By Francisco Salazar
Romero Duno continues to win. And he is doing so in impressive fashion.
Duno won a hard-fought 10 round unanimous decision over fringe lightweight contender Gilberto Gonzalez Thursday night at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California.
The 22-year-old Filipino has come a long way since being brought in as an opponent in March of last year, when he squared off against then-unbeaten Christian 'Chimpa' Gonzalez. Duno scored an impressive second round knockout victory.
Gonzalez had not fought since losing a 10 round unanimous decision to lightweight contender Mercito Gesta on Apr. 1 of last year.
Duno's power was evident early on in the fight. A right hand in round two split the guard and connected to the head of Gonzalez, momentarily stunning the fighter from Mexico. Not to be outdone, Gonzalez would switch between southpaw and conventional to close the distance and connect with a series of right hands.
Duno (17-1, 14 knockouts) and Gonzalez gave fight fans a treat in round six, unleashing hooks and crosses on the inside, scoring repeatedly to the head and body.
It was all Duno from the seventh round on, as his punches began to take their toll. A nasty welt under Gonzalez right eye developed and got bigger during the second half of the fight, coupled with his punch output significantly dropping.
Duno hurt Gonzalez with a right uppercut to the head in round 10, but was unable to land anything significant that would have dropped Gonzalez to the canvas.
Scores were 97-93, 97-93, and 98-92 for Duno, who has now won his last eight bouts.
Gonzalez, who resides in the Mexico City area, drops to 26-5, 22 KOs.
Punch Stat numbers favored Duno significantly. Duno connected on 213 of 637 total punches (33 percent), while Gonzalez landed 139 of 534 total punches (26 percent).
In the co-feature bout, lightweight prospect Oscar Duarte of Mexico dropped Rey Perez twice en route to a 10 round unanimous decision.
Perez had scored an impressive victory over Christian 'Chimpa' Gonzalez in his previous fight on Feb. 22 and figured to provide a stern test for the unbeaten Duarte.
The Filipino fighter found success early on against Duarte, throwing and landing a series of right hands to the head. As the fight continued into the middle rounds, Duarte initiated exchanges, landing more consistently with two and three-punch combinations.
Perez (22-10, 6 KOs) became noticeably tired by round six. His punch output dropped significantly with each passing round, relegated to only throwing one punch at a time.
Duarte's aggression paid off in round eight. About a minute into the round, Duarte dropped Perez with a left hook to the body. Perez beat the count and fought back, but was dropped a second time, this time by a barrage of punches.
Perez was in survival mode during the final two rounds. Perez did very little to engage with Duarte, who was content to box until the final bell sounded.
Scores were 99-89, 99-89, and 98-90 for Duarte, who improves to 14-0-1, 9 KOs.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene.com since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing