Karim Guerfi (23-4, 6 KOs) won an electrifying 10-round bantamweight contest over Alejandro “Cobrita” Gonzalez Jr. Tuesday night on Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) TOE-TO-TOE TUESDAYS on FS1and BOXEO DE CAMPEONES on FOX Deportes from Austin Music Hall in Austin, TX.
Gonzalez Jr. dropped Guerfi, who was making his US debut tonight, with a near-perfect kidney shot in the first round and the fight appeared to be heading for an early curtain call. Guerfi managed to rebound and the first round came to a close with Gonzalez Jr. indicating to his corner that he had sustained an injury to his right hand. But in a fight that was competitive until the last bell, Guerfi emerged victorious.
The opening televised bout saw Mexico’s Miguel Flores (18-0, 9 KOs) defeat Ghana’s Alfred Tetteh (19-5-1, 15 KOs) with a devastating second round knockout (1:10). Flores landed a left to the body that dropped Tetteh to the canvas and ended the bout shortly after the midway point of the second round.
The telecast’s second fight featured Mario Barrios (13-0, 7 KOs) in a barnburner against Mexico’s Enrique Tinoco (13-3-2, 9 KOs). Tinoco, making his US debut, put up a valiant effort in a bout that was very competitive in the early rounds. However, Barrios took control in the second half of the fight and secured a unanimous decision victory (78-74, 78-74, 78-74).
Here is what the televised fighters had to say about their performances tonight:
ALEJANDRO GONZALEZ JR.
“I was trying to change things up heading into this fight. But my hand was broken after the first round. My mind started going crazy because of how much pain I was in. So I had to change my game plan from the end of the first round throughout the rest of the fight.
“I was trying to not complain about my hand, but there was only so much I could do in there with only one good hand. What I really wanted to do was knock (Guerfi) out, but he was running too much.
“The decision is up to the judges. If they say I lost, then I lost. I accept the decision and whatever the judges say.
“I don’t know what’s next following this loss, but I know I’m going to come back even harder next time. We’re going to find out how much time my hand will need to heal and then I’ll get back to training hard.”
“My plan tonight was to move a lot. I knew (Gonzalez Jr.) could really punch. So I wanted to avoid him landing as much as I could.
“I’m really happy to have gotten the win here tonight in my US debut. I’m very happy for my family and my wife, and now I want more. I’m ready for an even bigger opportunity.
“Americans love boxing. In France, the sport is not as big. But over here I feel the passion of the fans and how much they’re into it. I want to fight in front of them again.
“I hope the public in the US liked watching me fight on FS1 and FOX Deportes. For now, I will go home to my wife and get back to training for whatever is next.”
“My team and I knew we had to stay patient in this fight because Tetteh has had over 20 professional fights. So I was actually surprised with how easily I was able to hit him. But my corner kept telling to stay back and not get lazy.
“I knew he was going to try and come at me with something, but luckily the knockout came early before he could test me.
“My youth was my biggest advantage in this fight. He had experience, but I was quicker on my feet and my jab was faster. I was just too much for him. It was my speed over his experience tonight.
“Fighting on a PBC card on FS1 and FOX Deportes means that a lot of new people are going to see me and know that I can compete with anyone in the featherweight division.
“I’m not saying that I’m ready for a world title yet. I have a ways left, but I’m climbing the ladder and getting up there. And I’ll be ready to fight whoever they put in front of me before the end of the year if possible.”
“I didn’t really know (Flores) going into the fight, so I wanted to start out by studying him a bit.
“I wasn’t even really warmed up before he caught me with the left to the body.
“The only thing that he was really effecting me with were the body shots and that’s how he ended it.
“I don’t know what comes next for me. I just need to get back to training and we’ll see what comes.”
“My biggest advantage was my height and my range against Tinoco. And that helped my game plan tonight, which was to control the outside, use my range with my jab and just pick my spots.
“He was a little awkward in there and changed angles on me a few times, but I stuck to my plan and got the win. The only real challenge was the different ways he was coming at me.
“Fighting on PBC card like this is huge for me and my career. So many more people can see me now. This is the best thing yet to happen to my career.
“My only plan for now is to take tomorrow off and then head back to the gym. I don’t know what’s next yet, but we’ll get that figured out after my break tomorrow.”
“He’s a taller fighter than I am, so I had to get inside and fight at his distance. Sometimes it was frustrating though because I couldn’t get close enough to land what I wanted. He has very long arms, so I had to be careful going toe-to-toe with him.
“I feel good. The fight didn’t go as planned because we didn’t get the win. But this was my first fight here in the United States. I knew I was going to have to compete hard against Mario and I did. I’ll learn my lesson from this fight and be ready for next time.
“I don’t agree with the decision. I thought the fight was much closer.
“I hope that the audience on FS1 and FOX Deportes appreciate the hard work I put in and the fight we had tonight. It was an honor to fight here on national television and I think we put on a great show.”