There’re two schools of thought when bringing up a young prospect. One is, keep thier record clean using career-opponents until they’ve at least got ten wins. The other is to throw them in the deep-end and see what happens.
Adrian Granados has spent most of his early career in deep waters. Adrian went down to Mexico City to turn professional. He was in Juan Manuel Marquez’s camp in the lead up to his first show down with Juan “Baby Bull” Diaz. Adrian was supposed to mimic Diaz’s
style. Granados was entered in a highly competitive tournament for prospects; he was defeated in a split decision. When Marquez came back victorious over Diaz, Marquez told Granados when he was fighting Diaz, he felt like he was in there with Granados. Marquez also told Granados that one day Granados’d have more belts that him. Since then Granados has defeated two undefeated fighters. He also out-boxed current USBO welterweight titlist Lanardo Tyner though the bout ended in a disputed draw. Some would see Adrian as having a marred record, a prospect on his way to nowhere. I’d counter this with the example of Chicago’s Carlos Molina. Molina was a 9 and 1, when he took on the most heralded prospect of the generation Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Molina pushed Chavez to a draw. He went on to lose three straight to undefeated prospects. Some would say he was finished but now look at him. Molina just defeated former world titlist Kermit Cintron. He is ranked number six in the world and on the verge of a title shot and has yet to earned his 20th win.
Frankie Gomez (10 and 0 with 8 KO’s) has had a different path as a prospect. After Gomez won the silver medal in the 2009 World Amateur Championships he was signed by Golden Boy Promotions. A company which has come under recent criticism; officials have been acting pretty strange when Golden Boy-backed fighters enter the ring. Most notably the Abner Mares debacle, Mares threw about 72 low blows in a championship bout without having a single point deducted. Mares even score a knockdown after landing a gargantuan uppercut to his opponent’s testicles.
Gomez had only fought career-opponents but after that tenth win Golden Boy decided to test their young fighter in a televised main event in Chicago against Granados.
About twenty minutes before the bout Golden Boy brought a pair of used Grant gloves into Granados’s dressing room. Chicago promoter 8Count had already supplied a pair of brand-new sealed Everlast gloves. Golden Boy yielded a letter of intent signed by Solo Boxeo (the TV company contracted to the fight). They threatened to cancel the bout if team Granados did not agree. (Quick note here), once a pair of gloves have been used, the padding becomes soaked in sweat, it also slowly compacts and migrates from the knuckles causing a much harder blow to be delivered, much closer to bare-knuckles. The other thing is once the gloves have been used they are more pliable. It’s an old trick for a trainer to glove up a fighter early then secretly massage the padding away from the knuckles. Who in the dressing room would complain? Frankie Gomez is a puncher and now the fight would take place with illegal puncher’s gloves.
Granados got to work instantly, he used lateral movement and busy combinations to glide through the first round.
Gomez was surprisingly wide with his punching early on leaving a path for Granados to capitalize.
In the second Gomez dug in and began to score with hooks.
Granados momentarily squared his feet; Gomez leapt in with a snappy straight right that floored Granados at the end of round two.
In the 3rd Granados showed he wasn’t hurt by the shot and launched an attack.
Though Gomez also had his moments and likely won the round.
In round 4 Granados again out worked Gomez using effective aggression combined with lateral movement and busy hands.
The 5th saw Granados effectively countering Gomez’s wide left hook with sharp straight right.
Granados seemed in command through the middle rounds.
Though in the 6th Pit Bull surged as Granados spent a little too much time on the ropes.
Headed into 7th the Tecate Scorecards had Gomez up by one point.
That’s when the bout lifted out of a common close-match and became something special. Two primed prospects letting it all hang loose going for glory.
Gomez appeared winded though he found a way to land this big uppercut.
Granados was unshaken and came back with a clean combination.
This Gomez over hand right had the crown on it’s feet.
The crowd near Granados’s corner began to chant “Adrian… Adrian… Adrian…” this chants then blossomed to encircle the ring, the entire Pavilion roared.
At the final bell the crowd gave both fighters a standing ovation.
Adrian saluted the crowd with his longtime co-trianer Rico Gonzalez looking on.
The score cards gave a majority decision to Frankie Gomez to uproarious booing in the Pavilion. The Tecate commentator even struggled to understand the scoring, especially of one judge Robert Hecko who scored it 78-73. Many have called for Hecko’s resignation. This is far from the first time he’s been blindly or biasely scored a fight.
Even so the crowd found reason to cheer afterward as the highlights were played on a jumbotron screen in the Pavilion.
At first Adrian was solemn watching the highlights, but later he saw something he liked up there on the screen, and so did the rest of us.
Those Golden Boy scorecards were another sad-mark on a terrific fight, but they could not even come close to touching the courageous performance of one of Chicago’s rising stars, Adrian Granados.
To watch the bout follow this link:
Take out a pen and paper and decide for yourself.