless, each man kept up the pace until the conclusion of the bout. In the end Valenzuela took a decision win (57-57, 60-54, 58-56), handing Gutierrez his first loss and making the record between the two men 1-1 (might a third match be in order?).
The main event featured featherweights Eric Hunter (20-3) and Antonio Escalante (29-7) in a ten rounder. Philly’s Hunter was a recent Golden Boy addition while Texan Escalante was looking to get some buzz back in his career.
Hunter started quickly, dropping Escalante in round one. Escalante got up, but was dropped again a few seconds later. Escalante got up once more, but was immediately put away by the determined Hunter. Indeed, Hunter made good on his word to me days earlier that he was looking for knockouts. As short as the bout was, Hunter looked excellent from beginning until the end.