By David Robinett and Felipe Leon at Ringside
Photos by Jennifer Arredondo
Winless in the nearly two years since his surprising upset over Miguel Cotto in 2012, former WBA light middleweight champion Austin “No Doubt” Trout survived two early knockdowns against Australia’s Daniel Dawson to grind out a hard fought ten-round unanimous decision victory at the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, California on ESPN Friday Night Fights. Since his signature win against Cotto, Trout (27-2, 14 KOs) lost his next two fights against Canelo Alvarez and Erislandy Lara, the latter of which raised serious doubts about his viability as a top-flight boxer. Coming into Friday’s bout, Trout acknowledged the importance of re-establishing his former position among the division’s elite.
“This fight is for me to show the world that I’m back and really haven’t gone anywhere,” said Trout before the fight. “The best of Austin Trout has not been seen and I feel like I’m tapping into that (potential) now.”
However, despite a solid start by the southpaw Trout in the first two rounds in which he controlled Dawson (40-4-1, 26 KOs) with a steady jab followed by straight left hands and left hooks to the head and body, the contest changed dramatically in round three. Midway through the round, Dawson caught Trout coming in with a short right hand that sent the former champ stumbling backwards onto the canvas. Trout seemed more embarrassed than hurt, but later in the round another short right hand dropped Trout again and this time he appeared in real danger. Dawson landed several right hands during the round and appeared to have Trout figured out.
Rounds four and five were tense affairs, with Dawson stalking as Trout fought defensively, keeping his left hand glued to his chin and circling away to protect against Dawson’s right hand. The strategy seemed to work, as Dawson failed to cleanly land a right hand in either round.
Having made the necessary defensive adjustments, Trout began to fight more offensively in round six, returning to the right jab, left hand combinations and lead left hands that were so effective against Dawson early in the fight. Trout also minimized his time in the pocket, attacking and then darting back out to minimize the opportunities Dawson would have to land another devastating right hand.
Midway through round seven Dawson appeared to roll his ankle as the fighters briefly tangled their feet in an exchange, with Dawson visibly favoring his ankle for the remainder of the fight. With Dawson’s power neutralized from his bum ankle, Trout started to pour it on in round eight, finally dropping Dawson with a powerful left hook, straight right, straight left combination that deposited the Australian down by the corner post. Trout battered Dawson for the remainder of the fight trying to close the show, but Dawson was able to finish on his feet. Ultimately, the judges scored all but the third round for Trout, resulting in scores of 97-90 across the board and putting Trout back into the mix for another title.—David Robinett
Bone Outworks Montes
Fighting for just the second time outside of South America, Ecuadorian standout Erick Bone (15-1, 8 KOs) outhustled Mexican warrior Mahonri Montes (28-4-1, 20 KOs) to earn a unanimous decision victory in a ten-round junior welterweight bout. Two judges scored the bout 97-93, with the third judge scoring the bout by a ridiculously wide 100-90 margin.
Bone has steadily improved the caliber of his competition, seeking to become the first modern titleholder from Ecuador and best-known Ecuadorian boxer since Segundo Mercado, who memorably battled with Bernard Hopkins in two bouts during the mid-1990s. But Montes would not simply roll over for his more-hyped adversary this night, repeatedly thwarting Bone’s early efforts to weave his way inside by popping his jab into the face of Bones. Nevertheless, Bone’s quickness eventually started to pay dividends as he landed several effective body punches and left hooks to the head of his opponent before Montes could get off with his jab. When Montes did connect, it appeared he was the heavier-handed combatant, however he was unable to land more than one punch at a time, allowing Bone to avoid any prolonged exchanges that could result in accumulated damage.
In round four Bone landed two left hooks flush to Montes’ face just moments apart, causing him to shake his head and bark at Bone after each punch, although Montes failed to deliver anything substantial in return. This turned out to be a microcosm of the fight, with the quicker Bone outlanding Montes but unable to hurt him, and Montes repeatedly boasting to Bone that his punches were not hurting him, even though he was unable to land consistently enough on Bone to make a difference.
Bone continued to attack Montes to the body and head before moving away as Montes dutifully followed him around the ring, bragging about how tough he was. Bone seemed to acknowledge that fact by keeping his distance from Montes, while he would still jump in regularly enough to land scoring combinations.
