By Francisco Salazar
INDIO, Calif. - Welterweight Eddie Gomez did his best work early on in his 10 round bout against John Karl Sosa. Good thing it was enough to give him the win.
Gomez won a hard-fought and close decision at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino .
With the win, Gomez improves to 19-1, 11 KOs, while Sosa falls to 13-2, 6 KOs.
Gomez, who has now won his last three bouts since losing his only bout as a pro to Francisco Santana, was effective countering Sosa with multiple punches to the head. Sosa initiated the exchanges, landing effective with right hands to the head.
Both fighters had their moments in the middle rounds. For every punch Sosa landed, Gomez landed two or three, but those punches did not have the zip as those thrown by Sosa.
As the bout progress, Gomez seemed to slow down, allowing Sosa to do his best work. Sosa was not able to capitalize during the last couple of rounds when Gomez's punch output decreased substantially.
While two judges scored the bout 96-94 in favor of Gomez, the 98-92 scorecard for Gomez did not represent the competitiveness of the bout.
Lightweights Fidel Maldonado and Art Hovhannisyan fought to a 10 round split decision draw.
Both had their moments during the first half of the fight, but it was Hovhannisyan (17-2-3, 9 KOs) who found success landing lead right hands to Maldonado's head. Maldonado was at his best landing on the inside, but Hovhannisyan was able to create space between him and Maldonado.
Much of the action was overshadowed when both committed fouls, whether it was rabbit-punching or landing below the belt. Referee Eddie Hernandez warned each fighter repeatedly, but did not deduct points.
Hovhannisyan began walking Maldonado down, mixing his attack behind repeated jabs and more lead right hands to the head.
Maldonado (21-3-1 1 NC, 18 KOs) scored a knockdown over Maldonado near the end of the eighth round. Hovhannisyan claimed he was pushed down and that a punch did not land. The knockdown became a push the following round when Maldonado was deducted a point from referee Eddie Hernandez for landing a low blow.
One judge scored the bout 96-92 for Hovhannisyan, another had the bout scored 95-93 for Maldonado, while the third judge scored the bout 94-94.
Lightweight Joseph Aguirre (13-0, 8 KOs) stopped Rony Alvarado in the fifth round. An accidental head-butt opened a cut over Alvarado's right eye, which seemed to get worse as the bout progressed. Aguirre landed the more-telling blows throughout the fight, even hurting Alvarado (9-8, 5 KOs) with a right hand with about 30 seconds left in the fourth round. During the fifth round, a ringside physician advised referee Jerry Cantu to stop the fight due to how deep the cut was over Alvarado's eye. Because the fight was stopped due to an accidental head-butt, it went to the scorecards, where all three judges scored the bout 50-45 in favor of Aguirre.
In the opening bout of the Golden Boy Promotions card, super middleweight D'Mitrius Ballard (13-0, 9 KOs) stopped Victor Fonseca in the third round. Ballard had his way with Fonseca (9-8-1, 7 KOs) up until 1:42 of the third round when he inadvertently landed a low blow, dropping Fonseca to the canvas. Fonseca stood up, but his corner advised for the fight to be stopped, believing he would win by disqualification. Since Fonseca was unable to continue due to an accidental foul, Ballard was declared the winner by knockout.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene.com since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (CA) Star newspaper, RingTV, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing