Rising lightweight knockout artist Romero “Ruthless” Duno (17-1, 14 KOs) of General Santos City, Philippines defeated Gilberto “Flaco” Gonzalez (27-5, 22 KOs) of Mexico City, Mexico via 10-round unanimous decision in the main event of the May 17 edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, Calif. Duno landed the harder shots in every round, though Gonzalez’s heart and use of distance proved for an exciting and action-packed bout. Duno won the fight with scores of 98-92, 97-93 and 97-93.
Photo: Tom Hogan-Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions
“Gonzalez is a very good fighter with a good chin,” said Romero Duno. “I got him early, but he’s very tough, so he lasted the whole fight. This was a big fight for the Philippines and everyone was watching. I hope this takes me to bigger and better fights. I’m ready to come back anytime.”
“I felt I won the fight,” said Gilberto Gonzalez. “He [Duno] wasn’t really landing shots. Even though he dropped me, I won more rounds just by keeping him at a distance. The headbutts were also a constant problem. Just watch the tape.”
Lightweight prospect Oscar Duarte (14-0-1, 9 KOs) scored a unanimous decision victory against Filipino pugilist Rey “Flash” Perez (22-10, 6 KO) in his first ten-round fight in tonight’s co-main event. Duarte started off slowly, but managed to drop Perez two times in round eight. The first was caused by a body shot and the second by a series of shots to the chin. Duarte dominated into the final round, which earned him the victory with scores of 98-90, 99-89 and 99-89.
“I started cautiously because I needed to find my distance,” said Oscar Duarte. “Once I found my distance, I was able to land more shots. I saw that I was hurting him, so I looked for the combination that would drop him, starting from the head and finishing to the body. I look forward to working on my craft and moving on to bigger and better fights.”
Francisco Esparza (8-0-1, 3 KOs) of Las Vegas, Nevada scored an eight-round unanimous decision victory against Edgar Cantu (7-3-2, 1 KO) of Laredo, Texas in a featherweight clash. Esparza got the better in nearly all of their exchanges, allowing him to win with three scores of 80-72.
“Cantu has got a good chin,” said Francisco Esparza. “I didn’t really feel any of his shots, except for the head-butt, which caused the cut above my ear. I don’t know what’s next, but I’m ready for whatever. I trust my team.”
Jaba Khositashvili (3-0, 2 KOs) of Akhaltsikhe, Georgia scored a second-round technical knockout victory against Fabian Valdes (2-3) of Huatabampo, Mexico in a scheduled six-round super middleweight fight. After hurting him several times, Khositashvili stopped Valdes at :26 of the second round.
“It was a bit difficult because I was not able to fight for a year,” said Jaba Khositashvili. “But now I feel perfect. I’m always ready and can even fight in a week or two.”
Raymond Muratalla (1-0) of Fontana, Calif. made his professional debut by scoring a four-round unanimous decision victory against Benjamin Da Cunha (0-4) of Ivelines, France in a lightweight battle. Muratalla won with three scores of 40-36.
“I had so much fun in there,” said Raymond Muratalla. “This is what I’m going to do from now on. I’m so happy my family and friends came out to see me.”
Duno vs. Gonzalez was a 10-round lightweight fight presented by Golden Boy Promotions. The event was sponsored by Tecate, “THE OFFICIAL BEER OF BOXING” and Hennessy, “Never Stop, Never Settle.” The fights took place on Thursday, May 17, 2018 at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino.
Romero “Ruthless” Duno (16-1, 14 KOs) of General Santos City, Philippines will fight Mexico City’s Gilberto “Flaco” Gonzalez (27-4, 22 KOs) in a 10-round lightweight fight in the main event of the May 17 edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, Calif. This exciting main event will headline a night of two back-to-back battles between Mexican and Filipino fighters. ESPN2 will air the fights beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT, and stream live on ESPN3 starting at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT. ESPN Deportes will air the fights on Friday, May 18 at 9:00 p.m. ET/ 6:00 p.m. PT.
With more than 80% of his fights ending in a knockout victory, Duno is considered as one of the top prospects from the Philippines. Duno exploded onto the Southern Calif. fight scene when he pulled the upset that turned heads – a knockout victory of local hometown hero Christian “Chimpa” Gonzalez in the main event of the popular LA FIGHT CLUB series. Since then, he’s won against noteworthy ring veterans including Juan Pablo “Lagarto” Sanchez and Yardley Armenta Cruz.
“I am happy to be back in the ring again, and I will train really hard for this fight because I know Gilberto Gonzalez is a good veteran boxer,” said Romero Duno. “I am confident that I will win this fight for my country. I want to thank Golden Boy Promotions and Sanman Boxing for another opportunity. I will do my best to win and give a great show to the fans.”
Hailing from Mexico City, Gilberto Gonzalez will look for a comeback victory after a hard-fought battle against lightweight contender Mercito “No Mercy” Gesta. Since the devastating loss, Gonzalez has been out of the ring for a full year and will look to reestablish his status as a contender.
“I’m excited to return to the U.S. and go up against a notable Filipino opponent like Romero Duno,” said Gilberto Gonzalez. “It’s been more than a year since I’ve been in the ring, and the time off has given me extra motivation. I hope to give the fans a great show.”
The co-main event will feature another Philippines vs. Mexico match-up as Oscar Duarte (13-0-1, 9 KOs) of Parral, Chihuahua Mexico will fight Rey Perez (22-9, 6 KOs) in a lightweight fight scheduled for 10 rounds of action. Duarte’s last five fights have ended before the clang of the final bell, and will be tested against war-ready Perez.
In the night’s TV swing bout, Dallas TX’s Alex Rincon (3-0, 3 KOs) will fight in the California fight scene for the first time when he faces a soon to be announced opponent in a four-round middleweight affair.
Raymond Muratalla will make his professional debut in his home turf of Indio, Calif. in a four-round lightweight battle. Muratalla will begin the night’s festivities against a soon-to-be-announced opponent.
The rest of this exciting undercard will be announced shortly.
Duno vs. Gonzalez is a 10-round lightweight fight presented by Golden Boy Promotions. The event is sponsored by Tecate, “THE OFFICIAL BEER OF BOXING” and Hennessy, “Never Stop, Never Settle.” The fights will take place on Thursday, May 17, 2018 at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino. ESPN2 will air the fights beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT, and stream live on ESPN3 starting at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT. ESPN Deportes will air the fights on Friday, May 18 at 9:00 p.m. ET/ 6:00 p.m. PT.
Tickets for the event are on sale and start at $25. Tickets will be available at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino box office, by calling 1-800-827-2946, or by purchasing online at www.fantasyspringsresort.com.