By David P. Greisman
Frankie Gomez shut out Jorge Silva over the course of 10 rounds, winning in his first appearance in the ring in nearly 15 months. Gomez-Silva was the co-featured bout of a Golden Boy Promotions card from Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California.
Gomez, a 23-year-old prospect, was supposed to have fought this past May in a prime spot on the HBO undercard to the Canelo Alvarez vs. James Kirkland broadcast, a show that also included the re-airing of Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao.
But while an impressive average audience of more than 2.1 million people tuned in that night, none of them got to see Gomez take on Humberto Soto. That’s because Gomez, after having the weight limit pushed back from 141 pounds to 145, still came in at 147.5. The fight got called off.
Gomez again was overweight for this fight, which came against Jorge Silva, and his team had to change the contract to get Gomez some additional leeway. He came in at 150 pounds. This bout wasn’t canceled, however, and even if Gomez wasn’t putting in enough work in training camp, he did more than enough for the victory.
Gomez was successful with hard, flush shots in the opening round, while Silva targeted Gomez’s less-than-toned body. Gomez got the better of their exchanges, though his mouth was noticeably open by the second round. Nevertheless, Gomez was able to pour on the punches in the beginning of the third. Silva shook his head as if to say that the punches hadn’t affected him. Gomez continued to potshot Silva anyway, walking him into right hands and left hooks and moving away without taking too much in return. Gomez also made a point of responding whenever Silva did land.
Blood was coming from Silva’s nose by the fifth. Gomez didn’t do much in that round, as both fighters appeared to be seizing an opportunity to rest. In the sixth, it was Gomez’s face taking some damage thanks to a head but that opened a cut underneath Gomez’s left eye and also brought some rapid swelling. Gomez began to punch with more urgency. He was fortunate that the injuries from this clash of heads didn’t get much worse.
The action again slowed, which was to Gomez’s benefit. He was able to exchange when he desired, scoring first and then moving away. And then another head butt happened. This one came at the end of the ninth, bringing a cut over Gomez’s right eye and a significant wound toward the top of Silva’s head that gushed crimson.
Both fighters were showing blood, and in the 10th they were able to show guts with their best trading of the evening. Silva remained standing, as he had all night, and Gomez was never able to hurt Silva badly enough to make referee David Denkin halt the bout.
All three judges had it 100-90.
Silva, 23, falls to 21-10-2 with 17 KOs. He’s faced and lost to a few notable names, including Alfredo Angulo and Joshua Clottey. He’s tough, but he’s a journeyman whose best attribute is a willingness to absorb punches and an ability to do so.
Gomez is now 19-0 with 13 KOs. His previous outing had been a June 2014 decision over Vernon Paris.
Gomez said after the Silva win that he wanted to “keep hitting the gym hard, and maybe by the end of the year come back and fight again.” Of course, if Gomez had been hitting the gym hard to begin with he would’ve been on weight against Soto and Silva.
Gomez remains a prospect with potential. Every prospect has questions that need to be answered. In his case, one of the questions is whether he’ll be done in by a lack of discipline.
Pick up a copy of David’s book, “Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing,” at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsamazon or internationally at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsworldwide . Send questions/comments via email at [email protected]