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Gonzalez drops Pacheco to retain WBO title

WBO bantamweight champion Jhonny Gonzalez -- last seen in a spectacular loss to Israel Vazquez on the undercard of Barrera/Juarez II -- beat Irene Pacheco via ninth round TKO in his return to the 118-pound division to both retain his title and effectively rebound from what was a very tough loss.

The fight was televised on Telefutura, but of course I don't have access to that channel. It's too bad -- Gonzalez/Pacheco sounded like an interesting fight. Instead, all reports are that Gonzalez hammered the 36-year old challenger to improve to 34-5. Pacheco fell to 33-2 in what may have been his final shot at a major championship.

The finish came on a left uppercut followed by a flurry of punches, mostly more left hands. After the fight, Pacheco made reference to retiring, but this is, of course, boxing, and retirements just don't stick all that often.

On Friday Night Fights, Joel Julio beat another chump, this time Thomas Davis, via seventh round TKo. Julio has still proven very little with his 30-1 record. The one decent opponent he faced -- Carlos Quintana -- destroyed him. In the next fight after that, he struggled with rugged veteran Cosme Rivera, and has since beaten Davis and Francisco Campos. Julio will always have a puncher's chance, but a guy like Quintana that can outbox him will give him fits again, unless he makes a serious improvement. Since the loss, he hasn't had a fight that would seem a good bet to have improved him as an all-around fighter.

We'll have more this week coming up on the Calzaghe/Manfredo and Corrales/Clottey fights on Saturday night, plus the rest of the month in boxing, including the returns to the ring of Manny Pacquiao, Antonio Tarver and Zab Judah.

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