31.03.07 - By Scott Frake: Jhonny Gonzalez (34-5, 29 KO’s), had little trouble defending his WBO bantamweight boxing title on Friday night, defeating former IBF champion Irene Pacheco (33-2, 24 KO’s) by 9th round TKO, and perhaps sending him into retirement in the process. The 36-year-old Pacheco appeared too old, and too small for Gonzalez, having difficulty matching up with him from the start of the bout, as he was out-gunned.
Article posted on 01.04.2007
Pacheco, a former flyweight boxing champion, who held the IBF title for four years and six title defenses until losing it to the hard-punching Vic Darchinyan in December 2004, seemed to be a completely different fighter from his earlier championship years when he was knockout his opponents. However, Gonzalez, 25-years-old, had a lot to do with him looking bad, of course, with his long reach, and punishing hooks, which Pecheco was ultimately destroyed by during the course of the bout.
In the first couple of rounds, Pacheco, a natural Southpaw, made it clear that he wanted no part of Gonzalez, mostly staying on the outside and throwing very few punches. The punches Pecheco did throw, however, rarely landed due to him throwing them cautiously, perhaps afraid of being countered with one of Gonzalez’s hooks. Late in the 3rd round, Gonzalez finally opened up with his full arsenal, throwing a flurry of hooks and uppercuts that caught Pacheco napping, sending him back against the ropes, where Gonzalez was able to land a number of hard shots before Pecheco was able to slide away out of danger.
Gonzalez had very little trouble in rounds 4-6, continuing his boxing clinic of hooks and uppercuts, mixed in with an occasional jab that had Pacheco in constant danger. All that Pecheco could offer up in return, unfortunately, was a rare counter punch that he would sneak in when Gonzalez would rush in for one of his many hooks. The main problem for Pecheco, however, was his lack of power in which to gain any respect from Gonzales, and thus keep him off. Unlike Israel Vasquez, who with his devastating power was able to destroy Gonzalez, Pecheco is more of slick fighter at this stage in his career and depends on trickery. That kind of thing doesn't work with Gonzalez, no doubt.
(Pacheco, seen here, dazed looking, and dangling between the ropes after being knocked out in the 9th round) Pacheco tired visibly in rounds 7 & 8, not moving as much, and getting trapped on the ropes where Gonzalez would unload big sweeping hooks, one after another, pounding Pacheco’s face. Near the end of the 8th round, Gonzalez landed another one of these flurries, and afterwards, Pecheco looked hurt as he walked back to his corner at the end of the round.
At the 9th round started, Gonzalez, perhaps sensing that Pacheco was still hurt from the previous round, moved in for the kill, landing a long right hand that stunned Pacheco and causing him to back into the ropes. Gonzalez quickly moved in and landed two crunching left hooks, one to the midsection, the other to the head, and then a right uppercut to the head that snapped Pecheco’s head back and caused him to start slowly sinking to the canvas. However, the ropes partially held him up, allowing Gonzalez to throw two more left hooks, one to the groin, the other to the head, and then two right hooks to the head that caused Pecheco to slide in between the ropes, backside first, badly hurt. The referee quickly stopped the fight seeing that Pacheco was finished.