By Jake Donovan
One more win on the year would’ve earned Dante Jardón a spot in the honorable mention section of 2011’s Top Prospects among most publications.
Instead, the free-swinging Mexican knockout artist is forced to go back to square one after a shocking 3rd round knockout loss at the hands of lightly regarded Kyohei Tamakoshi of Japan over the weekend.
“He got me with a lucky shot,” Jardón insists in the wake of his first defeat since his second pro fight, when he was stretched in a round by Tomas Ramirez. The loss was avenged just two fights later, when Jardón scored a third round knockout in the very same Salon 21 club in Mexico City.
The rematch win over Ramirez was the second fight of a five-year, 18-fight win streak that came to an abrupt halt last Saturday in Puebla, Mexico. Rather than taking care of business and garner minor consideration for Prospect of the Year, he instead lands on the wrong end of one of the year’s biggest upsets.
Fortunately for Jardón, it came on a weekend full of surprises. Biggers wins posted by Lamont Peterson (over Amir Khan) and Brian Viloria (over Giovani Segura) helped bury this fight fairly deep in the news, but it doesn’t make the memories from that evening any less painful.
“We were very surprised on the outcome of the fight,” said Oswaldo Kuchle, who along with Ricardo Maldonando sharing managerial and promotional duties in Jardón’s career. “Dante is a great but still young fighter. It was a good landed shot and he just couldn’t recuperate.”
The knockout came at a point when Jardón (19-2, 17KO) was otherwise winning handily. When you rack up knockouts at a rapid pace, the belief comes that you can end a fight at any given moment.
Such was the very mistake made by Jardón, who turns 24 next month and apparently still requires a bit more maturing before advancing his career.
“He caught me with a lucky shot,” Jardón said of the rare knockout posted by the 30-year old Tamakoshi (28-7-6, 11KO), who was fighting outside of his native Japan for the first time in his 12-year career. “I had the fights in my hand, but also wanted to give the fans more rounds.”
The latter part is in reference to his affinity for early evenings. All but two of his 22 fights to date have ended in four rounds or less, though both of those long-distance bouts came this year.
Jardón saw a bout go to the scorecards for the first (and to date, only) time in his career when he decisioned Rene Gonzalez this past January. Three straight knockouts followed, including a 7th round stoppage of Ricky Sismundo in September, the deepest he’s ever scored a knockout in his career.
His knockout win over Sismundo was regarded as a step up, and further validation that he was for real. With that in mind, Jardón began to believe he can carry any given fighter into deep waters before drowning them.
Lesson learned on Saturday evening, one that he’s anxious to correct as soon as possible.
“That was my huge mistake to assume,” Jardón admits. “I will be back soon. I want a rematch with Tamakoshi immediately and then move on to bigger fights in 2012.”
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter at twitter.com/JakeNDaBox or submit questions/comments to [email protected]