In the main event of the Showtime doubleheader last night (Sat., Aug. 24, 2013), Jhonny Gonzalez was supposed to be another victim for Abner Mares. His chin was shaky, having lost three fight ago to someone who Mares finished last time out. He was 31 years old and had barely scraped by low-level competition since the loss.
But, Jhonny Gonzalez is still terrifyingly powerful.
Both cognizant of their ability to knock one another out, Mares and Gonzalez spent the first half of the opening frame circling each other, flicking out the occasional jab. Mares took the first step, charging Gonzalez with a four-punch combination and landing a solid overhand right. The two began to exchange heavy leather until Gonzalez unleashed his left hook.
Gonzalez's left hook is kind of funky -- when he throws it, it's hard to tell whether it's going low or high until it makes impact. The great Israel Vazquez was dropped twice by this same hook. Mares guessed low and it went high.
Abner Mares, the No. 5-ranked pound-for-pound fighter in the world, went down in a heap.
Showing his customary grit, he rose by eight, answering all of the referee's questions to his satisfaction. Gonzalez refused to let this golden opportunity go to waste, however, pouring on a series of vicious shots. Mares threw back as best he could, but wound up hitting the deck once again in uncomfortable fashion.
The referee had seen enough.
Despite Gonzalez's history of violence, this is a tremendous upset. Mares was a 14-1 favorite in places and was regarded by many as one of the top boxers on the planet. Gonzalez was a name attached to a once-great fighter too fragile to withstand Abner's assault.
This is the reason we watch combat sports.
The co-main event, while not a mismatch on paper, sure looked like one in action, as top prospect Leo Santa Cruz sank the very legit WBC champion Victor Terrazas after just three rounds of action.
From the beginning, Terrazas was all-too-willing to engage with Santa Cruz, who is notorious for being one of the most active punchers in the sport today. Though Terrazas managed to score his fair share of shots, the writing was on the wall in the second, when one of the dozens of Santa Cruz left hooks that slipped through his defense caused his right eye to swell something fierce.
Unable to escape "The Earthquake," Terrazas hung on as best he could before taking one too many shots in the third round and hitting the deck. A merciless stream of punches to the body and head forced him to a knee shortly thereafter, at which point his eye had swollen shut and the referee was forced to call an end to proceedings.
In short, it was a hell of a night.
For quick results and round-by-round coverage of "Mares vs. Gonzalez" click here.