Karim Guerfi didn’t just flip the script on Alejandro Gonzalez Jr. on Tuesday at the Austin Music Hall in Austin, Texas. He rolled the script up and used the thing to bludgeon his opponent into submission.
An injury to Gonzalez’s right hand, though, likely had plenty to do with Guerfi’s upset, unanimous-decision win in their 118-pound tilt.
Alejandro Gonzalez Jr. (25-3-2, 15 KOs), who’s more fond of body shots than a busload of spring-breaking frat dudes and as perilous to livers as a gallon drum of Jagermeister, dropped France’s Karim Guerfi (23-3, 6 KOs) in Round 1 with a thwacking blow to his midsection.
But Guerfi, making his U.S. debut, was able to recover, and from there, he took advantage of Gonzalez’s obviously damaged right fist.
Displaying impressive hand speed and good footwork, Guerfi peppered Gonzalez with combinations, then sidestepped out of harm’s way.
After hurting his right hand—seemingly with a shot to Guerfi's head—Gonzalez began loading up on his left.
But Guerfi was able to successfully counter his opponent’s one-dimensional attack, culminating in an impressive Round 8, when he punished Gonzalez to the body with both hands, swinging his arms like a lumberjack attempting to fell a particularly stubborn redwood.
Despite the pain in his right hand, Gonzalez continued to fire it intermittently, but his timing was off and his punches lacked zing.
Although Gonzalez still pressed forward gamely throughout the fight, he failed to regain his early momentum, and Guerfi pulled away to win by scores of 97-92, 96-93 and 95-94. Compubox stats had Guerfi outlanding Gonzalez in total punches by a margin of 208-165.
As a result, Guerfi's first North American fight most likely won’t be his last.
Barrios, who at 6-foot is skyscraper-tall for his weight class, was most successful when using his reach advantage to fight from the outside, controlling the range with his jab.
Tinoco, who's handed a number of prospects their first loss, was able to land looping overhand shots early in the fight and work Barrios to the body, continually switching between an orthodox and southpaw stance.
Nevertheless, Barrios was able to swing the momentum back in his direction after Tinoco had a slow Round 4. Barrios' investment in body shots ultimately paid dividends in the form of a unanimous decision victory (78-74 on all three judges’ scorecards).
In the opening bout of the broadcast, it didn’t take another undefeated prospect nearly as long to dispatch of his opponent, as 126-pounder Miguel Flores (18-0, 9 KOs) took out Ghana’s Alfred Tetteh (23-5, 20 KOs) via second-round knockout.
After doubling up on his jab and landing an array of left hooks and uppercuts in Round 1, Flores sealed the deal in the following stanza, flattening Tetteh with a wicked body shot in a night that was full of them.