In the last two rounds Bone started to tire from all of his movement, allowing Montes to close distance and land his heavy right hand more consistently, except Montes failed to apply enough sustained pressure to put Bone in danger. Particularly in round ten, Montes started to connect with some hard shots to the body that visibly caused Bone to wince. Rather than increase the pressure and go for the knockout, Montes continued to stalk Bone methodically as if it were early in the fight and without the necessary urgency, allowing Bone to move enough around the ring to survive and take the decision.
Two judges scored the bout 97-93, with the third judge scoring the bout by a ridiculously wide 100-90 margin.—David Robinett
2012 U.S. Olympian Michael Hunter (6-0, 4 KOs) administered a clinical beating on journeyman Harvey Jolly (15-21-1, 7 KOs) before forcing referee Jack Reiss to stop the action at the 53 second mark of the fourth round of a heavyweight clash. Jolly never had an answer for the constant attack from Hunter. Hunter is the son of Mike “The Bounty Hunter” Hunter, a colorful and erratic heavyweight fringe contender during the early-to-mid 1990s.—Felipe Leon
In an all-action welterweight eight rounder, Joaquin Chavez (9-14-3, 2 KOs) pulled the upset over Jessie Roman (17-2, 9 KOs) with a split decision win. Chavez looked like a man on a mission as he out hustled Roman for the majority of the fight. Chavez dropped Roman near the end of the fifth round with an overhand right. Roman aggressively moved forward during the last round but was never able to deal with the activity from Chavez. Scores were 77-73 and 76-64 for Chavez while the third judge saw it 76-74 for Roman.—Felipe Leon
In the second upset of the night, heavyweight Avery Gibson (4-6-2, 1 KO) handed Danny Kelly (6-1-1, 5 KOs) his first professional loss by simply outworking him for six scheduled rounds. Gibson stayed on top of Kelly for the majority of the fight and never allowed for Kelly to put together and offensive. The final tally was 60-53, 59-54 and 57-56.—Felipe Leon
A street fight broke out between young featherweights Juan Funez and Fernando Fuentes in a all-out four rounder. Fuentes (4-3) scored more early on however Funez (6-0-1, 2 KOs) closed better as he began to land the harder and more accurate punches in the last two rounds. The last round was the busiest of the bout as they fought until the final bell. A draw would have been fair, however one judge scored the contest at 38-38 but was overruled as two judges tallied their scorecards at 39-37 each for Funez giving him an unpopular majority decision.—Felipe Leon
Joshua Conley (9-0-1, 6 KOs) remained undefeated with a unanimous decision over Antonio Urista (5-1, 2 KOs) over six rounds in the junior middleweight division. The bigger Conley, who is trained by Henry Ramirez (the coach of heavyweight contender Chris Arreola), scored the harder and more precise punches but Urista walked right through them and went after Conley with wild punches. Conley was the busier of the two and took the decision with scores of 58-56 and 59-55 twice.—Felipe Leon
Egyptian knockout artist Ahmed Elbiali (6-0, 6 KOs) did it again with a perfectly placed right hand to the temple of the game Dwayne Williams (4-4, 1 KO). Referee Pat Russell didn’t need to administer a count since Williams fell face first to the canvas. After a couple of tense minutes, Williams regained his composure. Official time was 1:51 of the first round of a light heavyweight four rounder.—Felipe Leon
Middleweight Kyrone Davis (4-0, 2 KOs) won a lopsided unanimous decision over John Worthy (3-7, 1 KO) over four rounds. It was all Davis as he scored almost at will. Worthy’s best trait was that he could stay upright for all four rounds. Scores were 40-36 three times.—Felipe Leon
It took only 1:57 of the first round for Kareem “Reemo” Martin (2-0-1, 2 KOs) to stop the over matched first timer Taif Harris (0-1). Martin connected with an over hand right that spectacularly dropped Harris early on and seconds later it was another right as Martin went for the finish. Harris surprisingly beat the count however a body shot was the final blow. Once Harris hit the deck for the third time, referee Jack Reiss stopped the action.—Felipe Leon
After a point was taken for a low blow early in the first, pro debuter Thomas Hill (1-0) settled down and easily outboxed Enrique Montes (0-1-1) over four junior middleweights rounds. Scores were 39-36 three times.—Felipe Leon
After dropping the tough Arturo Urena (26-18-1, 22 KOs) in the third from a straight right, Javontae Starks (10-0, 7 KOs) continued his assault in the fourth round. Urena had no answer for the relentless attack of Starks which forced referee Pat Russell to mercifully stop the fight at 1:35 of the round.—Felipe Leon