Jhonny Gonzalez and Daniel Ponce De Leon could steal the show this weekend. (Photo by Esther Lin/Showtime)
On tomorrow night's Showtime card featuring the Canelo vs Lopez main event, Jhonny Gonzalez will put his WBC featherweight title on the line against Daniel Ponce De Leon in a fight that has diehard fans excited for all-out action.
The best movie doesn't always win the Oscar or hold the No. 1 spot at the box office. The best album doesn't always have the most sales or MTV Video Music Awards. And the best fight isn't always the main event. There's a feeling that's what we've got with this matchup.
This fight was an optional choice for the staff this week, and Scott Christ, Kory Kitchen, Matt Mosley, and Lee Payton all weighed in with their thoughts. Who are they picking?
This could easily be the fight of the weekend, and that's not saying anything minor given the sort of weekend we have in store. While it's true that Ponce De Leon is crude, he is maybe less crude than is sometimes said -- I think it gets exaggerated a bit. He's not a horrible boxer surviving on brawn and luck, he's just really awkward. And slow. Very slow. Gonzalez is a beautiful technician and can thump, but he's also got as bad a chin as you can have being a world class fighter. I like Ponce De Leon to land the decisive blow in this fight, and I don't think it's going to last all that long. This is not saying that Gonzalez can't fight, but I think Ponce De Leon is a bad, bad matchup for him and his beard. Ponce De Leon via TKO-5.
How can one not love this matchup? This is going to be shootout while it lasts. I think the beginning will have each man a little wary of the other's power. By the third or fourth round there will be some great exchanges, each man tasting the other's power. The likely difference here is that Gonzalez has the quicker hands, the straighter punches. I think he can beat Ponce de Leon to the punch on the inside and capitalize. Steadily, the fight will build into a real slugfest with both men hurt at times. In the late rounds, Gonzalez's greater skill will win out with his shorter shots piling up. He will stun Ponce de Leon late and finish him before he can recover again. Gonzalez by late stoppage.
Two guys who can certainly crack here, but Gonzalez is the one with the far superior boxing ability. Like many bangers, both of them are also a bit susceptible to being KO'd or at least dropped themselves, as they have been in the past, with Gonzalez having being KO'd thrice (albeit always against quality opposition) and while De Leon has only the one KO against his name, it was a one round wipe out by Juan Manuel Lopez back in 2008.
Along with Martinez vs Chavez this could be the fight of the night this Saturday, and if they do go to war, both could end up touching the canvas. I see Gonzalez prevailing here though. Gonzalez KO/TKO rd 9.
Wait... so Jhonny and Ponce De Leon are ACTUALLY FIGHTING?! How is this happening? This is boxing. There must be a catch. The fight makes way too much sense to take place, and I refuse to believe it will go down until I hear the first bell, but if I have to make a pick, I'll go with the more technically proficient of the two bangers. Gimme Gonzalez by... decision!
Final Tally: Gonzalez 3, Ponce De Leon 1.