There was only one reason this match-up was happening: so super flyweight prospect Israel Gonzalez (16-1, 5 KO) could wrench as much name value as possible from fading former WBO light flyweight world titlist Ramon Hirales (20-9-1, 12 KO).
34-year-old Hirales was 2-4 coming into this fight, and he was two weight classes above where he should have been. But still, I gave him a decent chance to win against Gonzalez. Gonzalez, last May, lost a six rounder to a Argi Cortes who was 4-2 at the time.
At first, Gonzalez-Hirales went to script. Gonzalez dropped Hirales in rounds three and four. It seemed that Gonzalez wasn’t so much beating Hirales as he was beating the ghost of Hirales.
But then glimpses of the old Hirales came in rounds six, seven, and eight. Despite the knockdowns, Hirales managed to back Gonzalez to the ropes and throw serious leather. Even though he was unlikely to win, Hirales was not going gently into the good night.
This effort didn’t change the results. Gonzalez won by UD on scores of 78-72, 79-73, and 79-73. Even so, based on this performance, I believe Gonzalez’ potential is limited. I don’t think a world title is in his future, but I’d still like to see how he’d fare against the likes of Ardin Diale and Victor Ruiz.
A fun fight, this is worth watching on YouTube.