ESPN2 results: Romero Duno handles Gilberto Gonzalez
Headlining in the United States for the first time, “Ruthless” Romero Duno earned a unanimous decision win over Gilberto Gonzalez, Thursday night, after rounds of sustained action. The lightweight contest was the main event of a Golden Boy Promotions card held at the Fantasy Springs Resort & Casino, in Indio, California, and televised on ESPN2.
Duno, 17-1 (14), came a long way from General Santos City, Philippines, to leave his mark as a pro, and the 22-year-old didn’t hold back in his first real introduction stateside. Now living and fighting in Los Angeles, Duno was aggressive to start the fight and prompted his Mexican opponent to switch to southpaw in order to make the Filipino think more. Popping his jab, in order to lunge in with his right, was Duno’s offensive game plan and, in the second round, the first big one caught Gonzalez on the face. Gonzalez, 30, who was coming off a one-year layoff, constantly switched stances throughout the fight but didn’t exactly keep Duno from coming. Instead it bought Gonzalez time to measure his jab and get himself into some sort of rhythm. After a fourth round in which Duno peppered Gonzalez’s face with a combo, the Mexican’s right eye was beginning to swell, and Duno’s confidence was getting high, as his lunging right hand was starting to stray lower, finding the body effectively.
Gonzalez, 26-5 (22), wasn’t necessarily getting blown out but the little work he achieved was just simply getting outdone by Duno. Everything changed in the sixth round, however, as Gonzalez forgot anything that happened prior and just went to war with the Filipino. He may’ve even caught Duno by surprise by jumping on him so early in the round but Gonzalez’s hellbent aggression sparked a dramatic back-and-forth that featured plenty of power punches and very little defense. With his back against the ropes, Duno was suffocated by Gonzalez’s barrage, once becoming flat-footed with nowhere to go. It was really the only moment in the fight in which Duno looked in trouble but he somehow managed to land a right hand to the gut that slowed Gonzalez down. According to the stats on ESPN, Duno landed an astonishing 57 power shots in the round, while Gonzalez landed 30.
To no surprise, both men slowed down in the seventh, after such a draining three minutes, but Gonzalez was certainly more tired. Duno was able to use his legs and box Gonzalez, making him chase and retreat, when lunging in with that right hand to the gut – his best punch of the fight. Gonzalez showed good pop on his shots, when they landed, and he kept rounds close enough toward the end to maybe steal a few but Duno wasn’t letting the sixth round happen all over again. In the final round, Duno landed a tremendous uppercut that stunned Gonzalez and sealed his fate until the fight closed. Gonzalez, who has had several late-round knockouts before, just couldn’t find that one clean power shot he needed to upset Duno but the Filipino hopeful came too far to let that happen.
Another lightweight match-up featured fighters from Mexico and the Philippines in the ESPN2 co-feature. Oscar Duarte beat Rey Perez via unanimous decision (98-90, 99-89 twice) after 10 rounds.
After measuring out their jabs in the opening round, Duarte, Parral, Chihuahua, started a heated rally once landing his first flush left hook in the second round, and showcased palpable veracity when going downhill to the body, thinking he had his opponent hurt. He wasn’t. Perez, Santa Rosa City, Philippines, was able to use his feet in order to get away, in that moment, and, quickly, the experienced gym fighter figured out Duarte’s inability to cut the ring off. Perez’s jab was used mostly as he continued to stray from the toe-to-toe action fight Duarte wanted, and it made for a few close rounds through four in which the Mexican’s frustration became apparent.
Duarte, 14-0-1 (9), switched things up in the fifth round by throwing jabs to the body, and had moments of corralling Perez into a controlled flurry. In the sixth, good body work by Duarte started to take over, while Perez showed signs of fatigue from all the previous footwork. Duarte scored two knockdowns of Perez in the eighth round, the first being a nice left hook to the liver and he followed up with two left hooks to the body and finalized them with a right hand to the face that forced a small cut on Perez. He looked nearly out of there in the eighth but Perez, 22-10 (6), persevered through Duarte’s dominance in the second half of the fight. Duarte, 22, went more than five rounds for the first time in his young career, in also his first bout scheduled for ten.