Highlights: Raul Curiel wins by odd last second stoppage; “Gucci Manny” bounces back in 3 knockdown KO


A bizarre referee stoppage in the last 10 seconds added a little excitement to an otherwise less-than-thrilling Golden Boy Thursday main event, giving Raul Curiel a very questionable knockout victory over Courtney Pennington. Curiel (13-0, 11 KO) was well on his way to sweeping all 10 rounds, on Bad Left Hook’s unofficial card at least, when the referee stepped in on a very gentle backwards stumble from Pennington (17-7-3, 7 KO) in the final moments, even though Curiel wasn’t really in range to strike even if Pennington actually had been in danger.

It’s a tough result for Pennington, who didn’t really threaten at any point in the night, but fought with the sort of veteran savvy that prevents avoidable knockouts. Meanwhile, Curiel was content to pile up rounds without really pressing for an early finish, and seemed confused and somewhat annoyed when one was dropped in his lap at the very end.

Curiel showed a higher gear for brief stretches of a few rounds, and probably came closest to an actual knockout in the 5th. Otherwise, he seemed content to take the fight on Pennington’s terms, and did it well enough to control every round anyway. Pennington did some good work with the jab, but didn’t land any heavier ordnance behind it. He might not have won any rounds, but he certainly deserved to hear the final bell.

Curiel was solid, if uninspiring, in a clear victory. It’s apparent he has a very high floor, and Curiel showed he will not (and did not) make the sort of mistakes to give away a fight.

Manny Flores TKO-2 Jerson Ortiz

Manny Flores (16-1, 12 KO) bounced back as clearly as possible in a get-well matchup against Jerson Ortiz, scoring three knockdowns on right hooks and wrapping up the fight in less than four minutes of action. Ortiz (17-8, 8 KO) went down twice in the 1st, and the referee came out looking for justification to save him once the 2nd round started. He got what he needed when Ortiz took a knee within the first minute.

Is “Gucci Manny” BACK after his upset loss to Walter Santibanes back in June? Nothing about this fight gave us much of an answer to that question, but Flores gets another notch in the win column, at least.

Grant Flores UD-6 Jaleik Bogle

Grant Flores looked competent beyond his age, and the adjustments and effort necessary for him to beat Jaleik Bogle made for a much better developmental matchup than the earlier fights on this card. Bogle (4-2-2, 2 KO) came with an odd-angle attack and a grabbing defensive approach that made Flores (3-0, 2 KO) work in every round. Bogle had moments of success, but Flores was the one landing power punches, shaking Bogle up a little bit at least once in every round. Flores finally sent him all the way to the canvas in the 5th on a straight right to the temple, but Bogle got up and stuck around to the final bell.

Bogle hung tough, fought well enough to upset a lesser young prospect than the one he was facing, and gave a much more worthwhile fight than the unanimous 60-53 scores from the official judges would suggest. Flores didn’t get the knockout, but the route he took to a decision victory was more convincing proof of his prospect potential than most mismatch knockouts would have been.

Daniel Luna KO-2 Alexander Gutierrez

Not a lot to take from this one, other than appreciating the way Daniel Luna (3-0, 3 KO) put Alexander Gutierrez down midway through the 2nd on a sharp left hook to the ribs. Gutierrez (0-3) tried to stand up late in the count, but his body refused to cooperate. Brave performance from Gutierrez, but this was a mismatch for Luna.

A humble matchmaking suggestion… Perhaps the young man is finally ready to fight someone with at least one professional win next time out?

Jorge Chavez KO-3 Marvin Solano

Solid showing in the opener from Jorge Chavez, who looked fluid and patient in a third round finish of Marvin Solano. Chavez (8-0, 6 KO) landed power shots at will, with a thumping lead left hook perhaps the most reliable and eye-catching of them all. Solano (24-11, 8 KO) tried to get something going in the 2nd, then spent most of the 3rd trying to avoid Chavez’s power. He almost made it through the round, but Chavez caught him late with one last left hook that ended the fight.

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