Guinn's lack of fire does him in

Updated: December 4, 2004, 2:05 AM ET
By Thomas Gerbasi |

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -- Amazing what a change of scenery will do. After moving training camps from Houston to San Antonio after a couple of lackluster performances, featherweight contender Rocky Juarez returned in devastating style at Bally's Hotel and Casino, knocking out Guty Espadas with a single left hook in the second round.

"I felt real confident today," Juarez said. "I just felt that if he was gonna fight me inside, I was gonna catch him sooner or later."

Despite a five-inch height disadvantage, Juarez was able to get inside and land hooks and straight rights on Espadas, who was more than willing to battle at close quarters with the 2000 Olympic Silver medalist in the first round.

Surprisingly, Espadas stayed inside in the second round, forcing the usually slow starting Juarez to get into gear quicker­ and it paid off for the Houston native, as he shot in a beautifully compact left hook to the jaw, sending Espadas down and out for the count at the 2:24 mark.

With the victory, Juarez, who retains his WBC Continental Americas title, improves to 22-0 with 15 KOs. Espadas, the former WBC featherweight champion, falls to 38-7 with 24 KOs.

In the ESPN Main Events Special co-feature, the demons still didn't show up for heavyweight Dominick Guinn, and just as in his March loss to Monte Barrett, he paid for it, dropping a 10-round unanimous decision to fellow prospect Sergei Liakhovich.

Scores were 96-94 twice and 97-93 for Liakhovich, who improves to 22-1 with 14 KOs. Guinn, who had promised to reverse the result of the Barrett fight by unleashing the demons, falls to 25-2 with 18 KOs.

Guinn worked effectively and actively in the opening stanza, using double and triple jabs while mixing in the occasional hook to the body or uppercut to the jaw. Liakhovich patiently waited for his time to strike, landing cleanly with a series of hard uppercuts in the second as Guinn's work rate dipped slightly.

The action heated up late in the third as both fighters teed off with power shots, but neither combatant appeared worse for wear at round's end, although Liakhovich's early work seemed to earn him the frame.

After a slow fourth round, Guinn opened up the fifth with a strong hook to the head, only to receive some heavy blows in return from Liakhovich. Liakhovich was effective in the final minute as well, landing hooks to the body followed by power shots to the jaw. But by the end of the round, it was Guinn pounding his foe with hooks and crosses until the bell rang.

Liakhovich edged out Guinn in the sixth through superior activity, but in the seventh, the native of Belarus got rocked with a right to the temple, perhaps being enough for the Arkansan to win a slow round.

Round eight continued the pattern of little urgency being shown by either fighter and only sporadic action between clinches. But in keeping with the routine of the bout, it was a late power shot that may have decided the scoring of the round, with Liakhovich jarring Guinn with seconds left.

The ninth was a bore of attrition as neither fighter looked to take control in the closing stages of the bout, but in the 10th it was Liakhovich doing the more effective work, timing Guinn with power shots as "The Southern Disaster" again seemed to be stuck in neutral, and once again it led to a disappointing loss in a fight which he could have won with a little fire.