By Dan Ambrose: 34-year-old former two time world title challenger Alfonso Gomez (25-6-2, 12 KOs) kept his career alive on Friday night in defeating #12 WBC, #12 WBO, #15 IBF welterweight contender Yoshihiro Kamegai (25-3-1, 22 KOs) by a 10 round unanimous decision at the Fantasy Springs Report Casino in Indio, California.
The final judges’ scores were 98-91, 98-91 and 98-91. Those scores were a little off though, because Gomez gassed out badly in the last three rounds and clearly lost those rounds unless you want to count holding and running as winning rounds.
Gomez would have still gotten the win even if the judges had correctly scored the last there rounds of the fight to Kamegai, but it just does Gomez no favors for the judges to score the fight in a lopsided way when it wasn’t an entirely one-sided fight that took place in the ring.
There were a lot of head clashes in the early rounds, as both fighters frequently came together and would bump heads. Gomez lost a point in the 4th for nailing Kamegai with an elbow to the head.
Fighting for the first time in the last eight months, Gomez did a good job of being the busier fighter in the first four rounds of the fight against the harder punching Kamegai. Gomez was able to land a lot of shots on the outside. He also did a good job of smothering Kamegai’s big power shots by getting in close, and taking away the power in the Japanese fighter’s punches.
Kamegai didn’t seem to realize what Gomez was doing by crowding him, and he let him do this frequently in the first half of the fight. In the second half of the fight, Kamegai did a better job of getting the proper distance when throwing his shots, but Gomez was still able to crowd him a lot.
The constant pressure that Kamegai was putting on Gomez eventually resulted in Gomez wearing down completely by the 8th. He had nothing left in the tank, and he began to take big head shots from Kamegai. From this point on, Gomez did lot of holding and running to limit the blows to head, but he was getting dominated.
There was no way you could give Gomez any of the last three rounds of the fight unless you were ignoring the huge shots Kamegai was nailing him with, and all the running and holding Gomez was doing. It was really poor scoring from the judges to give those rounds to Gomez.
Gomez’s victory likely means that he’ll be getting a bigger fight in the future. It won’t likely be a world title fight because he’s too far removed from that right now. It’ll likely be against one of the fringe contenders. Gomez doesn’t have any punching power, so it would be insane to throw him in with someone like Amir Khan, Keith Thurman, Adrien Broner, Marcos Maidana, Robert Guerrero, or Shawn Porter. But a fight between Gomez and a fringe level guy like Josesito Lopez would be a good fight. Hopefully Golden Boy Promotions doesn’t have any ideas of putting Gomez in with #9 IBF Sadam Ali, because that would be a terrible mismatch with Gomez taking a beating.
Featherweight Ronny Rios (24-1, 10 KOs) outworked a game but limited Sergio Frias (6-5-2, 8 KOs) by a 10 round unanimous decision. The final judges’ scores were 98-92, 99-91 and 99-91. This was another fight where the scores didn’t match the actual fight. Rios was hit a lot in this fight, and he looked really, really poor against a guy he should have been able to wipe out. Frias was frequently the busier fighter of the two. Rios had the power advantage, but he had no hand speed and he was getting hit a lot.
I’m not sure where Rios can go in the featherweight division, because he’s too slow and hittable for him to compete against the top guys. I wouldn’t like to see him fight Vasyl Lomachenko, Nicholas Walters or Jhonny Gonez. Those would likely be mismatches.
Lightweight Jamie Kavanagh (18-1-1, 9 KOs) stopped Miguel Zamadio (29-7-1, 17 KOs) by a 5th round stoppage. The ringside doctor halted the fight after the 5th round due to swelling on the left side of Zamudio’s cheek. Kavanagh was hit a lot in the fight, and he didn’t show much in the way if punching power. He was constantly jumping in and jumping out with his attacks. This made it easy for Zamudio to time him and nail with shots while he was coming in. Zamudio dropped Kavanagh with a right to the body in the 2nd round. In the same round, Kavanagh suffered a cut to his scalp line from a head clash.
Kavanagh is going to need to find some power some place in the future if he wants to be able to compete against the better fighters in the lightweight division. Right now, he’s too light of a hitter to be able to compete against the best in my view. He’s also much too easy to hit.