Danny Vaz da Costa beat Danny Gomez at the Feb 25, 2017, Conquer Fight Night event in Libertyville, IL, by unanimous decision. But it was not an easy fight.
Mr. Gomez enjoyed the support of a larger crowd, since his gym organized the event. Yet, his opponent’s fans were the more vocal group in the first two rounds of the bout, as Danny used his jab and reach advantage to keep the hard-hitting southpaw at bay.
Danny threw over a hundred punches per round and gave Mr. Gomez a bloody mouth early on. Gomez missed when he swung wide, but in the second half of the fight he started connecting with the straight left. One of these shots earned him a standing eight-count in round 3.
An eight-count is not the same as a knockdown, although judges will sometimes score it that way. For that reason, a fighter who receives an eight-count will often make himself vulnerable by trying to land a big shot in return.
Not Danny. Confident he had the fight won at that point in time, he did not abandon his plan and continued to score with more punches than Gomez. Two of the judges gave Gomez that last round, but one of them agreed with Danny’s fans that the FLO Boxing fighter won all 3 rounds.
Danny Vaz da Costa defeated 2016 Power Gloves champion Luis Cano at the Feb 3, 2017, Patrick J. Ryan show in what can only be described as a crowd-pleasing, hard-fought battle.
Cano came out strong, throwing many more punches per round than he did when the two elite division, 132 pounders from Chicagoland first faced each other. Danny expected a change in strategy from his opponent because he beat Cano in that 2015 bout. He had to wait and see before he could adjust, and that probably cost him round 1.
Danny’s adjustment was to increase his own punching output. That was not an obvious choice, but it worked. In the last round Danny threw 160 punches, 8 punches every 9 seconds on average. And these weren’t love taps either: both fighters threw power and were absolutely exhausted when the final bell rang. Danny clearly outscored Cano in rounds 2 and 3 to win by unanimous decision.
This was an especially satisfying outcome for Danny because he was returning to the ring after a loss in the 2016 Power Gloves that was followed by an injury suffered in training. Injury and year-end holidays kept Danny out of competition for three months.
Just prior to that forced hiatus Danny experienced a peak in his fighting performance when he defeated 2016 Chicago Golden Gloves champion Marcos Martinez at the Lifetime Fitness show in Skokie, IL. That fight was not unlike this weekend’s battle with Luis Cano, but at a more reasonable pace, which I think allowed Danny to be more discerning and accurate with his punches.
Danny did not win any championships in 2016, but he showed he has the resilience to overcome adversity and keep improving. And that is, perhaps, the mark of a true champion.