Originally posted on The Queensbury Rules  |  Last updated 5/14/13
Since Patrick Connor already had you covered for Friday Night Fights and I already had you covered for ShoBox on an already-light week, there normally would be little need for any Weekend Afterthoughts. But a few contenders of note were in action, including a few who found themselves amid some drama, so here's a drizzling of W.A.'s: Jamie McDonnell vs. Julio Ceja. This was the bout of the weekend -- two contenders wringing every ounce of sweat out of their bodies and fighting at a high level. In the end, McDonnell had just a smidge more technique, movement and overall ability than the more brawling-oriented Ceja, pulled away for a majority decision and probably established himself as a top-5 bantamweight in the process (although it's a thinner division these days than just a year or two ago). McDonnell pulled away in the 12th after a hotly-contested 11th where Ceja landed a big left hook. I did not closely score the fight because most people seemed to agree while watching it live and McDonnell looked to be in control more often than not, although one U.K. paper found the decision controversial, rather than just the too-wide 118-110 scorecard. Excellent stuff, this. More McDonnell, more Ceja. Ricky Burns vs. Jose Gonzalez. This was the most puzzling outcome of the weekend -- one man, Gonzalez, putting on a masterclass of boxing against the #1 lightweight, Burns, only to quit after the 9th round. Gonzalez was absolutely owning Burns through seven rounds, controlling distance and making his jabs whiff short. But in the 7th round both men traded in a Round of the Year candidate. At some point around there, Gonzalez reportedly hurt his hand or wrist, and he appeared to run out of gas, and he didn't look like he took it well that Burns stood up to his finishing charge. Either his true character was revealed, i.e. adversity and Gonzalez don't mix, or else he'll take the criticism he got for quitting to heart and turn into a warrior a la Vitali Klitschko after he was criticized for quitting with an injured shoulder, or hell, maybe he'll do the Victor Ortiz hybrid thing where he's in nasty brawls that suggest he's now a MAN but also does mentally fragile things all the time, too. Burns might've been in sub-optimal shape or state of mind after his career jerking around with promoter switches and abandoned bouts, but he lives to fight another day and showed heart, experience and a little luck can bail you out on an off-night in the ring against an opponent in a groove. Vic Darchinyan vs. Javier Gallo. Darchinyan got revenge for the recently-deceased movie critic legend Robert Ebert against Vincent Gallo, whose movie "Brown Bunny" Ebert and Gallo famously got in a flame war over... sorry, read that wrong. Javier, not Vicent. Anyway, after getting rocked in the 1st by a Gallo right hand, Darchinyan took over and dropped Gallo a total of four times en route to putting him down for good in the 4th round. He might get Victor Terrazas next if Nonito Donaire doesn't, or he could face true junior featherweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux. Either match-up means another meaningful fight for Darchinyan, who is in the midst of his latest career revival at age 37. That's more likely to be cut short against Rigo than Terrazas, but even his recent losses get better all the time -- Abner Mares and Shinsuke Yamanaka in particular have established themselves as the real deal. Kazuto Ioka vs. Winsanu Kokietgym. Junior flyweight Ioka didn't beat anyone all that legit, but the lengthy highlight clip I saw was still fulfilling. Ioka doesn't waste much motion, almost flicking out his punches and standing in the pocket while defending himself with subtle adjustments of his gloves or tiny twists of the neck. He only started getting hit late because he was going for the stoppage, which he got in the 9th off a body shot. God, that fight against Roman Gonzalez would've been a doozy had Ioka's team not turned it down in the name of accumulating experience. Another junior flyweight contender in action against limited competition, Adrian Hernandez, struggled more than Ioka according to Dan Rafael, but I haven't been able to track down the bout myself.
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