By Keith Idec
Janer Gonzalez made Radzhab Butaev work for every bit of his victory in their eight-round welterweight fight Friday night.
The busier Butaev out-pointed Gonzalez, but had to be wary of Gonzalez’s power on his way to winning a unanimous decision (80-72, 79-73, 77-75). Russia’s Butaev used his hand speed to pot shot Colombia’s Gonzalez and moved out of harm’s way most of the time before Gonzalez could connect with counter shots in a largely unremarkable bout.
The 23-year-old Butaev’s victory over the previously unbeaten Gonzalez came in the third bout of a four-fight “ShoBox” broadcast from Masonic Temple & Performing Arts Center in Cleveland.
Russia’s Butaev upped his record to 8-0 by out-boxing Gonzalez (19-1-1, 15 KOs).
Gonzalez landed a right hand to the side of Butaev’s head less than 20 seconds into the eighth round. Butaev continued to fight with his left hand down, but Gonzalez couldn’t capitalize on that fundamental flaw.
Gonzalez buzzed Butaev by landing a counter left hand with 1:58 remaining in the fifth round. That shot temporarily prompted Butaev to hold Gonzalez.
One of the best exchanges in the fight occurred just after the midway point of the fourth round. Gonzalez connected with a right hand and Butaev responded with a left hook that stopped Gonzalez in his tracks.
Gonzalez mostly was out-worked during the third round, yet landed a solid straight right hand with just under a minute to go in the round.
Butaev landed several single right hands in the second round and got out of the way before Gonzalez could land a counter shot. Gonzalez did land one counter right hand later in the second round, though.
Gonzalez caught Butaev at the end of a right hand as Butaev backed up just before the end of the first round.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.