The revamped Telefutura Solo Boxeo series has been the target of well-deserved criticism ever since returning to the airwaves last year.
Perhaps Friday night’s main event alone wasn’t enough to atone for all of the gross mismatches that have come during that time, but for now it’s one hell of an exception to the rule.
Unbeaten teenaged prospect Frankie Gomez survived his toughest test to date with a majority decision over Adrian Granados in their eight-round main event Friday evening at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago. The 19-year old rode an early knockdown to fend off the hometown favorite in a fever pitched battle that drew a well-deserved standing ovation by fight’s end.
Gomez jumped out to an early lead, and seemed well on his way to coasting to victory as has been the case in his first 10 pro bouts. A second round knockdown didn’t bode well for Granados or for all of his homeboys in attendance.
Then a fight broke out.
Granados rallied back hard, with momentum swaying back and forth round after round. To his credit, Gomez maintained his composure in a situation where most young fighters would normally fold. Fighting on the road and in a situation where your opponent has taken your best stuff and keeps coming is an ego-crushing blow to anyone, but Gomez bit down and remained focused on the task at hand.
With each fighter having their share of moments in every round, scores figured to be all over the place. Neither fighter left anything to chance down the stretch, going toe-to-toe and unloading on one another until the final bell and slightly beyond. The non-stop action didn’t go unnoticed by the Chicago faithful, belting out a raucous applause at fight’s end.
The cheers turned into a mixed reaction once the scores were announced. The first tally of 76-76 triggered an uneasy groan from most in attendance, fearing that it was the best their guy Granados would enjoy.
Such suspicions were confirmed once scores of 78-73 and 77-74 were announced for Gomez, though most objective viewers will point out that the judges got this one right in the end.
All told, Gomez heads back to East Los Angeles with a world of invaluable experience in tow, as he advances to 11-0 (8KO). The bout was his first outside of the West Coast, and the type of fight that any young fighter should be forced to experience if he wants to properly develop into a world class talent.
Granados loses for the first time since his second pro fight, falling to 8-2-1 (5KO).
In the televised co-feature, local lightweight prospect Omar Figueroa remained unbeaten with an impressive second round knockout over journeyman Marcos Herrera. Figueroa (13-0-1, 10KO) scored two knockdowns, the latter courtesy of a left hook that put Herrera (6-7-1, 2KO) down and out, at 1:19 of the second round.
Rare is the occasion where a pro-debuting fighter is mentioned during year-end awards, but Daniel Sotelo earned the right to become part of the Knockout of the discussion with a first-round blitzing of Ronnie Fuentez.
The televised swing bout was as thrilling a fight as you can ask for in a one-round affair, ending in dramatic fashion when two rights and a left hook sent Fuentez crashing face-first to the canvas as the fight was waved off without a count.
It’s as memorable a pro debut as you can ask for as Sotelo (1-0, 1KO) sent the crowd into a frenzy with his explosive albeit brief performance. Fuentez falls to 0-2 (0KO), both losses coming by knockout.
Luis Santiago had his way with tumbling Clifford McPherson, taking a lopsided decision in their welterweight swing bout. Santiago (3-0, 1KO) was in control throughout the fight, as McPherson (2-5-1, 1KO) tried as mightily as he could but could never quite get uncorked.
Local lightweight Juan Bustamente (2-0, 1KO) picked up his first career knockout, though in suspect fashion as Andrew Kato hardly put up much of a fight in a bout that never made it out of the first round. Bustamente scored a knockdown midway through, at which point Kato didn't seem keen on continuing. The referee picked up on that very vibe and waved off the fight, much to the chagrin of the disappointed crowd. The fight was a rare low point on a night filled with action.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter at twitter.com/JakeNDaBox or submit questions/comments to [email protected]
Tags: Frankie Gomez