The final 10 seconds of Ossie Duran and Caleb Truax’s middleweight bout turned into a street fight at Target Center on Friday. A tightly contested fight came down to the final round, the 10th, with both fighters hoping to land that final blow to give them the win.
Neither did. The first live fight of ESPN’s “Friday Night Fights” ended in a 95-95 unanimous draw by all three judges, with both fighters disagreeing with the decision.
“I’m pretty upset about this one,” Truax said.
Duran (28-11-3) felt he was a victim of a bias decision with Truax, an Osseo native, fighting in his home state. Duran said if Truax came close to winning the fight, the judges would have given him the decision.
“I won the fight clearly,” Duran said. “I beat the crap out of him in his back yard. I did everything I was supposed to do to win this fight.”
Truax (23-1-2) hoped this fight, which was scheduled two weeks ago after Duran replaced Derek Ennis after suffering a rib injury while training, would have been one of the final obstacles to a world title shot. Instead, he suffered a setback.
Truax got away from his game plan as the fight progressed and didn’t work off his left jab, which he regretted after the fight. He worked Duran effectively with the punch in the first two rounds, but he adjusted and Truax couldn’t figure out how to break him defensively.
“He was just tight, real compact,” Truax said. “Just a good defensive battle and hard to open him up.”
Duran wasn’t able to connect on combinations like Truax, but he had some of the biggest punches in the fight working off his left jab. Truax was bleeding after the third round out of his left nostril from some of Duran’s punches.
Duran pinned Truax against the ropes on a big left hook to the head in the sixth round. The Ghana native attempted to attack Truax with a slew of punches but couldn’t land the combinations.
“He didn’t win the fight,” Duran said. “I won the fight. I worked my jabs. You saw his face. It was bleeding all over the place. I don’t know what to say.”
With the crowd behind him, Truax got his uppercut working in the fifth round on Duran, who remained high, protecting his face throughout the fight.
“I landed some good ones, but he’s tough and took them pretty well,” Truax said. “I just couldn’t put anything behind it. That’s what my problem was. Throwing one, two punches at a time when I should’ve thrown combinations.”
Truax-Duran was one of eight fights held Friday night. Rances Barthelemy (20-0) became the new IBF junior lightweight champion in a controversial knockout over Argenis Mendez (21-3-1). Barthelemy knocked out Mendez twice in the second round with the last occurring right as the bell rung.
Adrian Martinez (2-0-1) started the night with his first career knockout against Duluth native Trevor Marmon (1-1-1). The referee stopped the super featherweight matchup with 1:18 left in the third round. In the same weight class, Dennis Galarza (2-0) defeated Celiel Castillo in his pro debut by unanimous decision.