Burns Stops Gomez, Wants Kevin Mitchell or Roman Martinez Next
By Nate Anderson: Commonwealth (British Empire) super featherweight champion Ricky Burns (26-2, 7 KOs) stopped challenger Michael Gomez (38-10, 25 KOs) in the 7th round last night at the Bellahouston Sports Centre, in Glasgow, Scotland. Burns, 25, making his 2nd defense of his Commonwealth title, caught Gomez against the ropes in the 7th and unloaded with a flurry of shots to the head and body, sending him with a final right hand.
Referee Howard John Foster jumped in just as Gomez hit the deck and stopped it at 0:47 of the round. While Gomez was down, Burns added on final parting right hand to the head.
The fight was interesting for the most, except for Burn’s constant clinching which seemed to take away from the fight. Burns was eventually docked one point from referee Howard John Foster in the 5th. However, by then Burns had already received four prior warnings for holding and pulling Gomez forward by the neck.
The clinching by Burns had been going on the entire fight, and it seemed to have a huge effect on Gomez’s offense, shutting down almost completely. It’s not hard to see why, because I can’t remember seeing that much clinching from a fighter since heavyweight Henry Akinwande was disqualified for excessive holding against Lennox Lewis in 1997.
Burns probably should have had points deducted long before the 5th, and in my view he should have been disqualified by the referee because Burns’ cinching slowed the fight to a crawl and prevented Gomez from ever getting more than a couple of punches, if that, in before being clinched.
In the 1st round, Burns, 5’10”, used his five inch height at advantage to jab Gomez from the outside. Burns moved continuously, changing directions frequently, clinching and throwing hooks to the head. Burns had much faster hands than Gomez, but little power on his shots.
In the few times that Gomez landed in the round with hooks, Burns seemed bothered by them and immediately responded with clinches to shut Gomez down. Burns looked skillful, fighting backing up, throwing punches on the move and landing short shots on the inside while smothering Gomez.
Gomez could do little with Burn offensively, because when Burns was on the outside, Gomez didn’t have the reach or quickness to land his shots. When Burns could come in close, Gomez would be stopped from throwing by Burns’ repetitive clinching.
The clinching didn’t keep Burns from landing, because he often held Gomez with one arm, either around the back of the neck or around the waist and would pound him with his free hand. Of course, this should have been penalized, but Burns was getting away with it, so why change?
In the 2nd round, Burns received two warnings for excessive holding from the referee. It had no effect on Burns, however, because seconds after the warning, he continued grabbing Gomez around the neck with both hands and pulling him forward to lean on him.
Gomez was finding it increasingly difficult to land any shots whatsoever, because of his lack of speed and rhythm. Near the end of the round, Burns spun Gomez around and landed a big right hand rabbit punch to the back of his head. No warning, and no deductions were given.
Burns began smothering Gomez in the 3rd round, staying very close, clinching, hitting and holding and keeping Gomez from getting his shots off. Gomez received a warning from the referee for using his head as he came inside on Burns. Gomez’s nose began to redden on the bridge from some of the many shots he was getting hit with. In the last minute of the round, Burns teed off with a lot of right hand shots in close.
In the 4th, Gomez hurt Burns briefly with a left uppercut to the head that sent Burns into the ropes. However, he recovered immediately and continued dominating Gomez with jabs. Burns began to hold even more at this point in the fight, now clinching after almost every punch thrown and making the fight unwatchable. It wasn’t just clinching that was so bad, it was Burn’s pulling Gomez forward with both hand around the neck and forcing his head down.
It looked really bad, as if he was trying to set up for an uppercut and I couldn’t see how Burns was getting away with this round after round without being penalized. It seems to be a bad habit he’s learned in training because I’ve never seen Burns clinch like this in the past. He’s going to have to fix this problem, because an alert referee, one with less patience for illegal activity, will penalize him over and over for it in the future.
Burns received his third warning for holding Gomez around the neck in this round. Seconds later, Burns continued his holding around the neck just as before, as if there were no warnings given. Later in the round, Burns received his 4th warning for excessive holding.
The remainder of the round was mostly holding from Burns, interrupted only by him landing a couple of shots, and then beginning the holding once again. Gomez was finally able to land a good punch, a left uppercut to the head of Burns while being held onto by the back of the neck by Burns.
In the 5th, the referee finally took a point away from Burns for holding. In this case, Burns was holding onto Gomez and walking him around the ring without letting go. It was horrible to watch, because it was clear Burns was trying to run out as much of the clock as he could and prevent Gomez from landing anything.
Burns was warned early in the round for ramming his left forearm into the throat of Gomez and pushing his head down over the top rope and keeping it there for several seconds. After the point deduction for holding, Burns received his 5th warning for holding seconds after the deduction.
Burns looked shocked, as if he had done thing, but sure enough, his arms were wrapped tightly around Gomez and was preventing him from fighting. Late in the round, Burns caught Gomez in the corner and landed a flurry of shots in close. Gomez could do little to get his own shots in.
Burns did a lot of damage late in the 6th, landing quick shots and getting hit with little from Gomez in return. Burns continued to clinch at a high pace, though not quite as frequent as in the five prior rounds.
In the 7th, Burns pushed Gomez into the ropes and while holding his head back with a left forearm firmly on Gomez’s throat, he landed a clubbing right hand that hurt Gomez. Burns then teed off on the hurt Gomez, landing eight consecutive shots to the head and body, ending with a right hand that dropped Gomez to the canvas. Referee Howard John Foster stepped in and stopped the bout at 0:47 of the round just as Gomez went down.
After the fight, Burns said “I want to fight [Kevin] Mitchell next, or Roman Martinez.”
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