In the main event of the penultimate episode of ESPN’s Friday Night Fights, lightweight Reynaldo Ojeda played matador to Monty Meza-Clay’s hard charging bull. Meza-Clay desperately tried to overcome significant height and reach disadvantages by digging his way inside, but Ojeda fought well, using excellent lateral movement to befuddle his opponent while landing nasty rights to the head and body.
Ojeda was in full control for the entire fight. In the 5th round, he hurt Meza-Clay badly with a couple of huge body shots and a big right cross. Meza-Clay finally took a step backwards, motioning for Ojeda to come get him as he tried to recover from the blows. Ojeda finished the round strong but failed to hurt Meza-Clay significantly after that, though Meza-Clay’s history with cuts continued when a head butt opened up a nasty gash over his right eye in round 8.
It became clear in the later rounds that Meza-Clay was going to need a knockout to win, but the prospect Ojeda fought smart, eschewing a brawl in favor of boxing the weird, ripped up pants off of his opponent. Ojeda calmly landed effective shots as Meza-Clay lunged in, and then slipped out of the way before getting caught by anything harmful. It was a wide unanimous decision win for Ojeda, with two judges scoring it 99-91, and the other 98-92. TQBR had it 99-91.
On the undercard, New Haven native Luis Rosa beat up on Jonathan Perez in a featherweight fight that got ugly fast. Rosa attacked viciously from the opening bell, landing punches to the head and body before referee Mike Ortega finally made up his mind and stopped the onslaught in the 5th round. To add insult to injury, Perez will likely be icing his testicles for the next several days after Rosa landed about 15 low blows. Rosa got the knockout, but let’s see what happens when he takes on a good counterpuncher.
In the middleweight bout that opened the telecast, Ivan Golub improved to 13-0 by beating the hell out of late fill-in Henry Beckford and stopping him in the 5th round. Beckford was picked out of the crowd and given six minutes to warm up before taking a pounding. Not really, but with one day’s notice, he didn’t stand much of a chance.
(photo: Ojeda, left, Meza-Clay, right; via Ed Diller, DiBella Entertainment)