Lerrone Richards Grabs Split Decision Win Over Carlos Gongora
For this latest tour of duty, UK super middleweight Lerrone “Sniper the Boss” Richards (16-0, 3KO’s) picked up his sixteenth professional victory. The skillful southpaw accomplished this by soundly defeating IBO champ Carlos Gongora (20-1, 15KO’s) by way of split decision.
The loss will stand as the first blemish on Gongora’s professional ledger.
Richards (29), entered the prizefight coming off a dominant one-sided shellacking of Giovanni De Carolis. With the spoils of victory, Richards collected the vacant EBU super middleweight title. Now, with his conquest of Gongora, Sniper gobbled up the IBO super middleweight title.
Armed with yet another second tier title, the UK pugilist will no doubt gun for more significant opposition. Perhaps his first major move will be to do battle in the states as all of his sixteen fights have been contested in his native UK.
Obviously, this is a costly defeat for Gongora in what would have been his second defense of the IBO strap. The former champ entered the affair ranked #11 in both the IBF and WBC rankings. Obviously those standings will plummet.
The Ecuadorian initially claimed the vacant title on December 18, 2020, when he stopped highly-touted prospect Ali Akhmedov in a shocker. Gongora followed that performance up with a mind-numbing, boring bout versus Christopher Pearson. It will be revealing to see how he and his team plan on bouncing back from this adversity.
In the duel of southpaws the majority of the fight took place center ring early. Outside of this, the first round was most heavily colored by the marathon of jabs that Richard supplied. By keeping the tool in Gongora’s face and on his chest Sniper the Boss was able to dictate the pace of the bout. It was also painfully evident that the challenger had far superior footwork.
The second largely mirrored the first round only now Richards was using the whole ring. As the champion followed he was peppered with shots. Yet, nothing of real consequence landed by either.
The fight followed the same general template for the next several rounds. Richards continued to maintain his distance on his nimble toes and walk Gongora into shots. By the fifth, however, even though Sniper the Boss was still in control, the Ecuadorian was landing harder shots with more frequency. Yet, with that being said, the quality punches were few and far in between. It was clear that he was growing frustrated with his inability to pin Richards down.
During the seventh round Richards changed tactics and opted to sit in the pocket with Gongora for long stretches. Despite being shoulder to shoulder with Richards, Gongora did not enjoy any significant offensive success.
With the coming of the ninth period the Ecuadorian pugilist began the round looking a bit dejected. Nevertheless, he fought with more fire than he had for some time. The extra effort yielded little to no meaningful results.
SEEN ONE, SEEN EM ALL!
Little changed about the contest down the stretch. Entering the final round it was clear that Gongora would need a knockout to win. It was a stoppage that he was not fated to get. Outside of a handful of appealing body shots, the champion was outclassed in the last three minutes as he had in virtually all the others.
When the cards were read Richards was awarded an oddly close split decision victory. It was odd due to Gongora doing so little to warrant getting the nod. In the end, however, the right fighter won.
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By: Bakari Simpson