WBO lightweight champion Ricky Burns (36-2, 11 KO’s) defeated previously unbeaten challenger Jose Gonzalez (22-1, 17 KO’s) by a stoppage after the 9th round tonight when Gonzalez quit on his stool, complaining of an injury to his left wrist at the Emirates Arena, Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom.
Burns did not look good tonight and he’s fortunate that the injury occurred because Burns was getting really dominated up until Gonzalez hurt his left hand. Burns was hurt in the 5th and the 7th rounds. In the 7th, Gonzalez hurt his left hand and stopped punching.
Burns came back to win the 8th and 9th rounds, but he still land much of anything in either of those rounds. He missed a lot of shots and the Scottish crowd cheered him basically because he was coming forward for the first real time in the fight and not getting constantly countered by the longer-armed, faster and much more powerful Gonzalez like he had in the first 7 rounds.
I didn’t give Burns a round until the 8th after the injury to Gonzalez. The 4th round was sort of close, but even that round you couldn’t really give it to Burns because he got tagged with way too many huge power shots and hard jabs from Gonzalez.
All in all, Burns is VERY, VERY lucky the injury occurred because short of robbery or a knockout, he wouldn’t have had enough points to win the fight even if he had won the 10th, 11th and 12th. The fact is Burns gave away the first seven rounds of the fight and was staggered twice during those rounds. After Gonzalez was hurt, then Burns came on to win the 8th and 9th. In the end, I had Gonzalez up 7 rounds to 2.
Against a healthy Gonzalez, I doubt Burns would have won a round in the fight. And if this had been someone like Adrien Broner in there, Burns would have been knocked out. We can pretty much close the door on a Broner-Burns fight after tonight because it’s academic at this point after watching this fight that Burns would have been little more than sparring partner for Broner. Heck, Burns looked like a sparring partner for Gonzalez until the injury.
Burns promoter Eddie Hearn stayed completely silent about a Burns-Gonzalez rematch after the fight, and I think it’s safe to say we’ll never see Burns fight Gonzalez ever again.
You can make an argument that Gonzalez should have continued fighting, but a wrist injury is much different from a hand injury and I can’t blame him for not wanting to continue. He doesn’t need to jeopardize his career when he’s still got a long future ahead of him.
Other boxing action on the card:
John Simpson UD 12 Choi Tseveenpurev
Stephen Simmons RTD 3 Michael Sweeney
Rocky Fielding KO 1 Michal Nieroda
David Brophy pts 6 Gary Boulden