Yudel Jhonson continued his winning ways in his first televised main event by dominating Jose Miguel Torres on Friday in Tampa, Fla., on ESPN2.
The 2004 Olympic silver medalist form Cuba was coming off an impressive TKO victory over solid pro Richard Gutierrez and looked to keep the momentum going. But Jhonson (10-0 7 KO’s) seemed content to win rounds without taking many chances against overmatched Colombian Jose Miguel Torres (21-5 19 KO’s), who hadn’t fought in more than two years.
Jhonson won by scores of 96-92, 96-92 and 97-91.
The fight started out slowly as Jhonson circled, patiently looking to land one-twos, while Torres kept his guard high in a peek-a-boo defense hoping to land looping rights. The second round was more of the same, although Torres opened up the slightest bit in an effort to find his opponent’s body but landed few punches.
In the third round, the frustration on the face of Torres became evident. At one point he put his arms out as if to say “just stand still.” And at that very moment Jhonson went back to moving again. In the fourth, it appeared as though the favorite was picking it up by finding a home for his straight left, but it was short lived as he decided to go back to boxing carefully without pressing. Torres received a warning for hitting on the break in that round.
The fifth and sixth rounds were more of the same as Jhonson did enough to win them easily while Torres would occasionally try to land a looping shot. In the seventh, referee Max Parker had seen enough dirty antics from the Colombian fighter and he took a point for a low blow followed by a punch on the break, but that did not deter Jhonson from his approach – win the round, don’t step it up, avoid taking risks.
The eight round looked hopeful as Torres stopped following Jhonson around aimlessly and began to chase him while throwing wild shots. This lasted only a round, after which Jhonson decided to begin holding on the inside in lieu of working for most of the ninth. In the 10th, the second point was deducted in the fight, this one from Jhonson for rabbit punching.
When it was over, the scores on the cards were closer than the action would indictate as Jhonson did what was expected and won a clear decision in what ended up being a relatively uninspiring effort.
Also on the card, Walter Estrada (38-14-1) pulled off the upset over Tyrese Hendrix (20-2-1) via unanimous decision.
The Colombia native, fighting out of Miami, pressed the action as Hendrix seemed content to wait on the smaller man.
After two rounds, Estrada seemed in control, mixing movement with two- and three-punch combinations. The third round saw Hendrix begin to work through the challenge of getting off against his fellow southpaw behind a stiff jab.
A surge in the middle rounds by the fighter from Georgia, Hendrix, saw him landing the cleaner, harder shots. But late in the sixth, Estrada began to pick up the pace again and regained control. The seventh and eight were a carryover with Hendrix waiting and Estrada staying active. When it was all said and done, Estrada won a well-earned decision victory.