Saturday, July 12, 2014

Alfonso Gomez VS Ed Paredes: Gomez is the real crafty veteran here.

The setup: 

Alfonso Gomez comes into this fight having been a name fighter for about a decade. He has a rare distinction in that when I look at his record, I see more of his fights taking place against names I know than names I don't. Even for the sport's biggest fans, most records have far more "padding" full of people you won't remember than Gomez's. He may have entered with just over thirty professional fights. But those fights are jam-packed with names like Arturo Gatti, Miguel Cotto and Saul Alvarez. His first recognisable opponent as a professional, then-future world titlist Ishe Smith in his second fight. His career may not be legendary but it has been notable. Make no mistake about that. As it has been a full career, his body has taken a full career's worth of wear and tear. He's taken a few days shy of two years off to heal himself of injuries. He is not a young 33, Gomez. He comes off not only the layoff but two straight losses.

Meanwhile, his opponent, Ed Paredes, coming off a win streak, rather than a loss streak, has more professional fights, less losses and more recent activity. But very little of note happening in this history. It is implied by Gomez that the experience will be the key. Paredes doesn't thinks so, citing his impressive sparring experience against Erislandy Lara, Luis Collazo and Zab Judah.

The action:

It was not one punch that Paredes was open to or one tactic that Gomez employed against him. It was everything. Maybe not just everything that he did but everything he's done as a pro. While one of the best referees of my lifetime (Kenny Bayless) made not one but two official knockdown calls that were, upon instant replay review, very weak knockdowns that I feel he would not have called if he'd seen them clearly, Gomez stayed cool through it all. Both of those KD's were likely as much follow-through on his own punches pulling him down as anything you could credit to Paredes. Paredes was not without his moments and found a lot of nice left hooks with Gomez coming in but overall he was in over his head with the far savvier Gomez. Paulie Malignaggi, working as Fox commentator, said that Paredes was using a lazy approach to this fight. Was he right? Well, Paredes was so outsmarted that perhaps it is questionable whether he was being lazy in being outworked or too baffled to do much more than he did. It did look to me that it very well was a bit of both. When all is said and done, I think Gomez was right about the experience being a major factor. Gomez earned a very just UD10 over Paredes.

What it means: 

I think this demonstrates that Paredes simply isn't world class, or ready to prove he is by a long shot, and Gomez is still proving only one cut below that kind of recognition for now. Oddly, he can look to former opponent Ishe Smith. Because he could end up doing exactly as Smith did and coming up just shy until very late in the game and snatching a major world title for a brief time. It's very, very possible. Gomez is just that kind of fighter to keep working and taking risks until finally he gets that special payoff so many are working for. FS1 put on, overall, an excellent fight card, this ninth of July. That's what it means for each fighter and the broadcasting channel, as far as I can tell. But what it means to boxing might just be yet another embarrassing couple of instances that demonstrate the stupidity of not taking full advantage of instant replay, just like other major sports would. Kenny Bayless, again, arguably the best single referee in the sport right now, even he can miss calls like this. But it doesn't have to be that way. It could've been easily corrected.

Work that bag,
Basement Gym Boxing

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