By Jake Donovan
Juan Carlos Burgos was forced to settle for his second consecutive 12-round draw. This time around, dispute over the decision doesn't necessarily lean in his favor.
The super featherweight contender was given all that he could handle from late sub Yakubu Amidu in their main event Friday evening in Lincoln, California. Scores were 116-112 for Burgos, 116-112 for Amidu and 114-114 to produce the three-way tie.
Burgos was fighting for the first time since his debatable split decision draw against Roman Martinez earlier this year. The outcry following the 130 lb. title fight was that the Mexican was robbed outright of what should have been a championship winning moment.
At no point in Friday's fight did Burgos resemble that same championship-level fighter. Amidu - who took the fight on such short notice that the bout had to take place at the lightweight limit - treated the moment like a last chance opportunity, outworking the two-time title challenger for much of the evening.
The first true sign of a competitive fight in store came in the fourth, when Amidu had Burgos briefly stunned. Momentum was briefly squandered when the transplanted Ghanaian - who now trains out of Los Angeles - went well south of the border in round five.
Burgos had his chance to swing the bout back in his favor, but struggled to settle into old form. Perhaps it was the overbearing heat from fighting in the outdoor venue, but the steaming temperature didn't seem to bother Amidu, who actually grew stronger as the fight went on.
Two-way action dominated the second half of the fight, but never to the point where either fighter was able to gain a significant edge. Such was reflected in the final scoring, as two judges were eight rounds apart in their respective views of the 12-round affair.
The even verdict puts Burgos' record at 30-1-2 (20KO). Any sympathy generated from his hard luck draw against Martinez in January doesn't carry quite the same credit following Friday's result, as he may need another interim fight before convincing the masses he deserves a desired shot at the winner of the proposed November showdown between Martinez and unbeaten Mikey Garcia.
Amidu's stock skyrockets even though he remains winless in his past three fights. The 28-year old is now 20-4-2 (18KO), offering an inspiring performance on short notice after having lost two straight.
The televised co-feature saw Miguel Gonzalez pull off his second consecutive upset on national television. Two months after topping former lightweight titlist Miguel Acosta, the Cleveland native returned to ESPN2's airwaves to take out Josenilson Dos Santos in eight rounds.
From the opening bell, it was clear that Dos Santos was matched at a level superior to his present skill rate. The Brazilian struggled mightily with the aggression of his American challenger, who never stopped coming forward.
Dos Santos was docked a point for low blow and never managed to find his rhythm. Gonzalez sensed a shook opponent and moved in to finish him off in the eighth. Body shots were key for the American prospect, causing his opponent to clinch midway through the round before another body shot from long range forced him to the canvas, thus ending the fight.
The official time was 2:28 of round eight.
Gonzalez improves - in every sense of the word - 22-3 (16KO). Dos Santos dalls to 26-2 (16KO); both of his losses took place in the United States and against southpaws, his lone two fights outside of his native Brazil.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as the Records Keeper for the Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and a member of Boxing Writers Association of America.