by Fox Doucette
Regular viewers of Friday Night Fights may remember a fight from last July, the co-feature of Delvin Rodriguez’s decision loss to Ashley Theophane, in which Francisco Sierra (24-3-1, 22 KOs) scored a technical decision win over previously unbeaten Don George after dropping George after the bell to end the seventh round. For Sierra, it remains his lone win in three fights in the United States—he got knocked out by Edison Miranda and fought Dyah Davis to a draw. He fights Jesus Gonzales (26-1, 14 KOs) in the main event.
Of note, Sierra has had difficulty making the weight at super middleweight—his last fight at or below the 168 pound limit (which this fight will be contested at for a minor title) was in 2009, the KO loss to Miranda. As of this writing, there is no word whether Sierra will have difficulty with the weight limit or what will happen should he come in heavy.
Gonzales is the naturally smaller man—he will be moving up to super middleweight for only the second time, his last fight going the distance with a 24-19-7 fighter to set himself up for a shot at this minor belt. At middleweight his fights scream “padded record”, four of his last six bouts coming against guys who had at most one win in their previous six fights. Francisco Sierra represents a step up in class against a fighter who will have a strength and size advantage and should prove more than a bit of a test for Jesus Gonzales.
The co-feature, a junior lightweight battle, will either be a litmus test or a complete mismatch, with very little in between. Cleveland-based Yuandale Evans (14-0, 10 KOs) takes on Emmanuel Lucero (26-6-1, 14 KOs), the latter of whom has been knocked out every time he has stepped up in class. Lucero at least has the benefit of having been knocked out by the best—Manny Pacquiao stopped him in a featherweight contest back in 2003. Daniel Ponce de Leon, Rocky Juarez, and Jason Litzau form the rest of Lucero’s executioners.
Teddy Atlas is sure to point out that Lucero has been in with the better competition in Friday’s bout, but Lucero has never shown that he is capable of putting on a decent fight against that better competition. It is a step up for Evans, but it is a very beatable opponent he’s been put in front of for this contest. If he knocks out Lucero, Evans can potentially count himself alongside the likes of the previously mentioned fighters. If he ekes out a tough decision win or if he loses, we may very well have to question his merits as a prospect at 130 pounds. He will get eight rounds to decide one way or the other.
Friday Night Fights airs July 8th on ESPN2, ESPN3.com, and ESPN 3D at 9 PM Eastern/6 PM Pacific. The Boxing Tribune will have a full recap of the night’s action when the fights conclude.
Fox Doucette covers Friday Night Fights for The Boxing Tribune. His column, The Southpaw, appears on Thursdays. Fan mail, hate mail, and two-point deductions for hitting after the bell can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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