Exorcist: Yudel Jhonson Puts A Hex On Norberto “El Demonio” Gonzalez

(photo by Andy Newman, via Iron Mike Promotions)

Cuba’s Yudel Jhonson (he’s not Jhonny Gonzalez’s son — apparently that naming thing only exists in Scandanavia) dropped Norberto Gonzalez twice en route to a dominant victory from the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, N.Y. Jhonson (16-1, 9 KO) was sharper throughout the 10 round junior middleweight bout. He owned the center of the ring and put Gonzalez down twice with sharp left hand counter shots.

Gonzalez was game, but chose not to press the action for a couple of reasons. First: That isn’t his style. Gonzalez (20-4, 13 KO) is a counterpuncher by nature. He circled to his right consistently but was never able to find a favorable angle to attack.

Second: Jhonson’s left hand was dialed in. During his only loss (to Willie Nelson), Jhonson displayed a failing common to Cuban amateur champions who turn professional late in life; he waited for everything to be perfect to let his hands go. That was not a problem tonight. Jhonson mixed his punches well, but it was specifically his left hand that caused damage. He dropped Gonzalez hard in the 5th and 9th rounds with perfectly timed left crosses. TQBR scored it 98-90 for Jhonson. The judges returned identical scores of 97-91 for Jhonson.

The talk going into this fight was that Jhonson was primed for a shot at a 154-pound alphabet strap. He seems ready, and at 33, I doubt he’ll get much more ready. Best to do it before he gets old.

In the co-feature, unbeaten prospect Sammy “Sweet Jesus I Have An Awful Nickname, Seriously Look It Up” Vasquez Jr. stopped the vastly overmatched Jay Krupp in the 3rd round of a scheduled eight round welterweight bout. Vasquez (15-0, 11 KO) dominated the fight from start to finish, dropping Krupp (17-7, 8 KO) in the first round with a huge left hand and then for good in the 3rd with a beautiful 2-1-2.

Vasquez is a solid prospect. He has decent hand speed, throws in combination, and appears to have a bit of pop. His downside is that he’s 28. That’s OLD for a welterweight with only 15 fights.

The show opened with 2012 Ukrainian Olympian Ievgen Khytrov blasting the brave but raw Chris Chatman out in another 3rd round stoppage. Khytrov (5-0, 5 KO), who had north of 500 amateur fights, landed clean punches seemingly at will. Chatman (12-4-1, 5 KO) threw caution (and technique) to the wind, winging punches from all angles that mostly caught air. Chatman was absolutely fearless, but it was for naught. Khytov patiently counter punched before catching Chatman with a left hook that sent him splayed onto the canvas like a drunk attempting to make a snow angel. It wasn’t the hardest punch I’ve seen, but it was clean and had good leverage. That was all she wrote for Chatman.

Rabies Watch: Where to start. Chronological order will have to do. In the 2nd round of Chatman-Khytrov, ESPN commentator Teddy Atlas guaranteed (GUARANTEED) that either Norberto Gonzalez or Yudel Jhonson would have a happy birthday. It was both of their 33rd birthdays, so there’s that. After Vasquez-Krupp, Teddy and Todd Grisham interviewed HOF inductee Oscar De La Hoya. Channeling his inner Barbara Walters, Teddy asked De La Hoya why he coasted during the last 3 rounds of the Felix Trinidad fight, if he only fought to please his father, and twice asked about Oscar’s substance abuse problems; the Golden Boy was (oddly) happy to deflect with platitudes and nonsense. You know, the usual. Teddy all has the subtlety of an uppercut to the taint.

ESPN2 chose to air the woefully underutilized Nigel Collins interviewing super middleweight Andre Ward and actress Rosie Perez. Ward is one of the least interesting people on Earth and Perez was last famous in the mid 90s. Additionally, I’m getting reports that her voice is a cure for priapism, so if you took too many Viagra and it’s been more than four hours, break out that VHS of Do The Right Thing and get some relief. If you have someone as amazingly knowledgeable and well spoken as Collins on staff, why the hell would you waste him interviewing people who have nothing interesting to say? Get it together, ESPN.