Jones v Mendoza ends in a draw
Rising super featherweight Otha “OJ3” Jones III (5-0-1, 2 KO’s) picked up his first draw against Kevin Montiel “El Konan” Mendoza (6-0-1, 3 KO’s). Neither fighter had a chance to learn much about their opponent due to Mendoza accepting the fight the day before fight night. Once in the ring, both proved to be trouble for their opposition.
SPLIT DOWN THE MIDDLE
While the bout did not begin at a blistering pace, there was not much of a feel-out process. Mendoza pressed the action with his aggressive, come-forward style, however Jones responded well. OJ3 worked proficiently using his jab, while back-peddling and countering.
In the second, Mendoza’s effectiveness shot up and saw him land numerous solid hooks to the head. Jones ate them without much fuss, but it was clear that he had to tweak something in his game. Whatever was missing in the second was not in the third.
Nothing much changed about the overall dynamics of the bout in the fourth, Mendoza still was trying to walk Jones down with endless hooks and no jab. And OJ3 was still working off the back foot. However, now the Ohio natives’ defense was significantly sharper, causing El Konan to miss with greater frequency. Along with his elusiveness, Jones was landing good crisp shots.
NO WINNERS, NO LOSERS
This format continued until the fifth, when OJ3 became very stationary. Whether he was being complacent or Mendoza’s body shots were paying dividends, Jones fought as if he was running low on gas. At this critical moment, the highly decorated amateur was short on answers for El Konan. The overall feel of the fight did not change much in the sixth and final round.
In the end, those two lackluster rounds cost the well promoted American the win. When the cards were read, one judge had it Jones, one had it for Mendoza and the last scored a draw. While this was certainly not the outcome that he wanted, a draw most certainly beats a loss. In the end, Team Jones will have to head home and go back to the drawing board.
By: Bakari Simpson