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Looking Back At Friday Night Fights
IOWA CITY — Frankie Figueroa fought veteran Randall Bailey, whose right hand resembled Thor’s hammer. Figueroa, a sharp shooting southpaw, was facing a big test that would test his viability as a junior welterweight contender.
The first two minutes of the first round, Figueroa tested Bailey as he moved in and out against Bailey’s fearsome right hand.
Throughout the first round, Bailey’s experience showed as he nailed Figueroa with rights that seem to disrupt his rhythm.
With a minute left, a Bailey right followed a pawing left jab sent Figueroa down and the rest of the round, Figueroa seemed intent on surviving.
The second round, Bailey came out overconfident as he thought the fight was in hand. Fighting lackadaisical, Bailey ran into a Figueroa left and he went down.
This gave Figueroa the needed confidence to turn this into a fight and maybe an upset. After two rounds, both men tasted the canvas.
It looked like an even battle and the third round produced a close round as maybe Bailey gain a slight edge as his right appeared more potent than Figueroa’s left but Figueroa appeared to be able to judge his distance to avoid the power of the Bailey’s right.
This had the appearance of a even bout the rest of the way.
Starting in the fourth round, Bailey found his range and tapped Figueroa with his right. Figueroa looked tentative and started to retreat.
Bailey sent out a pawing jab, to find his mark and boom, a Bailey’s right struck Figueroa squared. He hit the canvas on his back and didn’t respond to the count.
Flat on his back, Figueroa stayed on the canvas for a few minutes before being moved to his corner. Bailey demonstrated that he still has one of the best punches below welterweights.
Also, Figueroa showed that he just not ready for the elite level in what is becoming a competitive division.
In the preliminary fights, young prospects had the opportunity to show their stuff. Undefeated Shawn Porter challenged Elroy Suarez but this fight proved to be a mismatch.
Porter attacked Suarez with a variety of attacks as he nailed his opponent body attacks followed by left hooks. Suarez looked outclassed and as time ran out of the round, it looked like he just might survive the round.
With time running out, Porter weaved and bobbed as Suarez missed with his counter only to be hit with a Porter left hook that ended the fight. Porter looked like a prospect who might go far as he showed all the tools.
Mark Davis was gunned for his 12th straight victory against Steve Gonzalez. Davis, a past amateur star, had a wide variety of skills but he was rarely tested in his professional career plus he had only four knockouts.
Davis exhibited fast hands and excellent technical skills but not a big punch. The first round through the last round, the pattern was the same. Davis would batter Gonzalez with body shots setting up head shots.
In one combination, he nailed Gonzalez with a left hook, a right hand then followed by a left to the body and two more lefts hook to the head.
This fast combination featured a triple left hook combination that went from the body to the head. The negative was that Gonzalez was still standing which showed Davis weakness and strength.
His strength was his speed and his weakness was that a five punch combination could not send his opponent to the canvas.
This was a night for prospects.
Figueroa found that this was a distance between being a top 20 and becoming an elite fighter just a bridge too far to cross.
Mark Davis views himself as a potential champion, the questions remains can he actually become an elite fighter with a brawling style without power?
Porter may be the one with the most potential of the prospects since he showed, technical skills followed by power.
As Randall Bailey showed, a powerful punch can build a career and keep it going long into one’s career.