[Mike] Dallas Does Soboba

SAN JACINTO, Calif. — Friday night at the Soboba Casino, junior welterweight contender Mike Dallas, Jr. of Bakersfield, Calif. took another step up the rankings as he vanquished Javier Castro of Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico in the 6th round in perhaps his most impressive performance to date.

Dallas (19-2-1, 8 KOs) edged the opening round of the ESPN2-televised main event as he landed his jab consistently, though Castro got in some solid shots of his own. Castro (27-5, 22 KOs) suffered a cut near his right eye, but things would even out in the round 3 when Dallas’ right eye was cut as well. Both cuts were the result of accidental clashes of heads.

The difference in handspeed was eye-opening, as Dallas was able to get in with his punches before Castro had a chance to respond. Castro did his best work when he had Dallas trapped on the ropes, which didn’t occur often enough to sway the opinion of the judges prior to the stoppage.

The 5th round was perhaps the closest, as both fighters enjoyed their moments. That motivated Dallas in round 6 as he landed two nice uppercuts to the body that backed off Castro for the first time in the fight. When Dallas saw that Castro was hurt, he jumped on him, landed a vicious barrage of hooks and uppercuts that had his opponent out on his feet before referee Lou Moret rescued him from further harm at 2:06 of the round.

Dallas is looking as though Virgil Hunter’s tutelage is really starting to pay off, having gone through his second full camp under the esteemed trainer of Andre Ward.

In an entertaining eight round middleweight affair, Sacramento’s Brandon Gonzales (16-0, 10 KOs) shook off the rust following an eight month layoff as he went the distance with journeyman Elie Augustama (6-5, 3 KOs) of Miami by way of Haiti, earning a hard-fought unanimous decision.

The fight was more competitive than the three shutout scorecards rendered by the official judges, as Gonzales had to work through the heat and a bad cut on his left eyebrow from round 4 onward.

The fight started out tentatively before the two fighters began trading on the inside, with Gonzales getting the better of it. Gonzales edged round 2 but was warned for landing a few shots below the belt.

Gonzales countering nicely in the 3rd, with a left hook clipping Augustama particularly well. Gonzales stunned Augustama in the 4th near the ropes but then suffered a bad cut, which was ruled due to a clash of heads. Gonzales had not been cut since suffering a bad one against Daniel Stanislevic in 2007.

Augustama capitalized on the cut in the 5th, as it seemed to bother Gonzales enough that he was getting hit by shots that weren’t landing in previous rounds. Gonzales stalled that momentum in round 6, highlighting the stanza with a good right hook/left hand combination.

Covered in blood, Gonzales landed a nice three-punch combination in an action packed round 7. That fire carried over into the final round where both guys were winging home run shots. Gonzales punctuated the fight with a great shot that sent Augustama reeling into the cameraman, nearly knocking him off the apron.

TQBR scored the fight 79-74 in favor of Gonzales.

In the televised junior middleweight swing bout, Joshua Conley (3-0, 3 KOs) of San Bernardino, Calif. scored a 2nd round technical knockout stoppage of Donte Stowers (0-1). Stowers was down twice, with the second knockdown getting referee Lou Moret to call a halt to the bout at 1:24.

Norwalk, Calif.’s Javier Molina (11-1, 5 KOs) and Nicaraguan Octavio Narvaez (7-12-1, 4 KOs) engaged in a welterweight backyard brawl that featured numerous fouls as well as a 2nd round point deduction for Narvaez for roughhousing before Molina stopped Narvaez on the ropes in the third round with a patented Oscar De La Hoya pitty pat combination that had Narvaez in no real trouble. Narvaez unfortunately wasn’t answering back and referee Daniel Sandoval called it off after just 29 seconds in the round.

Returning from his first defeat, Sacramento’s Guy Robb (8-1, 4 KOs) rebounded with a victory over Las Vegas based trialhorse Rodrigo Aranda (8-18-2, 2 KOs), stopping him in the 5th round of their scheduled eight-round bout with a brutal body shot. Robb busted Aranda’s nose in round 2 and continued to pressure his opponent before a well-placed shot to the midsection sent him to the canvas where he was counted out by referee Lou Moret at 2:22 in the round.

Fellow super featherweight Derrick Murray (4-0, 3 KOs) of St. Louis needed only 2:21 to stop Frank Gutierrez (2-12-2, KO) of Highland, Calif., as a strong power shot send Gutierrez down onto his back where the fight was waved off by referee Daniel Sandoval.

Also in attendance was female boxing legend Mia St. John, who received a raucous response from the crowd and rarely had a chance to sit down due to the many requests for pictures. St. John fights Christy Martin Aug. 14 in a rematch of their 2002 encounter which Martin won by unanimous decision nearly 10 years ago.

The highlight of the card comically came when the ring announcer mentioned to promoter Dan Goossen that Derrick Murray’s manager Repo Rick wanted him to announce him as Derrick “Whoop Dat Ass” Murray and wanted to know if Dan was okay with it. Goossen thought for a second and said to go ahead, and the ring announcer fully embraced the “Whoop Dat Ass” nickname, delivering it quite enthusiastically.

The card was promoted by Goossen-Tutor Promotions.

Mark Ortega can be reached via e-mail at ortegaliitr@gmail.com and followed via Twitter at www.twitter.com/MarkEOrtega. Mark also contributes to renowned boxing publications RING Magazine and Boxing Monthly, and is a member of the Boxing Writer’s Association of America and RING Ratings Advisory Panel.