Gonzalez retains WBO title with split decision win

Updated: May 28, 2006, 1:13 AM ET
Associated Press

CARSON, Calif. -- Jhonny Gonzalez of Mexico retained his World Boxing Organization bantamweight title by beating Fernando Montiel in a split decision Saturday night at the Home Depot Center.

It was the first title defense for Gonzalez (33-1-1, 24 KOs). Montiel (32-5, 28 KOs), also of Mexico, moved up one weight class from super flyweight to bantamweight.

Judges Nelson Vasquez and Chuck Hassett scored the bout 116-112 and 118-111 for Gonzalez, but Marty Denkin scored the fight 115-113 for Montiel.

"I didn't see anything that I did to lose," Gonzalez said through a translator. "I don't know what that judge saw."

Gonzalez and Montiel spent the early rounds trading sporadic combinations, but there was little action and the crowd began steadily booing by the second round.

Gonzalez had a 3-inch height advantage over Montiel.

"I would try and throw combinations, but it was hard for me to reach him," Montiel said.

Also on the card, Daniel Ponce De Leon easily beat Gerson Guerrero to retain his WBO junior featherweight title.

De Leon was scheduled for a 12-round championship fight with Alejandro Barrera. However, Barrera was unable to enter the United States because he had a different birthdate on his passport and his birth certificate, according to Eric Gomez, matchmaker for Golden Boy Promotions.

Guerrero, a bantamweight, moved up two weight classes to fight De Leon and was quickly in trouble. De Leon, (28-1, 26 KOs) nearly knocked down Guerrero (31-7, 23 KOs) with a left in the first round and used an overhand right to knock him down early in the second round.

At 1:50 of the second round, De Leon finished him off with five consecutive punches that included two right uppercuts and a left cross.

In a fight between two top 10-ranked undefeated welterweights, Paul Williams scored a technical knockout of Walter Dario Mathysse at 1:56 of the 10th round.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press