One undefeated prospect passed the toughest test of his career (barely) in a ShoBox: The New Generation main event on Friday; the other, in the co-featured bout of the evening, came up short.
Middleweight up-and-comer Brandon Gonzales had to dig deep to score a split decision over Ossie Duran in the eight-round main event in Atlantic City, N.J. The 27-year-old boxer from Sacramento, Calif., was effective enough with his stick-and-move tactics to win by scores of 77-75 on two scorecards.
The third judge scored the bout for Duran by a 78-74 tally, crediting the 34-year-old veteran for his effective aggression and harder punching. The Patterson, N.J.-based Ghanaian landed the heavier jab, along with clean hooks and uppercuts, as he pressed Gonzales throughout the bout.
However, after getting soundly outworked in rounds four and five, Gonzales (15-0, 10 knockouts), the faster boxer, was able to neutralize Duran’s aggression with lateral movement in the sixth. Round seven was evenly contested. Duran seemed to get the better of the prospect in the final round, however two of the judges — Julie Lederman and John McKaie — gave Gonzales the benefit of the doubt in the close opening three rounds.
Javier Molina, a highly touted 2008 U.S. Olympian, fought harder than Gonzales did during his phone-booth war with Artemio Reyes in the opening bout of the Showtime broadcast, but the judges couldn’t give the undefeated welterweight prospect the benefit of the doubt at the end of their action-packed eight rounder.
Reyes, a hardnosed 25-year-old club fighter from Colton, Calif., deserved the nod against Molina and he got it via unanimous decision. Reyes (14-1, 11 KOs), who won by scores of 77-75 and 78-74 (twice), took the fight to Molina in every round and generally got the better of his fellow Californian during their many inside exchanges.
Molina (9-1, 4 KOs) flashed a crisp jab that controlled the action in the first round, but the Norwalk, Calif., resident elected to stand and trade with his swarming 6-foot opponent from the second round on. It wasn’t a wise choice of tactics.
Reyes landed the better combinations in close and put forth a more consistent offense than Reyes, who scored well when he let his hands go but only did so in spots.
Photos by Tom Casino/Showtime