When Dyah Davis and Alfonso Lopez found out they were fighting near the former home of Ernest Hemingway in Key West, Florida, they must have decided to appeal to his fondness for minimalism, rather than his love of a good scrap.
Davis and Lopez took part in one of the worst main events ever televised by ESPN, in the network’s Friday Night Fights season opener for 2012. That Davis won a unanimous decision by scores of 100-90 (twice) and 99-91 is inconsequential, as both his and Lopez’s reputations as marketable television fighters may be irreparably damaged.
Throughout the fight, two scenarios played themselves out continuously. Either the two men would circle around and feint simultaneously, or Lopez would approach, be touched by a double jab by Davis, and then the two would tie up.
It was obvious that Davis intended to draw Lopez in as he approached recklessly, and then capitalize on open shots. Unfortunately, save for one big uppercut and two left hooks of note, Davis took those opportunities to grab ahold of his opponent.
Lopez landed virtually nothing of significance the entire night, letting down the optimists who believed that his performance in a loss to Kelly Pavlik would translate into success against lesser opponents.
At the final bell, Davis landed a hard right hand, but it couldn’t make up for the woeful half hour that had just transpired. That same hand was raised minutes later, but his stock in the 168-pound division certainly was not.
In the evening’s opener, Denis Douglin scored a split decision victory over Steve Martinez. Two judges favored Douglin 77-75, while the other saw Martinez on top 77-75. The pair of light middleweight prospects landed solid exchanges for the majority of the bout, with Douglin countering Martinez, who perpetually moved forward despite a four inch height advantage.
Douglin (14-1, 8 KO) displayed his speed advantage early, establishing a home for a sharp right hand counter, and finding ways to avoid the fight-changing right hand Martinez (11-1, 9 KO) attempted to land all night. That right hand looped consistently, and was thrown from flat feet—as were all of his punches—which allowed Douglin to react in due time.
The 23-year old Douglin is not particularly fleet of foot, but instead has a solid frame for junior middleweight, and fights consistently through rounds. At times late in the fight, it appeared that body blows were beginning to affect him, but the southpaw remained tenacious and threw his hands enough to woo the folks handling the scorecards.
According to ESPN statistics, Martinez both threw and landed more punches, and unlike the two main eventers, did not take part in a horrifying contest. Despite suffering his first professional loss, he acquitted himself well, and has the physical gifts to improve and earn another opportunity on television.