By Keith Idec
Undefeated prospect Gabriel Flores Jr. overcame the first troublesome moment of his 10-fight professional career Friday night.
The 18-year-old Flores recovered from a first-round knockdown to out-point Roger Gutierrez in their six-round lightweight fight. Flores (10-0, 5 KOs) won a unanimous decision in a bout ESPN aired as part of the Jose Ramirez-Antonio Orozco undercard from Save Mart Center in Fresno, California.
The younger, quicker Flores fought off his back foot the entire fight, yet largely dealt well with Gutierrez’s consistent pressure by occasionally connecting with left hooks and right hands. The Stockton, California, native kept Gutierrez from hurting him after the first round and won the fight comfortably on all three scorecards (59-54, 59-54, 58-54).
The 25-year-old Gutierrez, of Pacoima, California, lost for the second time as a pro (7-2-1, 4 KOs, 1 NC).
The sixth and final round mirrored most of the previous rounds, as Flores landed left hooks and right hands before moving out of harm’s way. By then, he was in complete control and fought accordingly.
Flores drilled Gutierrez with an overhand right and quickly followed it up with a hard left hook early in the fifth round. Flores clipped Gutierrez with another hard left hook late in the fifth round.
Flores connected with a left hook and stiff jab early in the fourth round. Gutierrez, who had some success with his right hand in the fourth, went to the canvas with 1:15 to go in that round, but it was ruled a slip.
The referee took a point away from Gutierrez for hitting Flores on the back of his head late in the third round. Gutierrez hadn’t been warned for any infractions before that point quickly was deducted from him.
Flores rocked Gutierrez with an overhand right that snapped back his head a little more than a minute into the third round.
After suffering the first knockdown of his short career in the first round, Flores regained control in the second round. Flores connected with several right hands and used his jab effectively in those three minutes.
Gutierrez landed an overhand right to the side of Flores’ head that sent him to the canvas with 24 seconds left in the first round. Flores reached his feet quickly and seemed more surprised than hurt once he got up.
Flores got full extension on a straight right hand that landed flush with 1:15 remaining in the first round.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.