|Artemio Reyes Upsets Javier Molina, Gonzalez Escapes Duran with a Win
By Gabriel Montoya, MaxBoxing (Oct 29, 2011) Doghouse Boxing (Photo © Tom Casino / SHOWTIME)
Friday night’s edition of Showtime’s
Shobox: The New Generation was a breath of fresh air as the show stayed true to
its mission statement of putting younger fighters in tough and seeing who has
the mettle to emerge victorious. Colton, CA’s Artemio Reyes, 14-1, 11 KOs, was
the first to show the world he is no stepping stone and in fact, might be a
burgeoning action fighter as he took the fight to 2008 Olympian Javier Molina,
9-1, 4 KOs over the course of their eight round welterweight bout.
From the outset, it appeared Molina’s
movement along with his stellar amateur record would be the difference. Round
one saw him move and jab effectively while Reyes stayed on the outside, sizing
up Molina and looking to land some heavier leather. It was only late in the
round that Reyes got in close and landed some nice hard jabs to build on for
In the second, the fight’s geography
changed drastically as Molina let Reyes inside to work. Reyes was all too
willing to oblige and took advantage of the chance to fight his fight. Working
to the head and body of Molina, Reyes outworked Molina who let his hands go as
well but with less authority and power.
Round after round, Reyes was able to
get inside and impose both his volume and strength on Molina who never gave up
but was unable to keep the bigger man off of him. Reyes just seemed like the
man who wanted it more. Everything he had struggled with outside the ring, from
having to become a breadwinner in his household after his father was put in a
coma after a 2008 car crash to suffering an early loss, seemed to come out
tonight as he fought consistently hard throughout.
In the end, the judges got it right
by unanimous scores of 77-75 and 78-74 twice. Molina made a nice account of himself
and will certainly learn from this. But it was Reyes’ night. As he was announced
the winner, he let out a scream that seemed to come from deep within. Reyes moved
about the ring ecstatic and you tell this win was the fulfillment of a dream; a
dream that will allow him to move forward to bigger and better fights. He earned
As a writer covering a sport that
can turn even the most optimistic into cynics, I have to say honest efforts and
moments like Reyes’ tonight are why fans watch and why I stay in this business.
In the co-feature, middleweights
Brandon Gonzalez and Ossie Duran put on a spirited fight as well. Gonzalez
flashed speed early to go with solid movement. But like the first fight, it was
Duran who seemed to land the harder shots throughout. Every time Gonzalez got
off a flurry, it was Duran who landed a heavy jab, a left hook (a punch which
took a few rounds to appear) or a looping right hand. The guard of Duran, which
resembled a shield at times, seemed to puzzle Gonzalez who shot at it with
one-two’s but left nary a dent.
The first few rounds were close, possibly
Gonzalez rounds as Duran’s output might have killed him in the fight. Quality
is good but you have to land in quantity against a favorite. The middle of the eight
rounder seemed to be Duran’s, as Gonzalez had suffered a cut on his left eye
and seemed generally perplexed.
With the fight on the line, his new
trainer, Virgil Hunter, spoke honestly to his charge, willing him forward to
win the fight.
“Clear your mind of anything but
anything but winning,” commanded Hunter. “You need six, seven and eight. Big.”
Gonzalez went out in the sixth and
started to stick and move. He’d land a few shots and step to the side before
Duran could do anything. It seemed to work to win the round for Gonzalez.
“We got two rounds,” said Hunter
after the sixth. “We need both of them. Come alive for me.”
Once again, Gonzalez seemed to
respond. This was their first fight together though they have known each other and
worked together in the gym a long time. You could see a trust there as Gonzalez
attempted to carry out his orders.
In the eighth, the fight could go
either way though it all felt like a Duran win at the time. Both men went at
it; Gonzalez with his speed, Duran with his power and strength.
While it felt like either a draw or
a Duran win to me, my opinion does not matter.
The judges had it for Gonzalez by
split decision much to the ire of the crowd at Atlantic City’s Bally’s Resort
and Casino. Two judges had it 77-75 Gonzalez while one had it 78-74 Duran.
Sometimes you win this one and look
good in the next one. Time will tell if this is one of those cases.
Above all, it was a spirited
televised card that reminded us all why we have a love/hate relationship with
boxing. Sometimes the wrong guy wins but sometimes, the unexpected man emerges
to surprise us all.
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