By Jim Dower: WBC flyweight champion Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez (45-0, 38 KOs) finally was made to look human tonight in having to battle hard to defeat #10 WBC challenger McWilliams Arroyo (16-3, 14 KOs) by a 12 round unanimous decision on Saturday night in a fight on HBO Championship Boxing from the Forum in Inglewood, California.
The judges scored the fight 119-109, 119-109 and 120-108. The scores were more than a little unfair to the 31-year-old Arroyo, as he appeared to win at least three rounds of the contest. Arroyo got the better of Gonzalez in rounds 7, 8 and 12.
Arroyo had a lot of success in landing his quick left hooks. He was able to time Gonzalez through much of the fight to hit him with those punches. Gonzalez was stopped in his tracks many times with Arroyo’s left hook.
In the 4th round, Arroyo lost the bottom soul of one of his boxing shoes. It came completely off. Arroyo seemed to lose concentration in that round due to his shoe falling apart and it caused him to take a lot of heavy blows from Gonzalez. Instead of staying focused mentally after his shoe fell apart, Arroyo fought like someone who was completely distracted for the remainder of the round. After the round ended, Arroyo’s corner taped his shoe back together. The previous three rounds were close and hardly one-sided.
Arroyo fought Gonzalez to a standstill in the 5th round, and was able to hurt him with a big left hook to the head that snapped his head back.
Gonzalez came out at a very fast pace in the 6th, and he landed a lot of shots in what was easily his best round of the fight apart from the 4th, in which Arroyo had shoe problems.
In rounds seven and eight, Arroyo got the better of Gonzalez with hard left hooks to the head. It looked like Gonzalez was tiring in those rounds from the energy he had put into the 6th. Arroyo was able to land his hard left hooks and jabs over and over again in the round and he looked really good.
The 9th round was a very close one too. I gave it to Gonzalez, but it was close enough to give it to Arroyo due him landing the harder shots.
Gonzalez had a very good 10th round, as Arroyo was backing up constantly and not throwing shots. Gonzalez was moving very fast in the round and throwing a lot of heavy shots. That seemed to cause Arroyo to get distracted and unnerved by the pressure.
Arroyo fought well in the first two minutes of the 11th round, and looked like he had come back completely. However, in the last minute of the round, Gonzalez came alive and threw a sustained flurry of shots to steal the round.
The 12th round was all Arroyo, as he landed the harder shots and was able to catch Gonzalez repeatedly with left hooks to the head to finish out strong.
All in all, it was a good performance by both fighters. I thought Gonzalez won, but definitely not by the ridiculous scores handed in by the three judges. Arroyo deserved to win three to four rounds. Anything less than that is simply unfair to Arroyo and unfair to the fans that saw the fight.