Boxing

Gomez stops Juuko in two!

24.05.04 - By Matthew Howorth: Kingsway Sports Centre, Widnes, UK. A recently rejuvenated Michael Gomez, (31-5-21 KO'S), continued his fistic rehabilitation with a second round stoppage over a rapidly fading Justin Juuko (39-8-1-27 KO'S). A solid left jab floored Juuko within ten seconds of the opening bell and he spent the rest of the round floundering on unsteady legs as Gomez sought a quick finish. Cultured short hooks and uppercuts, delivered in an 'Americanised' way, left Juuko looking concerned, and all the Ugandan could offer back were telegraphed shots that Gomez, employing side to side head movement, slipped easily.

Juuko stumbled and almost fell at the start of the second round, more a case of poor balance than any damaging punches coming his way and one sensed that this would not go on much longer. Perhaps sensing his own impending doom, Juuko chose to go out on his shield and stood toe to toe with the swarming Gomez. A right hook to Juuko's temple had a delayed effect, as the African threw a three-punch combination then stumbled backwards alarmingly, as the punch took effect. Referee Micky Vann made a well-timed intervention, stopping the fight at 2.05 of round two.

Gomez continues the improbable comeback he started with last October's mauling of previously unbeaten Alex Arthur and afterwards spoke of his desire to face the big guns of the division. Whilst expressing his need for better fights, Gomez challenged former champion Jim Watt (a commentator for Sky Sports) to a bet after Watt doubted his ability to rumble with the
big boys of the division. Although he called out Diego Corrales and Erik Morales, they are unlikely to happen in the near future, so Gomez has to keep winning to keep his name in the frame. Next up could be a salivating rematch with previous conqueror Lear.

Undercard action saw unbeaten welterweight prospect Michael Jennings outpoint Rafal Jackiwicz over eight rounds. Initial exchanges suggested Jennings could be in for a tough night against the stubborn Polish fighter, who employed a high guard and blocked many of the local fighter's combinations. However, Jackiwicz's ambition seemed to drain as the fight went on, offering less and less with each passing round. Referee Phil Edwards scored the fight 80-73 to Jennings, (as did I), as the Manchester fighter nears a British title shot. On the plus side, Jennings showed fluent combinations and good desire, but he lacks power and seemed a bit open to counter right hands.

These will surely be addressed as he moves up in class.

Article posted on 24.05.2004



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