Broadcast of Telefutura from Desert Diamond Casino in Tucson, AZ, Jhonny Gonzalez rebounded nicely from his brutal loss against Israel Vazquez last September. The Colombian Irene Pacheco wasn’t nearly as tough an opponent, but he’s no slouch. The way Jhonny stopped him at 1:04 of the ninth showed he hasn’t lost a thing, and only a true world beater will get his hands on his WBO Bantam belt.
When Jhonny fought Israel he put the belt on hold for a shot at the WBC Super Bantam title. Always big for 118, it was a testament to his dedication that he would return to bantam to defend his title.
Fans may recall that Pacheco gave Vic Darchinyan his hardest fight to date. The former IBF Fly champ—defending the belt six times—he came in with a record of 33-1 (24). But almost all of Pacheco’s success came at fly. And what difference six pounds makes, especially among these human string beans!
The first two rounds consisted of them cautiously circling each other and throwing mainly jabs. This feeling out process seemed partly due to Pacheco’s
southpaw stance. Irene didn’t resist circling clockwise but still managed to still keep his lead foot outside Johnny’s. Hard blows were exchanged for the last few seconds ending the second.
Early the third, Jhonny got caught by a short left and went down, but it was ruled a slip as their tangled feet contributed to his fall. He paid back Pacheco by digging a succession of lefts to the body in the second half of the round.
A left hook to the top of the head stunned Pacheco in the fourth, but he gathered himself fairly quickly. It was a bad omen when, free of the cobwebs, Jhonny brutalized him in the corners with wide, loaded-up shots from all angels.
Pacheco is 36 and turned pro more than 13 years ago. Gonzalez’s dedicated body work and the amount of punches he puts together when he decides to let them go, had the older man feeling all his years.
The sixth was a decent round for Pacheco, but in the seventh and eighth he took some savage beatings when he treated to the ropes. Gonzalez is an instinctive finisher and fluidly mixes his shots up and down if you cooperate with him. You need to counter him and, if weaker than him, present a moving target. Irene tended to lie still on the ropes, covering up, waiting for the slugger to run out of bullets.
But this Mexican is strapped with ammo like a solo Rambo taking on an entire nation. His last salvo included 20 unanswered punches, which forced Pacheco through the ropes in a defenseless seated position.
Pacheco could only be grateful that the ref didn’t offer him a chance to continue.
In the other televised bout, welter prospect Gabriel Martinez remained undefeated by winning a SD 8 over Arthur Brambila. Scores were 79-73, 77-75, and 73-75. Now 14-0 (7), the 19-year-old is off to a good start. Brambila falls below .500—he’s 8-9 (4). It was his sixth loss in a row, but all have come against a who’s who of prospects, whom he usually takes the distance.
Arguably the toughest journeyman in the middleweight division, the 6’2’’ David Lopez forced Rocky Montoya to retire in his corner after six. Now 30-12 (21), Lopez is on a seven-fight win-streak. Some of the rugged fighters he’s vanquished include Epifanio Mendoza, Danny Perez, Jerson Ravelo, Lonnie Bradley and Fernando Zuniga. A pro since ’95, he’d make a worthy opponent for a prospect looking to step up, and he’s more than earned the right for a good payday.
Welter Adan Leal got a TKO 2 over Ramiro Rivera.
Bantam Jose Salazar scored a TKO 2 over Gerardo Garcia.