Jonathan Gonzalez came in heavy, wasn't in shape, and when all was said and done tonight, didn't impress anyone with his performance in his HBO debut. Sergiy Dzinziruk simply hadn't fought in 18 months, looked every bit like someone with a lengthy layoff, and didn't impress anyone with his performance in his second HBO fight.
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Fittingly, the two went to a draw. In a fight no one really deserved to win, no one did. Scores were 117-111 Gonzalez, 115-113 Dzinziruk, and 114-114. Bad Left Hook scored it 115-113 for Gonzalez.
Gonzalez (15-0-1, 13 KO) has always seemed to lack spark as a prospect, at least to my eyes, since he stepped up his competition a bit, going the distance with the likes of Billy Lyell and Richard Gutierrez. This was also his second straight fight he came in overweight.
But unlike last time, when he fought the scrappy and determined Lyell and had to work fairly hard to get out with the win, this time, he was across the ring from Dzinziruk (37-1-1, 24 KO), who was at one time a solid, technically sound fighter, but tonight looked rusty, slow, and old.
Given the chance to cruise against one another -- the passionless against the bloated -- the two did just that, delivering a 36-minute bore to what is actually a pretty nice crowd in Verona, NY, for this level of boxing show. The fans disagreed with the decision -- no surprise that Gonzalez had more fans in attendance -- but in my estimation, it was just about perfect.
Hopefully this is the last we see of either man in the immediate future on HBO. Gonzalez simply blew an opportunity all the way around here, not coming close to making weight and then dropping a turd in the ring. Dzinziruk, who is now 36, actually might could earn his way back to this stage if he becomes a regular fighter again, gets himself back to optimal shape, and doesn't sit around for so long. This was just his fourth fight since 2008, and he still hasn't won since 2010, but if his issue was rust more than age tonight, he might be back in the next couple of years.
Gonzalez, 23, just flat-out has a lot of work to do, and it's worth seriously wondering how dedicated he is to his career. He doesn't give the impression of a fighter who's trying to be great. That's something he can change. He's got heavy hands, he's not untalented, and he has a future -- but it's on him.