By Robert Brizel, Head RCM Boxing Correspondent
When former United States Amateur Champion Frankie ‘Pitbull’ Gomez of California stepped into the ring for the first time in Mexico for his welterweight bout against Prince Doku Jr. of Ghana at Arena Quequi at the Playa del Carmen in Quintana Roo, his 15-0 record was not in jeopardy. Rather, Doku’s 18-4 record in Ghana was suspect. Despite his six bout winning streak, Doku’s 18 wins were all over fighters with losing records. 13 of his victories were over winless fighters. Gomez, whose wins are over opponents with 160 wins, is in a class above Doku, whose 18 victories came over opponents with a combined seven wins. Gomez, a Freddie Roach fighter, was showcased on Fox Deportes television.
Frankie Gomez versus Prince Doku Jr. on YouTube, Mexico bout, December 14, 2013
Looking beyond records, there is something to say for the fair match up, which has to be an appropriate matchup. This obviously was a bad matchup. Matchmakers should save the promoter the price of airfare for two plane tickets and the expense of an extra cut man. Sometimes it’s better to have no fight than the wrong fight. A wrong fight is not work. A fighter who cannot fighter and who does not know what they are doing, when pushed above their head, can and will get seriously hurt. Good match ups are great.
Pathetic match ups are senseless. In this case, the issue was not collecting a paycheck. The issue was the fighter from Ghana, Doku, being led to believe he had talent in taking a major step up fight, when actually Doku had no talent at all. Hopefully Doku will never fight outside of Ghana again.
While it is bad when talented African fighters are ruthlessly exploited by foreign promoters in Europe and the Americas, it is a darker fate anywhere to build up a fighter’s record and then sacrifice the fighter to the wolves. I can remember the cup of orange juice bout between Ken Norton and 38-0 Duane Bobick, when everyone went to the kitchen to get a cup of orange juice and came back to find out the ridiculous bout had ended as fast it began. Sorry folks, hate to say it, but it hurts boxing fans to see replays of bad matchups with the names changed. To his credit. Duane Bobick beat Larry Holmes in the amateurs. Doku, my friends, is nowhere near the class and caliber of ‘B’ fighters like Duane Bobick.