Tonight's season finale of ESPN Friday Night Fights had some good and some bad, but in the spirit of a great season overall, let's focus on the good.
In the night's co-feature, local draw David Diaz of Chicago knocked down Hank Lundy in the fourth round but couldn't finish him off, and in the sixth round, with a horrible cut gushing blood from his right eye, Diaz was knocked out hard by a left hand from Lundy. It was a dramatic, exciting, action-packed brawl between a couple of guys who needed the win and fought like it.
Diaz (36-4-1, 17 KO) has said he doesn't plan to fight much longer, and losing this one pretty much guarantees he won't be getting another big money shot. As much as most everyone likes Diaz, it was no doubt a mistake for him and his team to turn down about a $200,000 offer to fight Juan Manuel Marquez in July, as he wound up taking this fight for a $15,000 payday. But he put in his usual strong effort, and he'll be able to find TV dates like this one, or settle in as a really good gatekeeper type of fighter at lightweight or junior welterweight.
Lundy (21-1-1, 11 KO) still looked like he has some issues losing focus and taking flush punches, but he's making himself known as someone you can look forward to watching on Friday Night Fights, and if he can keep winning, he'll find himself with a title shot sometime.
In the main event, the Hammond, Ind., crowd yawned and occasionally booed their way through a 10-round snoozer between easy winner Demetrius Andrade (14-0, 10 KO) and veteran Grady Brewer (28-13, 16 KO). Andrade won with a dominant, jab-heavy performance, on scores of 98-92, 99-91, and 99-91, but while he impressed in how easy he made it look, I think it's fair to say that he wasn't truly impressive. The 23-year-old Andrade still has some strides to make, but the talent is there. He drew comparisons to Andre Dirrell all night, and I think that's definitely valid. Both have talent, but there will always be questions, and the risk that their fights just aren't going to be any fun to watch.
I'd like to thank the matchmakers and producers at ESPN for what was overall a wonderful season of Friday Night Fights. We look forward to the return in January.