Joe DeGuardia’s Cuban Light Heavyweight Yuniesky Gonzalez (16-1 12KO) came to Las Vegas Saturday night looking to make a statement against former 2X world champion Jean Pascal (30-3-1 17KO) and Gonzalez made as bold a statement as the light heavyweight division has seen in a while. Gonzalez won over the fans, media and HBO with a tremendous performance that had everyone appreciating his heart, fire and determination. In the thrilling battle, Gonzalez left the ring with everything but the official victory in a bout televised live on HBO.
Gonzalez, nicknamed “The Monster” , brutally took the fight to Pascal in a electrifying swinging affair that went the full 10 round distance with both fighters throwing bombs. Gonzalez never let up throughout fight and outfought and out-landed Pascal, hurting him on a couple of occasions. HBO commentators and Ringside media were perplexed as somehow the 3 ringside judges awarded Pascal the highly controversial decision by identical scores of 96-94.
The overwhelming majority of ringside reporters had Gonzalez winning, some by a wide margin. The fight was a classic in itself with both fighters landing huge shots throughout and both fighters stunned on occasion. It seemed Gonzalez landed the heavier shots as he consistently outworked Pascal and had Pascal backing up through most of the fight. Pascal to his credit landed numerous heavy blows as well but Gonzalez withstood every charge and answered back with his own and applied relentless pressure.
The Miami based fighter made a huge impression on all in attendance including the HBO announcers who sung his praises. HBO’s esteemed judge and scorekeeper, Harold Lederman had Gonzalez winning the bout 97-93.
Gonzalez promoter Joe DeGuardia had this to say about the fight: “Yuniesky Gonzalez showed why he is to be feared in the Light Heavyweight division as he fought a crowd-pleasing fight against Jean Pascal who is one of the elite fighters in the world today. While I am very disappointed that the judges didn’t see the fight like everyone else and award Gonzalez the decision, I know that Gonzalez’ performance in the ring was the story Saturday night.
Yuniesky is an all action fighter that I know the fans and HBO will want to see again. I’m very proud of his performance.”