LAS VEGAS - NOVEMBER 13: WBO welterweight champion Miguel Cotto poses during the weigh-in for his bout against Manny Pacquiao at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on November 13, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pacquiao and Cotto will meet in a WBO welterweight title fight at the MGM Grand on November 14. Pacquiao weighed in at 144 pounds and Cotto weighed in at 145 pounds. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY -- Arriving slightly late here in storied Madison Square Garden. Usually cards start at 6 p.m., but this one kicked off earlier. Bad planning, Starks. Some have criticized this undercard and I can see why, but I like attending all live fights, so I intend to catch the remainder of them, anyway. As I haven't given up on middleweight Daniel Jacobs -- knockout loss, stomach tumor, whatever, I saw a worthy talent -- I'm interested to observe his progress since he returned to the ring. The other highlights include the Showtime debut of Jayson Velez against fellow featherweight Salvador Sanchez, Jr., plus an appearance from always-entertaining featherweight Jorge Diaz. We go in reverse chronological order:
The fight I missed was John Thompson winning a six-round decision over Eli Agustama. I came in midway through Bronx product Eddie Gomez beating Luis Hernandez in what was a spirited six-round scrap. Gomez controlled the action from what I saw, but Hernandez, who also came to the fight undefeated, gave him enough heat to make it so he probably learned some things. They swung after the bell in one round, and Gomez lost a point for low blows in the final round, but overall he was better defensively, a little sharper all around, and got off first more often than not. He did not at any point do what some of his fans seemed to be asking for, which was, "Knock that ***** out" or "Lick your lips, *****," although he did a lot of mugging for his 14 fans. All of men in the first two fights were junior middleweights, btw.