Alfonso Gomez experienced some rough spots in his comeback fight on Thursday night, but he got through it. Gomez, who had not fought in almost two years, was facing a fighter who had not lost in over five years, Ed Paredes, who scored two controversial knockdowns.
However, with possible big money fights on the horizon, Gomez was not about to lose out on those opportunities. The former welterweight and junior middleweight title challenger started well, suffered those two knockdowns, and finished strong to win a 10-round unanimous decision over Paredes at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nev. The bout headlined a “Golden Boy Live!” telecast.
Gomez had not fought since losing a 10-round unanimous decision to Shawn Porter in July of 2012. During those two years, Gomez had spent time outside of the ring pursuing music interests. He would be mentioned as possible opponents against a number of fighters, but fights would fall through or he had to pull out due to injuries.
Paredes had not lost since April of 2009, when he dropped a 10-round unanimous decision to Carlos Molina. Prior to the Gomez fight, he stopped George Sosa in the second round in Bayamon, Puerto Rico on March 15.
The action through the first three rounds was steady, but nothing spectacular. Gomez was busier and landed the telling blows during this frame, while Paredes looked to one big punch behind a jab.
Things got interesting at the end of the fourth round, when Gomez went down to the canvas. While Gomez lost his balance from throwing a right cross, Paredes landed a jab that grazed the top of Gomez’s head, prompting referee Kenny Bayless to administer an eight-count.
Midway through the sixth round, Gomez lost his balance after ducking under a Paredes left cross. Replays showed the punch missed Gomez and Paredes momentum pushed down on the back of Gomez’s head. Bayless administered another eight-found to the disbelief of Gomez.
The knockdowns seemed to motivate Gomez, attacking Paredes and taking initiative to throw more punches. His aggressiveness was rewarded as he landed repeatedly with counter or lead right crosses to the head. Gomez landed a number of those punches in the eighth round, stunning Paredes on a few occasions.
Gomez looked as though he was the fresher fighter in the last two rounds, while Paredes slowed down considerably and fighting mostly defensively until the final bell sounded.
All three judges scored the bout in favor of Gomez by scores of 99-92, 98-92, and 96-93. Gomez landed 166 total punches to Paredes’ 97.
After the fight, Gomez expressed inters in fighting contenders such as undefeated welterweight Keith Thurman and middleweight standout Danny Jacobs.
Gomez, from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, improves to 24-6-2, 12 knockouts. Paredes, from Miami, Fla., falls to 35-4-1, 23 KOs.
Diaz grinds out win over Robles
Unbeaten featherweight prospect Joseph Diaz Jr. won a hard-fought 10-round unanimous decision over Ramiro Robles.
Diaz was coming off a six-round unanimous decision win over former world title challenger Luis Maldonado in Carson, Calif. on April 26. Prior to stepping inside the ring against Diaz, Robles had won seven bouts in a row.
Both southpaws went at each other from the opening bell. Most of the action between the two was in the center of the ring, where both did little to give in to each other.
There were some incredible exchanges between the two. Robles was able to score when he got on the inside of Diaz’s guard. To his credit, Diaz landed repeated left crosses, snapping Robles’ head back.
Diaz swung control in his favor in the second half of the fight by attacking the body of Robles, which caused Robles’ punch output to drop. Any punches or combinations Robles threw were mostly arm punches, which did not have any effect on them.
To Robles’ credit, he pressed the attack in the ninth round. Although he was content to fight in the middle of the ring, Diaz kept his distance and countered repeatedly to the head and body.
All three judges scored the bout in favor of Diaz, 99-91, 99-91, and 98-92.
According to Final Punch Stat numbers, Diaz landed a total of 301 punches to 203 from Robles. While he won decisively, Diaz had to work every minute of every round, something young fighters could benefit from rather than winning one-sided fights against less than modest opposition.
Diaz, from South El Monte, Calif. improves to 11-0, 7 KOs. Robles, from Guanajuato, Mexico, drops to 12-2-1, 7 KOs.
De La Hoya stops Tamayo
In the opening bout of the telecast, Diego De La Hoya stopped Miguel Tamayo in the fifth round.
Tamayo presented a significant step up in opposition for De La Hoya. Undaunted, De La Hoya stuck to a game-plan of landing two or three punch combinations. He was more accurate with his punches, especially counter left hooks or right crosses whenever Tamayo pressed forward.
By the fourth round, Tamayo looked as though De La Hoya’s punches were beginning to take their toll. His punch output dropped, making it easier for De La Hoya to land more at will.
De La Hoya went in for the kill in the fifth round and was rewarded by hurting Tamayo with about a minute left in the round. Tamayo backed up against the ropes and looked as though he could fight back, but referee Russell More saw enough and waved the fight over at 2:27.
De La Hoya, who is a cousin to Oscar De La Hoya, improves to 6-0, 5 KOs. Tamayo, from Ciudad Obregon, Sonora, Mexico, drops to 15-9-2, 13 KOs.
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Francisco A. Salazar has written for RingTV since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. He also covers boxing for the Ventura County (CA) Star newspaper, Boxingscene.com, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing