MAYWOOD, Calif. — Dyah Davis and Francisco Sierra are solid fighters but their Top Rank Live! main event on Friday was an example of how styles sometimes don’t make fights.
The two super middleweight fringe contenders fought to an uneventful and sometimes ugly majority draw that most observers believed Davis (18-2-1, 9 knockouts) should have won handily.
Judge Fritz Werner scored the 10-round bout 98-92 for Davis, the son of 1976 Olympic gold medalist Howard Davis Jr. However, Werner was overruled by judges Marty Denkin and Barry Druxman, who scored the bout even with 95-95 tallies. Most (if not all) of the ringside media, along with Fox Sports Net commentators Rich Marotta and Raul Marquez, agreed with Werner’s scorecard.
Sierra (23-4, 21 KOs) was aggressive but he simply wasn’t effective. The 23-year-old puncher from Tepic, Mexico, did not have the hand speed or timing to compete with Davis’s quick jab and lateral movement from the outside. Sierra needed to get inside and work the body or at the very least rough his fleet footed opponent up. However, he did not do that.
Sierra either initiated the bout’s many clinches whenever the two were in close, or he allowed himself to be tied up on the inside, where he should have done most of his work being the stronger, harder-punching fighter.
It was Davis, the faster, sharper and more versatile boxer, who imposed his style on his opponent. The 29-year-old Floridian consistently beat Sierra to the punch with jabs, right hands and left hooks, and visibly frustrated the younger brawler by making him miss most of his looping haymakers.
Sierra had won three bouts by knockout going into the Davis fight, including an impressive stoppage of unbeaten prospect Don George, since he was blown out in one round by Edison Miranda in 2009. By the flustered look on his face midway through the Davis bout one got the feeling that he would prefer to lose by first-round KO than to be embarrassed over the distance by a smarter boxer.
Davis’s last bout was a decision loss to Aaron Pryor Jr. He didn’t put on the most entertaining show for the fans at the Maywood Activity Center or those watching on Fox Sports Net and Fox Deportes, but his performance on Friday should have been enough to earn a victory.
Just because it was a hard fight to watch doesn’t mean it was a hard bout to score.
“I thought I won but a decision like this one is to be expected when you come to a guy’s hometown and you don’t knock him out,” Davis said afterward. “I thought I did OK. I was better than I was in my last fight. I didn’t show up at all against Pryor, but I think I could have done better. I could have done a little more to make harder for them to take it away from me.
“I’ll just have to go back to the gym, work on my craft, and stay active. That’s all I can do.”
In the co-featured bout of the Fox Sports Net broadcast, lightweight fringe contender Oscar Meza (21-4, 17 KOs) looked sharp pounding out an eight-round unanimous decision over tough journeyman Leo Martinez (15-15, 7 KOs).
Meza, who won by scores of 80-72, 79-72, 78-73, dropped Martinez with a left hook in the seventh round. Martinez, of Columbus, Oh., was game throughout the bout but he was outgunned and outworked by Meza, a native of Mexico who is trained by noted Southern California-based trainer Joe Goossen.
On the undercard, heavyweight prospect Andy Ruiz (8-0, 6 KOs) looked sharp dispatching stubborn and cagey Kelsey Arnold (4-7-2, 1 KO) in the third round of a scheduled six-round bout. Ruiz, a chubby 21-year-old from Mexicali, Mexico, has very fast hands for such a heavy frame (6-foot-2, 257 pounds).
Celebrated trainer Freddie Roach had added fluid combinations and competent footwork to Ruiz’s considerable natural ability. If the young man stays busy, continues to come down in weight (240 pounds seems like a reasonable goal) and adds some head movement to his game he can develop into a something special in a couple of years.
Junior middleweight prospect Patrick Teixeira (9-0, 7 KOs) was lucky to earn a split-decision over Dave Lopez (3-4-3) in a brisk and entertaining six-round bout. Teixeira, a rangy southpaw puncher from Sao Paulo, Brazil, won by scores of 59-55, 59-55, 56-58.
Teixeira was the aggressor throughout the bout but he telegraphed most of his wide looping power shots and was caught by numerous flush counter shots from Lopez as he followed the competent journeyman from Idaho around the ring.
Junior lightweight prospect Jose Roman (9-0, 7 KOs) won a six-round unanimous decision over Las Vegas-based journeyman Johnny Frazier (3-4-2, 3 KOs) but he failed to impress most ringside observers. Roman, a very tall and athletic looking boxer from Santa Ana, Calif., did not work a consistent jab and waited too much on his skittish opponent to initiate the action (which did not occur). Put simply, he did more posing than punching.
Raymond Chacon (1-0) won his pro debut, scoring a unanimous four-round decision over Manuel Machorro (0-3). Chacon, a popular bantamweight from Los Angeles, needs to settle down more in future fights (the kid was wound up tighter than a drum) but his aggression was enough to outpoint Machorro, of Mexico City, who seemed to content to avoid contact.