From Turning Stone Resort & Casino in fair Verona, N.Y., junior middleweight Serhiy “The Razor” Dzinziruk and Jonathan “Mantequilla” Gonzalez trudged their way through 12 rounds to a split draw in a bout that saw neither fighter raise their stock much.
It’s not clear what exactly fans expected from the bout, as neither man is all that well-known in the U.S., but even low expectations might not have been met by the muddy and frustrating action.
As is often the case between two solid amateurs polished by experience, round 1 was slow and likely could have gone either way, but the 2nd, 3rd and 4th rounds were tilting in Dzinziruk’s direction slowly, one jab to the body and strafing southpaw right hook at a time. It wasn’t remotely a brisk pace, but it worked for Serhiy, and Gonzalez skipping to his lou wasn’t doing much to punctuate his weight advantage.
But round 5 looked to be the turning point where Gonzalez realize he was the larger man with the better punching power (who missed weight by almost 10 lbs.), and he used it, chucking right hooks to the corpus lead rights up top while coming forward at last.
Quite simply, a slower pace favored the Ukrainian, and he was able to land among the quietude with a stiff jab to Gonzalez’ body, but when Gonzalez did indeed work, the fight was his.
And before round 6, Gonzalez’ corner eloquently implored him to “F*ck it!”, and he did — by pinning Dzinziruk into a corner and unleashing a salvo of looping rights upstairs and down. Dzinziruk came back a tad before the round ended, but in his own corner, the wide-eyed look on his face appeared to be more of panic than focus. The modicum of control that he seemed to have on the outside all but disappeared in rounds 7 and 8, as his sharp 1-2’s were negated and then some by the heavier shots from Gonzalez. Dzinziruk did manage to land a few combinations here and there, just not with the force of his opponent.
Once more the momentum shifted in round 9, as Dzinziruk found his line and stuck with it, bouncing Gonzalez’ head around a bit with his jabs and lefts. And the 10th and 11th were ping pong rounds, with Gonzalez landing heavier stuff and marching forward with intentions clear initially, then walking right into punches and whiffing wide in the following stanza.
Much of the 12th was tussling and pushing around, and clubbing shots from a mid-range, which once again favored Gonzalez, who appeared to take the final round.
The brave souls who endured and dissected the fight closely enough to actually score it turned in cards of 117-111 for Gonzalez, 115-113 for Dzinziruk, and 114-114, amounting to a draw.
Roy Jones made the excellent point that Dzinziruk “definitely has to see ’em before he gets ’em,” meaning he waited too long for openings and wasn’t quite quick enough to the trigger when they presented themselves. But at least he had something of an excuse in battling a larger, younger and stronger foe, whereas Gonzalez had an experience disadvantage… and that was about it. He didn’t press when he probably should have, and didn’t exactly impress.
At 36 years old, it’s unclear what Dzinziruk brings to future bouts, and especially at junior middleweight, because he didn’t quite fight within his division. His only loss is to the middleweight champion, but time ticks away.
The lack of discipline from Gonzalez in failing to make weight is disappointing at best, however, and unless he’s able to take his act a division or two higher and with greater success, not much can be said for his future either.