For two and a half fights of the undercard of Manny Pacquiao-Joshua Clottey, it was Zombieland in Dallas. (h/t Twitter folk for the crystallizing.) Three fights I at least hoped would be good were mostly unthrilling, sometimes actively so.
- I had Humberto Soto beating David Diaz nine rounds to three in their lightweight fight, with two rounds — the 1st and 12th — featuring knockdowns by Soto. Neither knockdown was particularly hard, but they were both legit. The judges had it closer: 117-109 times two, and 115-111 on the third. Diaz looked rusty as hell for the first third of the bout, but turned it on over the last third. In between, Soto was the one throwing straighter and defending better. Soto apparently is headed toward a fight with one of the Peterson brothers, Anthony, and it’s the best fight Soto will have had in years. It’s long overdue. Diaz? He seems to be moving into the “tough test for a better fighter” category.
- Welterweight Alfonso Gomez beat Jose Luis Castillo after Castillo’s corner threw in the towel after the 5th. Castillo looked purely dead inside for the entire fight, and Gomez didn’t look so hot either. Castillo couldn’t pull the trigger, but Gomez was pulling it more. The less said the better. I hope this one last paycheck allows Castillo to stop fighting. I’d said before the fight he doesn’t seem to be jeopardizing his health so much as being a shadow of his former self, but he’s getting closer. Gomez just beat him to the punch and caught him with cleaner shots, battering Castillo. As for Gomez, I don’t know what the idea is. He’s not that good, but he’s not that bad. What’s he do next?
- Popular Irish middleweight John Duddy won an uninspiring 10-round split decision over unproven Michael Medina, fighting with urgency for about 20 seconds of the last round. I had it 95-94, and two judges gave it to Duddy 96-93 (the third gave it to Medina, 96-93). Duddy’s defense was terrible, with him getting tagged with plenty of long and looping shots to the head and body, but he was the busier fighter and controlled more of the action. Medina was also deducted a point, fairly, for low blows in the 8th. One of the few noteworthy things about the fight was that all three Texas judges had “no notable fights” under their judging belts. Thanks, Texas. Duddy might fight Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. next in a battle of “lackluster ticketsellers who used to be in good fights but aren’t anymore.”