Orlando Gonzalez scores decision win over Jorge Castaneda in all-action bout
The clash between Orlando Gonzalez and Jorge Castaneda lived up to the expectations in the long rivalry between fighters from Puerto Rico and Mexico.
The Gonzalez-Castaneda fight was also one of the better action fights of this year.
Gonzalez, a fringe junior lightweight contender, dropped Castaneda once en route to a hard-fought split decision late Wednesday night at the Whitesands (also known as the ProBox TV) Events Center in Plant City, Florida.
One judge scored the bout 95-94 for Castaneda, while the other two judges scored the bout 96-93 and 97-92 for Gonzalez, who improved to 22-2, 12 knockouts.
The southpaw Gonzalez was the more effective fighter from the opening bell, repeatedly connecting with lead and counter straight left hands to the head. With less than a minute left in the first round, a straight left hand momentarily staggered Gonzalez, who quickly recovered and was able to fight back.
During the latter stages of the second round, Gonzalez scored the only knockdown of the fight, staggering Castaneda with a sweeping right hook to the head before another punch dropped him to the canvas. Castaneda immediately got up, smacking his gloves together in frustration, but never backing down and engaging in exchanges with Gonzalez.
Undaunted, Castaneda walked down Gonzalez. The tactic worked as a series of combinations momentarily stunned Gonzalez in the fourth round. Gonzalez was the more effective fighter during the middle rounds, utilizing lateral movement to slip Castaneda’s punches and countering with more straight left hands to the head.
Castaneda was able to close the distance between the two fighters during the second half of the fight, landing thudding left hooks to the body and following with uppercuts to the head. By the eighth round, Castaneda was landing more at will, now landing an occasional sweeping right cross that snapped back the head of Gonzalez.
It was all Castaneda during the final two rounds of the fight. Gonzalez would fight in spurts in an attempt to fend off the offense of Castaneda, who did well at cutting off the ring. Unfortunately for Castaneda, he got on track a round or two too late as Gonzalez did enough early in the fight to accumulate points to come out victorious.
The 28-year-old Gonzalez, who resides in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, was victorious in his last fight on July 26, defeating Mexico’s Ramiro Cessena by unanimous decision in an action fight. Gonzalez has won his last four fights since a decision loss to Misael Lopez on September 23 of last year.
Castaneda falls to 16-3, 12 KOs. He stopped previously-unbeaten Nestor Medellin in his previous fight on August 19 in his hometown of Laredo, Texas, located close to the U.S.-Mexico border.
The 27-year-old lost to former world title challenger Eduardo ‘Rocky’ Hernandez on June 10 of last year, but did defeat Otha Jones III and Youssef Khoumari in 2021.
In the co-feature of the ProBox TV card, welterweight Tarik Zaina remained unbeaten, defeating Marcelino Lopez by unanimous decision.
Scores were 99-91, 98-92, and 97-93 for Zaina, who improved to 13-0-1, 8 KOs.
Zaina, who is originally from Morocco, migrated to the United Kingdom before settling in Tijuana, Mexico, outboxed Lopez utilizing an effective jab and varying his offense against a foe who did very little other than connect with an occasional hook or overhand right.
With the loss, Lopez falls to 37-4-1 (22 KOs).
In a clash of unbeaten junior middleweight prospects, Marques Valle of Wesley Chapel, Florida defeated Farid Ngoga by unanimous decision. Scores were 78-74, 78-74, and 77-75 for Valle, who improved to 10-0, 7 KOs.
Valle landed the more telling punches, but Ngoga did find success switching to a southpaw stance to outbox Valle. Ngoga connected often, producing a swelling underneath Valle’s left eye, and eventually a cut did slightly open. Valle was never deterred, as he connected with crosses and hooks to Ngoga’s head.
Ngoga, who is originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, falls to 10-1, 6 KOs.
In the opening bout, Joahnys Argoligos and Jose Lopez of New York City fought to a split-decision draw. Scores were 78-74 Lopez, 77-75 Argoligos, and 76-76.
Lopez (4-2-3) was able to close the distance, connecting to the body and head of Argoligos, who won a bronze medal for Cuba at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. During the second half of the fight, Argoligos (9-1-1, 4 KOs) did counter well, but only occasionally.
Both fighters did trade in the center of the ring during the last three rounds, creating a solid ebb-and-flow that went on until the final bell.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached at [email protected]