Wind Creek Casino in Bethlehem, Pa. - It was all Julian Gonzalez in the showdown of undefeated super featherweights from Pennsylvania as the 21-year-old cruised to a unanimous decision over Johnny Spell. The Reading, Pa. native, Gonzalez (11-0-1, 9 KOs) will travel the 40 miles home with a state title and bragging rights in tow, winning with scores of 79-73 and 78-74 twice over Pittsburgh’s Spell (8-1, 4 KOs).
After a feeling-out first round, Gonzalez turned up the pressure in rounds two and three, finding a consistent home for his overhand right that inflicted damage on Spell and bloodied his nose. Spell was on the retreat after being rocked late in the third but was able to hold on and make it out of the round.
“I felt good in there, but there’s always room for improvement,” said Gonzalez, who made his SHOBOX debut at Wind Creek Casino in January. “I give myself a C+ or a B-. I hit him hard in the third round and hurt him, so I started rushing in and my corner told me to slow down. I hurt him almost every round. I feel I could have worked the body a little more.”
Spell had his moments in fifth and sixth, but he was ultimately outworked over the eight rounds. Gonzalez connected on 140 of 418 punches (33%) compared to 95 of 324 (29%) for Spell and Gonzalez held a big edge in power shots connected, 64-25.
Spell returned to the ring just a year after being shot five times in an act of senseless gun violence in August 2022, showing plenty of character to push the talented Gonzalez over eight rounds.
“I just need to get back in the lab,” said Spell. “I knew what I was up against and I knew what I had to do. I bit down but just came up short.”