It's always good when strong momentum can carry over. But that was not the case tonight in ESPN's Friday Night Fights season premiere, as a sloppy opener gave way to a truly dreadful main event. It's very clear: It's a whole new year for Friday Night Fights, and the hot streak of 2011 is over. The new season will have to earn its own accolades, and everything got off to a poor start tonight.
In the main event, Dyah Davis won a wide unanimous decision over Alfonso Lopez in a fight that will be hard-pressed to not wind up the worst Friday Night Fights main event of the season, and maybe even the worst televised fight of 2012. Davis (21-2-1, 9 KO) won on scores of 100-90, 100-90, and 99-91. Bad Left Hook stopped scoring the fight after four rounds. Lopez falls to 22-2 (17 KO) with a performance that will undoubtedly see him cast away from TV consideration for the foreseeable future.
It was just an outlandishly bad fight in all respects. Neither man wanted to lead the action, and Lopez especially was grabby and obsessed with tying up. In the entirety of the fight, Lopez landed one really good right hand, which at that point was such a shock that a stunned woman in the crowd reacted with a blood-curdling scream.
The good news is there's nowhere to go but up for Friday Night Fights.
In the opening bout, Denis Douglin improved to 14-1 (8 KO) with a win over slow and disappointing prospect Steven Martinez (11-1, 9 KO), winning via split decision over eight rounds. Douglin took two cards on scores of 77-75, with the third being the same score in Martinez's favor. Bad Left Hook scored it 77-75 for Douglin.
The fight was praised by those who may have simply been boxing-starved, but really it was just a decent fight at best, and calling it really good sets the bar very low, if I'm being completely honest. Douglin, whose greatest point of interest is that he's trained by his mother, was the better fighter but had some lousy footwork early in the fight, which may have just been nerves or the like. Martinez, a DiBella prospect, was really lousy; it felt like he should have won the fight, but he was so awfully slow with his hands and feet that he just couldn't nick enough rounds. Neither has star quality or potential to say the least, but I have to believe they both have better than this in them.