Mike Dallas Jr. turned in an impressive performance in scoring a 6th round stoppage over Javier Castro in their main event Friday evening at Soboba Casino in San Jacinto, California.
The official time was 2:06 into the sixth round of their ESPN2-televised headliner.
The strategy for Castro was to work his way inside and impose his will on Dallas Jr., easily the smarter boxer of the two. Those plans changed when Castro suffered a cut over his right eye in the second round. The damage wasn’t immediate, but enough to allow Dallas Jr. to dictate the pace.
Things became interesting in round three when Dallas Jr. suffered a cut of his own. The timing was interesting as it was a round he otherwise dominated, but still gave Castro confidence that the fight was far from over.
Sadly for the hard-hitting contender from Mexico, the fight never really changed direction which in effect did mean it was over.
Dallas Jr. continued to outbox his foe, not at all concerned with any of the developing sidebars. The bout was just his second since enduring a two-fight losing streak last year; he had no intention of moving backwards in his career.
After putting a couple more rounds in the bank, Dallas Jr. took a massive step forward.
A right hand scored for the Bakersfield product midway through the sixth round. Castro didn’t react well to the punch, nor did he respond favorably to a follow up body shot which put him on his heels. Dallas Jr. wasted no time in jumping on his foe, throwing non-stop power punches until veteran referee Lou Moret felt Castro was no longer able to defend himself.
The win marks two straight for Dallas Jr, who advances to 19-2-1 (8KO). The knockout is his first in more than 18 months and by far the most significant of his young career.
Castro was a live underdog coming in, but instead watches a three-fight win streak come to an end as he falls to 27-5 (22KO).
A stoppage loss to Josesito Lopez (who faces Victor Ortiz in Los Angeles on Saturday) early last year threatened to ruin the career of Dallas Jr, who admits that he struggled to move on.
Things began to pick up when he enlisted the services of Virgil Hunter, the 2011 Trainer of the Year who trains Andre Ward and Brandon Gonzalez (who fought and won on the undercard) among others. Improvements were immediate, although their first fight together was a disputed points loss to Mauricio Herrera last June.
The bout was his last of 2011, instead choosing to regroup and come back strong in 2012.
Dallas Jr. has done just that. The knockout win here was preceded by five rounds of dominance, as reflected on all three cards which had the prospect pitching a shutout at the time of the stoppage. The win itself comes on the heels of a 10-round sweep of Miguel Gonzalez earlier this year, in a bout also televised on ESPN2.
With three straight impressive performances (even if one is an official loss), Dallas Jr. has lived up to his promise of taking the rest of his career one fight at a time.
In the opening bout of the telecast, Brandon Gonzalez retained his unbeaten record with a shutout win over Elie Augustama. Scores were 80-72 across the board.
The bout was the first time Gonzales set foot in the ring since a disappointing showing against Ossie Duran last October. Gonzales made headlines going in, gaining notoriety as the chief sparring partner for Andre Ward, who was forced to postpone his Super Six finals bout with Carl Froch due to a cut suffered during training.
No such noise came of his televised headliner that night, other than those who disputed the outcome of the fight. Gonzalez had been anxious to return to the ring, but his own issues and injuries in sparring led to a forced hiatus.
Friday’s co-feature against Augustama didn’t reveal very much, though proved to be entertaining – if tremendously one-sided. Gonzales won every round on every card, though his journeyman opponent enjoyed success in the middle portion of the fight. Adversity managed to present itself even in the face of a blowout, as Gonzales was forced to contend with a cut over his left eye for half of the fight.
The cut was actually an old wound from sparring, opening up last week but managed to heal well enough the next morning to keep Friday’s fight date. According to Boxingscene’s Ryan Maquinana – who spoke with Gonzales immediately afterward – the Bay Area fighter now has two cuts over his eye and will undoubtedly spend more time on the sidelines than he would prefer to be the case.
Nevertheless, Gonzales wins tonight and looks good doing so, advancing to 16-0, 10KO. Augustama falls to 6-5 (3KO. The journeyman has lost four of his last five bouts, though all have come against undefeated fighters including an upset win over Donyll Livingston earlier this year.
The show was slightly delayed due to poor ring maintenance which was still being tweaked as the ESPN2 cameras began rolling. The ring ropes were being adjusted, and a poorly assembled ring floor led to noises akin to a marching band whenever the fighters bounced and moved.
Joshua Conley managed to squeeze in airtime, appearing on the telecast in a swing bout against pro debuting Dante Stowers. Conley (3-0, 3KO) made the most of the opportunity, as he has now scored three knockouts in as many fights after stopping Stowers (0-1, 0KO) in two rounds.