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Jonathan Gonzalez Retains WBO Title! – Jonathan Gonzalez defends his WBO Junior Flyweight title after a unanimous decision victory over Mark Anthony Barriga on Saturday at Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, Florida, USA.

A strong second half surge by Jonathan ‘Bomba’ Gonzalez was enough to spare Puerto Rico the feeling of being left without a single male boxer to hold a major title. All three judges saw the fight for Gonzalez after twelve rounds of action, the scorecards were 115-113, 117-111 and 117-111. The win improved the Puerto Rican’s record to 26-3-1 with 14 knockouts while Barriga dropped to 11-2 with 2 knockouts.

Barriga would prove to be a tricky opponent as the 2012 Olympian from Panabo City, Philippines, walking Gonzalez into counter right hooks and left hands early on. Barriga didn’t have the power hurt Gonzalez, whose three previous losses were by knockouts to bigger punchers than Barriga.

Jonathan Gonzalez made a successful first defense of his WBO junior flyweight title tonight, winning a decision over Mark Anthony Barriga in a tactical.

Gonzalez began to establish his dominance in round ten, as Barriga loaded up wildly on his punches to try to put the fight away, but ended up missing more. Gonzalez used his size and boxing skill to back Barriga off with jabs, and pushed the pace as Barriga faded late.

Barriga, 29, has now lost in his two world title attempts, having dropped a split decision to Carlos Licona in December of 2018 for the IBF strawweight title.

It was a good fight between two very skilled, crafty fighters, but as the fight wore on and got a bit less tight, Gonzalez’s harder shots were able to account for more of a round, as Barriga was no longer making the strong argument that he was out-boxing Gonzalez, which is not an easy thing to do in the first place.

Going forward, Gonzalez seems to have two key potential challengers.

First has to be top-ranked WBO contender Mark Vicelles (17-0-1, 10 KO), a 26-year-old Filipino southpaw who just fought on June 17 in Mandaue City, so he’s lined up timing-wise for the bout. He’s never actually fought a serious contender, but that never stops sanctioning bodies from handing out rankings.

We also could see Gonzalez’s next challenger, when the man he beat last year for the belt, Elwin Soto, faces former titleholder Hekkie Budler in Mexico. Soto is currently the WBO’s No. 2 ranked challenger, and Budler is unranked at the moment.

Watch the fight highlight between Barriga vs Gonzalez down here!

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