By Ryan Burton
In the main event of Golden Boy on ESPN from Puerto Rico, Lamont Roach (16-0-1) held on to his perfect record with a ten round split draw with local fighter Orlando Cruz (25-6-2) in a super featherweight bout. The scores were 97-93 for Roach, 96-94 for Cruz, and 95-95 for the draw.
The fight, which took place in Cruz's hometown, was fairly even through the first few rounds as neither fighter was able set the tone. Commentator and future Hall of Famer Bernard Hopkins noted that both guys entered the ring dry and it took them a few rounds to get loosened up and to get comfortable.
Blood began to flow from the nose of Roach in the fourth round. The fight continued to be a nip and tuck affair throughout the middle rounds as well as neither fighter was able to get a big lead. Cruz showed his veteran experience throughout the fight, raising his hand after landing his combinations to get his hometown fans to cheer him on and possibly influence the judges.
Roach had a better eighth round but it was another close round like most of the earlier rounds. Cruz started the ninth round off strong but was sent to the canvas by a quick left check hook by Roach that the referee incorrectly ruled a slip and not a knock down. Cruz rose to his feet on very unsteady legs but survived the round.
Cruz stayed in survival mode in the tenth round and Roach had trouble closing the distance and lacked the power to finish off his opponent. If the knockdown had been counted, Roach would have left the ring with his hand raised.
In a Mexico versus Puerto Rico battle of super featherweight veterans, Miguel Gonzalez (22-4) of Mexico lost a unanimous decision against hometown fighter Jose Lopez (20-2-1) in the evening's co-main event.
The final scores were 97-93, 98-91 and 99-91. Gonzalez suffered a nasty cut over his left eye in the first round that effected him throughout the early rounds of the fight. The fight was fought in a phone booth for most of the night as neither man took many steps backwards.
Lopez was warned for a low blow twice in the second round. Gonzalez launched a success assault to the body in the third round as both neither fighter shied away from engaging in exchanges but Lopez continued to land more punches than Gonzalez, who's father/trainer was unable to make the trip from Mexico to Puerto Rico. His brother took his place as his chief second.
The Puerto Rican closed the fourth round by landing a big straight left as Gonzalez threw a wide hook. The fifth and sixth were more of the same as Gonzalez would out throw Lopez but lacked in the accuracy department with his wider punches.
Lopez was in complete control by this point with his straight and accurate punching being the key to his success. The ninth round was very big for Lopez as he began to pot shot his outclassed opponent.
Gonzalez tried to rush Lopez to begin the 10th but was nearly sent to the canvas as Lopez expertly counter punched him. Lopez had him hurt on several more occasions but Gonzalez showed a lot of heart by staying on his feet the entire fight.
Middleweight prospect Magdiel Cotto (9-0) opened up this evening's Golden Boy on ESPN card with a majority decision victory over Elie Augustama (6-8) at the Coliseo De Puerto Rico in San Juan.
Augustama hurt Cotto, who is not related to Miguel Cotto, with a good body shot in the first round but was unable to capitalize on it. Cotto was able to trap Augustama, on the ropes in the third round and landed several power shots. Augustama was able to regain some of his moment in the fourth round by utilizing his jab more frequently. Both men had success in the final round but Augustama wasn't able to do enough to spring the upset victory. The final scores were 58-56 twice and 57-57.