Cincinnati native and highly decorated former amateur Rau'shee Warren took on Omar Gonzalez on the back of Gonzalez's surprising 4-round victory over Raul Martinez on FS1's Monday Night Fights. The baffling speed of Warren had Gonzalez on the canvas for two flash knockdowns in the opening round. One on right hooks and one apparently on a stiff jab! Gonzalez had a bloody nose when he went back to his corner after the first round and Warren was looking excellent in this rare match (rare for being two southpaws). The first round was a good indicator of everything to follow, save for it actually going the distance.
In round two, Warren still displays one cracking right hook and terrific reflexes but it gets scrappier as the ref has to step into Warren's spotlight a bit. Gonzalez hits the deck, and it's correctly not ruled a legit knockdown. In round three, Gonzalez lands a little bit but is mostly countered simple and likely realises fighting on the front foot or off the back foot, he's not getting into the fight that much. He's trying to adjust, respectably, but it's not winning him the round. In round four, Gonzalez excites the crowd in a largely ineffective sustained attack on Warren while having him on the ropes. Warren is seeming to get excited as well and gets a warning for shoving Omar. Gonzalez's wide, wide shots are connecting now, and he's getting into this, surprisingly as it is. He's not getting countered as badly throughout this round so far. Warren seems to realise Gonzalez is getting into it and starts to get very aggressive. He forces a legitimate knockdown, quickly stamping out Gonzalez's great effort throughout most of the round. Omar has his mouthpiece placed back in after the ref gives him his count.
In round five, boxer/commentator of the night (and doing a lovely job at it), Paulie Malignaggi notes that Warren is likely baiting Gonzalez so that he can shine with his counters and I agree. He seems to want to play on his counter-punching, smartly, until he realises a round is getting away from him. Then he has no trouble leading. Warren dominates this round in style. In round six, the final round, yet again, seemingly as soon as Warren thinks Gonzalez is having more success than he should be having, getting into the fight just a little bit, he takes it away from him. He won't let his opponent win a round just because he can afford to lose it. Gonzalez pinned him on the ropes a bit and teed off on his body and soon
after he is down again, on a right hook to the side of the head, I
believe. This is the fourth knockdown.
There is obviously no points win in all probability for Gonzalez from very early on but he keeps trying to get into it. He's a strong-willed fighter. But, again, it's Gonzalez trying to get into the fight and Warren dashing his hopes of being competitive as immediately as he can after any success at all. I love that instinct in a fighter. That's a ring general. Gonzalez takes yet another knockdown from Warren, with a few hard shots, with his mouthpiece out again. It wasn't likely one telling punch but a few hard shots from the better man while hoping to get a stoppage on his TV date. He survives about forty more seconds to the final bell of this six-rounder.
Gonzalez was so utterly outclassed in suffering his five knockdowns in six rounds that I don't believe he could have done anything more than what he did. He fought a courageous fight, tried to use his head and adjust a bit, stayed mentally strong, never quit, but Warren was simply coming from a very different neighbourhood, both athletically and intellectually. I'm speaking of that neighbourhood, skillwise, but geographically speaking, perhaps Warren and Broner will be in some sort of red hot Ohio, USA era. I know Warren wanted that stoppage and everybody likes a stoppage to get excited about someone, but he cements himself as a hot prospect for my liking. Both men gave a credit to the opportunity they received to be on television. This was another good choice from FS1, I feel. No, not for competitiveness, in retrospect, but for showcasing someone worth showcasing - someone who could be a future champion and has skills a purist can appreciate. Congrats to Rau'shee Warren. I believe he's listed as a Bantamweight, so I'm looking for him to step it up there, although this match was technically contested within the Super Bantamweight limit.
Work that bag,
Basement Gym Boxing