Jonathan Gonzalez upsets Elwin Soto via decision, claims WBO 108-pound title
Jonathan ‘Bomba’ Gonzalez promised to bring home a title to Puerto Rico, but he had to go through The Ring’s No.2-ranked junior flyweight to accomplish his mission.
Game. Set. Match. Gonzalez outboxed Elwin Soto to claim the WBO junior flyweight title in a 12-round split decision Saturday evening on DAZN from Chukcansi Park in Fresno, California.
The bout took place on the undercard of the welterweight main event featuring the return of Mikey Garcia as he takes on Sandor Martin.
Judge Daniel Sandoval scored the fight 116-112 for Soto but was overruled by judges Robert Hoyle and Zachary Young, who had it 116-112 for Gonzalez.
The 24-year-old Soto (19-2, 13 KOs), of Mexicali, who had previously defended his title four times, was hit clean with hooks to the body and head by his evasive adversary.
Gonzalez traded on occasion during the middle rounds, but Soto was still searching for a home for the overhand right.
Soto landed one in the eighth round, but Gonzalez (25-3-1, 14 KOs), who lost his only prior title shot via seventh-round stoppage to former three-division champion Kosei Tanaka in August 2019, slithered his way out of danger and continued to box Soto’s ears off from the outside.
Time was called in Round 9 when Soto intentionally twisted Gonzalez’s left arm during a clinch, drawing a final warning from Reiss, who dished out profanities at Soto in his corner at the end of the round.
Both fighters took the message seriously as they kept it clean for the rest of the fight.
On the undercard, 112-pound contender Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez picked up his sixth consecutive knockout victory. This time the 21-year-old southpaw demolished Jose Burgos in the fourth round of a scheduled 10-round contest.
Rodriguez (14-0, 10 KOs), the younger brother of junior bantamweight contender Joshua Franco, of San Antonio, Texas, landed 103 of 218 punches (47 percent), while the California-based Mexican Burgos (18-5-1, 15 KOs) landed just 37 total punches.
Disaster was averted for Australia’s Brock Jarvis. The 135-pound prodigy was rocked in the second round, but Jarvis (20-0, 18 KOs) rebounded to win a controversial fifth-round stoppage over Alejandro Frias (13-5-2, 6 KOs), of Mexico. Jarvis landed 128 of 304 punches (42 percent), and Frias connected on 98 of 221 blows (44 percent).
In an eight round bout, super middleweight prospect Diego Pacheco (13-0, 10 KOs), of Los Angeles, stopped Lucas de Abreu (12-1, 11 KOs), of Brazil. But it was Pacheco who controlled the bout primarily behind a stiff jab and a right hand and picked up an eighth-round TKO.
“White Chocolate” Nikita Ababiy (11-0, 6 KOs), of Brooklyn, dominated Sanny Duversonne (11-5-2, 8 KOs), of Avon Park, Florida, over eight rounds to remain undefeated in a middleweight affair. With the loss, Duversonne improved his losing streak to five fights.
Peter Kahn-managed prospect Charlie Sheehy (1-0, 1 KO), of Brisbane, California, picked up a fourth-round knockout victory in his pro debut over Luciano Ramos (0-2), of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Sheehy dropped Ramos with a hard right hand in the fourth round and pounded his man against the ropes until referee Marcos Rosales called a halt to the action.
Lightweight Oscar Perez (4-0, 3 KOs), a southpaw from Houston, floored Raymundo Rios Cardiel (3-7-2, 3 KOs), of Mexico, in the second round en route to a four-round unanimous decision victory.