In a bristling lightweight bout Thursday, "Ruthless" Romero Duno and Gilberto "Flaco" Gonzalez traded punches for 10 action-packed rounds in a bout that seemed closer than the scores in Duno's favor would suggest.
All three judges scored the bout for Duno, 98-92, 97-93 and 97-93.
The crowd-pleasing slugfest highlighted a Golden Boy Promotions on ESPN card at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California.
Duno (17-1, 14 KOs), a 22-year-old from General Santos City in the Philippines, won his fourth fight in the United States. He fought aggressively against his more experienced opponent but took a lot of punches as he lunged forward.
"Gonzalez is a very good fighter with a good chin," Duno said. "I got him early, but he's very tough, so he lasted the whole fight. This was a big fight for the Philippines, and everyone was watching. I hope this takes me to bigger and better fights. I'm ready to come back anytime."
Gonzalez (27-5, 22 KOs), of Mexico City, repeatedly switched from a left-handed stance to an orthodox stance in an effort to throw Duno off stride. He also employed lateral movement in an attempt to keep his hard-hitting adversary at bay.
Gonzalez dished out a one-sided beating for most of the sixth, but Duno hurt him with a left hook to the body late in the round, changing the course of the fight.
Although the 30-year old Flaco continued to fight hard, Duno gradually pulled ahead, thanks to his superior punching power.
Many of the rounds were close, and Gonzalez, who finished the match with a lump under his right eye, appeared to be frustrated by the lopsided scores.
"I felt I won the fight," Gonzalez said. "He wasn't really landing shots. Even though he dropped me, I won more rounds just by keeping him at a distance. The head-butts were also a constant problem. Just watch the tape."
In the co-feature, Oscar Duarte, 22, remained undefeated by scoring a unanimous decision over Rey "The Technician" Perez by scores of 98-90, 99-89 and 99-89 in a 10-round lightweight bout.
Perez, of Sindangan, Philippines, started well, moving, jabbing and landing rights to Duarte's head. But as the bout progressed, Duarte began to trap Perez on the rope and land hard body blows that took a lot out of the Filipino.
In the eighth round, Duarte (14-0-1, 9 KOs) knocked down Perez twice, first with a left hook to the body, then again with a left to the head. Perez managed to beat the count both times and use his veteran wiles to survive the round.
Duarte, from Parral, Mexico, kept attacking in the final two rounds, but Perez (22-7, 6 KOs) bravely stayed on his feet until the final bell.