Orlando Gonzalez looked like he might finish the night clearly and quickly against Jorge Castaneda, tagging Castaneda with a neck-snapping straight left in the 1st round and knocking him down in the 2nd. But Castaneda got up and fought back hard, hanging in through his early struggles to survive the distance and split the decision.
Gonzalez (22-2, 12 KO) started hearing advice from his corner to let the first minute of each round pass to conserve energy, a strategy that gave Castaneda enough time and opportunity to start building some momentum. Castaneda (16-3, 12 KO) had an excellent 4th round, hurting Gonzalez for the first time, and it proved to be a turning point for both men.
A rejuvenated Castaneda had Gonzalez bleeding from the mouth in the 7th, spitting blood through the rest of the fight, and showing a lot of fatigue from Castaneda body punches. Castaneda never really fixed his defensive gaps… He just kept slugging away and wore Gonzalez out with body shots and uppercuts, pressing hard in the early part of rounds while Gonzalez tried to rest, then standing tough in exchanges as each round ended.
I gave Castaneda the last 5 rounds, enough to edge the fight 95-94 on my unofficial card. One official judge agreed, but the other two had it 97-92 and 96-93 for Gonzalez, giving him the split decision victory. Castaneda’s rally wasn’t enough to win the decision, but he gave us the best entertainment of the entire night. Credit to him for hanging tough and making a very strong case for the comeback win.
ProBox went nuts with social media video presence tonight, so enjoy a lot of video highlights!
Tarik Zaina UD-10 Marcelino Lopez
Tarik Zaina came in wearing the John Stockton short-shorts and a corner strategy to go all 10 rounds, and he dragged us and Marcelino Lopez the whole distance in a complete but uninspiring decision victory in the chief support.
Lopez (37-4-1, 22 KO) threw little and hit less, often stalking Zaina from corner to corner but seldom planting himself and letting his hands loose. Zaina (13-0-1, 8 KO) was slipping and feinting, peppering Lopez with active hands, but seldom hitting harder than a firmly struck typewriter key.
Official scores were 99-91, 98-92, and 97-93 for Zaina. He maintains his undefeated status, but adds few fans and little television marketability. Lopez leaves with a paycheck and 30 minutes of vigorous cardio, showing plenty of bounce in his 37 year old legs, but never really threatened in this fight.
Marques Valle UD-8 Farid Ngoga
This was the first eight round fight of Marques Valle’s young career, and Farid Ngoga made him work the full length of it. Ngoga (10-1, 6 KO) showed a lot of toughness and did some nice jab work. But Valle (10-0, 7 KO) had the better of it through most of the fight, landing the bigger punches and closing out rounds in strong fashion.
Official scores were 77-75 and two cards of 78-74, and the unanimous victory makes 10 professional wins for Valle.
Joahnys Argilagos SPLIT DRAW Jose Lopez
Joahnys Argilagos and Jose Lopez went to a split draw in the opener, with Lopez claiming one card on continuous pressure, Argilagos claiming the second on sharp counters, and the third judge agreeing with my unofficial draw card.
Lopez (4-2-3) was relentless, if basic, with a constant forward attack. Argilagos (9-1-1, 4 KO) spent a lot of this fight shelled up, waiting for a counter opportunity. With all respect to Lopez… It’s a strategy that a better fighter will easily exploit, and one that turned this fight from a likely win to a split decision draw instead.