Austin Dulay returned to the win column in impressive fashion.
The 25-year old lightweight prospect rebounded from a disappointing showing in primetime with a dominant 10-round unanimous decision win over Jose Luis Gallegos in their FS1-televised opener Saturday evening from a crowdless Staples Center in Los Angeles. Dulay won by scores of 100-90 on the cards of judges Luis Cobain and Zachary Young, while judge Pat Russell scored the contest 99-91.
Dulay promised a higher punch output from his previous encounter, when he fell short in a 10-round decision to Diego Magdaleno in his home region of Nashville this past February. The Hendersonville, Tennessee native instead focused on quality, committing to his left hand which he landed with purpose in the opening round while adapting on the spot to a late replacement opponent.
Gallegos took the fight on short notice in place of unbeaten Starling Castillo.
A similar trend followed in round two, with Dulay mixing in left uppercuts in between overhand lefts often finding their target. Gallegos increased his own punch activity during the round, though nor faring any better than keeping pace.
Gallegos enjoyed his best moment of the fight in round three, scoring with a straight right hand which clearly caught Dulay’s attention. Dulay adjusted his approach, utilizing more lateral movement rather than remaining in the pocket.
A clash of heads left Gallegos with slight reddening around his left eye in round four, the first of several occasions where headbutts would become a factor in the fight. Dulay focused on boxing and punching in combination, picking up the pace in the middle rounds.
Time was called late in round six after Gallegos leaned with his head, slamming into Dulay’s left eye. A bruise developed above Dulay’s eyebrow, though only motivating the Tennessean to intensify his attack in the remainder of the round.
Gallegos never stopped coming forward, even if often getting picked apart on the inside. The Bakersfield, California-based lightweight connected with right hands and left hooks in round eight, perhaps his best frame of the fight. Dulay was able to withstand the incoming, roaring back with right hooks in response.
Dulay was firing on all cylinders in round nine, his jab more purposeful and setting up potent left hands. The swelling around Gallegos’ left eye worsened, though not discouraging his will as he remained determined to make a fight out of it. His desire resulted in a final clash of heads in the 10th round, though with both fighters finishing on their feet.
Dulay picks up his first official win in 21-months as he improves to 14-2 (10KOs). The feat came through superior workrate and accuracy, landing 170-of-680 total punches (29%) compared to 99-of-589 (17%) for Gallegos who falls to 19-10 (14KOs).
The bout served in supporting capacity to another lightweight battle, with Javier Fortuna (35-2-1, 24KOs) facing Antonio Lozada (40-4-1, 34KOs).
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox