By Derek Bonnett
After seven rounds, Jose A. Gonzalez looked like the goods. I couldn’t find a round to give Ricky Burns in their WBO lightweight title bout over the weekend. Then something happened. Burns showed us why he can be called a world champion and the most formidable lightweight threat to Adrien Broner as unlikely as that bout may be. In round eight and nine, Burns stole Gonzalez’ heart and took away his will to be a world champion. Gonzalez’ arms began to hang by his sides and his legs began to wobble. After a near perfect start, Gonzalez was completely out of gas and without any further desire to absorb Burns’ firepower. Ricky Burns showed the boxing world his next gear. A gear possessed by Hall of Fame caliber fighters only.
However, my pondering did not perch on Burns’ heart exclusively. After the bout, I was left wondering: What happened to all the elite class Puerto Rican boxers? The tiny island has been a major manufacturer of world champions for decades. Today the pack is led by shopworn Miguel Cotto and a fairly uncertain Juan Manuel Lopez. Both have suffered high profile losses in their last two high profile fights. The same could be said for Wilfredo Vasquez Jr. Roman Martinez has been winning, but his last two outings against Juan Carlos Burgos and Diego Magdaleno hardly serve as evidence for a strong Puerto Rican resurgence. Thomas Dulorme looked like a star in the making, but that star came crashing down against Luis Carlos Abregu last fall. Luis Orlando Del Valle seemed to fit the same bill, but he got outclassed by old warhorse Vic Darchinyan. Francisco Palacios looks like a strong contender, but he’s been screwed out of a world title twice in two attempts against Krzysztof Wlodarczyk. Puerto Rico’s best are certainly On the Move, but they are headed in the wrong direction.
On Monday, May 6, at Ota-City General Gymnasium, Tokyo, Japan, Takashi Uchiyama stopped Jaider Parra in the fifth round of a WBA super featherweight title bout. Parra hit the canvas in the fifth and the bout was waved off at the 2:15 mark. Uchiyama made the seventh defense of his title and raised his record to 20-0-1 (17). Parra dipped to 20-1-1 (10).
Uchiyama remained number one among SecondsOut’s top super featherweights.
However, a showdown with Argenis Mendez or Yuriorkis Gamboa would solidify his standing beyond reproach.
Also on the card, Kohei Kono dropped a majority decision to Liborio Solis in a twelve round WBA super flyweight title bout. Solis hit the canvas in the second round. Kono hit the deck in the eighth. The judges favored the challenger by margins of 115-111, 114-112, and 113-113. Solis improved his record to 15-3-1 (7). Kono, who was trying to make his first defense, fell to 28-8 (11).
Solis, who had been on the cusp of the top ten, crashed the SecondsOut rankings at number five. Kono fell from fifth to sixth. Ryo Akaho exited once again to make room. The six through nine contenders each fell one ranking.
On Wednesday, May 8, at Bodymaker Colosseum, Osaka, Osaka, Japan, Kazuto Ioka stopped Wisanu Kokietgym in nine rounds of WBA junior flyweight title bout. Wisanu hit the canvas in the ninth before the bout was stopped at the 2:51 mark. Ioka raised his ledger to 12-0 (8). Wisanu fell to 43-9-2 (13).
Ioka retained his number three ranking at SecondsOut in the light flyweight division.
Also on the card, Ryo Miyazaki stopped Carlos Velarde in five rounds of a WBA minimumweight title bout. Velarde hit the canvas in the fifth. Miyazaki made the first defense of his title and raised his record to 19-0-3 (11). Velarde fell to 23-3-1 (13).
Miyazaki jumped to ninth from tenth among SecondsOut’s top performing 105-pounders, but looks as though he may be quickly on the rise. Merlito Sabillo fell from ninth to tenth.
On Friday, May 10, at Wat Punoi, Ban Mi, Thailand, Tepparith Kokietgym won a unanimous decision over Jecker Buhawe in a twelve round super flyweight bout. All three judges scored the bout 119-109. Kokietgym won for the second time this year since losing his title to Kohei Kono. He raised his record to 23-3 (13). Buhawe dropped to 14-8-1 (9).
In spite of the win, Kokietgym fell from sixth to seventh due to greater activity in the division.
Also on this date, at Nahkon Sawan, Thailand, Pungluang Sor Singyu stopped late sub Juma Fundi in two rounds of a bantamweight bout. The bout ended at the 1:22 mark. The win marked Singyu’s first since losing his WBO belt in March. Singyu lifted his dossier to 44-2 (29). Fundi fell to 19-9-1 (9).
Singyu remained number nine among SecondsOut’s top rated bantamweights.
On Saturday, May 11, in Toluca, Mexico, Mexico, Adrian Hernandez won a unanimous decision over Yader Cardoza in a twelve round WBC junior flyweight title bout. The scores favored the champion 118-110 and 116-112 twice. The win marked the second defense of Hernandez’ second reign. Hernandez raised his record to 27-2-1 (16). Cardoza fell to 15-5 (5).
Hernandez kept his second place ranking among SecondsOut’s top-ranked light flyweights.
Also on this date, at Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster, Yorkshire, United Kingdom, Jamie McDonnell outpointed Julio Ceja by majority decision in a twelve round vacant IBF bantamweight title bout. The judges favored McDonnell 118-110, 115-113, and 114-114. The new champion moved his record to 21-2-1 (9). Ceja fell to 24-1 (22).
McDonnell jumped from nine to seven in the SecondsOut bantamweight rankings. Ceja fell from seventh to tenth.
At Emirates Arena, Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom, Ricky Burns rallied to force Jose A. Gonzalez into a ninth round retirement WBO lightweight title bout. Burns was trailing 84-87 on all three cards when Gonzalez surrendered. Burns moved to 36-2 (11) and defended the full title for the second time. Gonzalez dipped to 22-1 (17).
Burns looked on shaky ground, but earned the top spot among SecondsOut’s most elite lightweights with Adrien Broner now moving to welterweight.
Also in this date, at Uni-Trade Arena, Laredo, Texas, USA, Vic Darchinyan stopped Javier Gallo in four rounds of a super bantamweight bout. The end came at the :21 mark. Darchinyan raised his ledger to 39-5-1 (28). Gallo fell to 18-7-1 (10).
Darchinyan held onto his number three SecondsOut ranking at super bantamweight.