PBC’s “Toe to Toe Tuesdays” was back in action this week, and the main event featured Alejandro Gonzalez Jr (25-3-2, 15 Kos) vs. unheralded Karim Guerfi (23-3, 6 Kos) who pulled off a shocking upset. In a unanimous decision by scores of 97-92, 96-93, and 95-94.
Gonzalez landed a devastating body shot on Guerfi that sent him to the canvas in agony. He got up and had some success landing on Gonzalez. However, after landing an overhand right in the 1st, Gonzalez appeared to have hurt his right hand.
“I was trying to change things up heading into this fight. But my hand was broken after the first round. My mind started going crazy because of how much pain I was in. So I had to change my game plan from the end of the first round throughout the rest of the fight.”
This clearly changed the fight, as Alejandro became a mobile punching bag who simply could not stop getting in exchanges. Gonzalez to his credit was never severely hurt or wobbled.
Guerfi is not a big power puncher, and Gonzalez seemed in pain and fatigued from the seventh round on. Alejandro displayed how good of a chin he has in his last fight when he went 12 with Carl Frampton and also knocked him down twice in the 1st.
Gonzalez midway through the fight attempted to use his left hand consistently to try and hurt Guerfi, but he was never successful. Paulie Malignaggi had a very good point on the broadcast, in saying that Gonzalez was not going to win exchanges with virtually one hand.
It was unbelievable how many punches Alejandro seemed to take. The punch stats were not as wide as one would think, but Guerfi clearly dominated and was the aggressor from the second round on in this fight.
The two judges’ scorecards of 96-93 and 95-94 were both very bad, especially the 95-94 card. I had the bout scored 98-91, having Guerfi winning every round beside the 1st.
There is no way that Gonzalez won four rounds in that fight. He showed tremendous courage and toughness by staying in there the full ten rounds with a badly hurt right hand, but even he would agree that he did not win more than three rounds in that fight.
We will most likely see Guerfi back on a PBC undercard on Bounce or another one of the smaller platforms, and Gonzalez will most likely take time to heal that right hand, as he seemed to also hurt it in the Frampton fight.
Nothing can be taken away from Guerfi, who showed a lion’s heart by climbing back off the canvas from a body shot and remaining the aggressor throughout the entire fight, most likely not realizing his opponent had a hand injury until later in the fight.
“My plan tonight was to move a lot. I knew (Gonzalez Jr.) could really punch. So I wanted to avoid him landing as much as I could.
“I’m really happy to have gotten the win here tonight in my US debut. I’m very happy for my family and my wife, and now I want more. I’m ready for an even bigger opportunity.” Said Guerfi.
This could have very well been a different fight had Gonzalez not suffered the hand injury, but this is boxing, and everybody know: you don’t play boxing, and hand injuries are part of the sport and sometimes determine the outcomes of fights.