Junior welterweight prospect Mike Dallas Jr. will reportedly meet Miguel Gonzalez in a Feb. 17 ESPN2 Friday Night Fights headliner in Arlington, Tex.
The Friday show will be a prelude to another Goossen card the following night 415 miles south in Corpus Christi, Tex., that will be televised on Showtime.
Reigning BWAA Trainer of the Year Virgil Hunter, who works the corner of Dallas Jr., informed BoxingScene.com that his 140-pounder would be fighting on the aforementioned date as early as last Friday, but that nothing concrete had come to fruition.
“It’s on that day, and it’s going to be a Goossen [Tutor] card, but they haven’t given us an opponent yet,” Hunter said at the time. “He’s been looking better every day. We’ve been working on not having him telegraph his punches and his footwork…and he’s really improving on his inside game.”
As for Dallas Jr. (17-2-1, 7 KOs), the 25-year-old “Silent Assassin” has been staying in shape at Oakland’s King’s Gym by sparring Eloy Perez, who has a 130-pound title shot against WBO champ Adrien Broner in a little over three weeks.
“It’s my second fight with Virg,” he said. “We’re just working on my mistakes, and getting sharper and stronger. Then, I was a skinny kid they could push around. Now I learned the inside game now. I got my feet under me. I can do both. I can get a little rougher.”
Dallas, out of Bakersfield, Calif., is coming off a controversial majority decision loss to Mauricio Herrera last June that many ringside observers felt he won.
“It’s a fight I know I won, but I learned I can’t leave things in the judges’ hands,” he admitted. “I have to get them out of there. I have to take my time, sit on my punches, win rounds convincingly, and don’t leave anything close.”
Gonzalez (20-2, 15 KOs), nicknamed “Silky Smooth,” is on a 14-bout winning streak capped by a second-round knockout of veteran Humberto Toledo last October. Holding wins over the rugged Hector Alatorre and Tyrone Harris, Dallas Jr. marks a step up in difficulty for the 26-year-old from Cleveland.
Jose Santana Jr. of SecondsOut.com initially reported that the fight was a done deal.
Ryan Maquiñana writes a weekly column for Comcast SportsNet Bay Area (CSNBayArea.com). He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and Ring Magazine’s Ratings Advisory Panel. E-mail him at [email protected], check out his blog at www.maqdown.com, or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.