LEMOORE, Calif. (Feb. 7, 2009) – Undefeated Andre Ward (18-0, 12 KOs) pitched a 12-round shutout over outclassed Henry Buchanan (17-2, 12 KOs) of Chesterfield, S.C., to capture the vacant North American Boxing Federation (NABF) and North American Boxing Organization (NABO) super middleweight titles Friday in the main event on ShoBox: The New Generation.
Unbeaten John “John” Molina (15-0, 11 KOs) of Covina, Calif. flattened Ghana’s Joshua Allotey (15-7, 13 KOs) at 1:28 of the third round in the ShoBox co-feature.
The doubleheader aired on SHOWTIME at 11 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the west coast). It was promoted by Goossen Tutor Promotions from The Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino.
After dismissing Buchanan in seemingly effortless fashion – he won by 120-108 on the three judges’ scorecards — both Ward and his promoter, Dan Goossen, reiterated what many have been saying: it is time for the only boxer from the United States to capture a gold medal at the 2004 Olympic Games to test his vast skills against a top-level opponent.
“We’re ready to Glen Johnson, Jermain Taylor or, of course, any of the champions,’’ Goossen said. “I know Andre is ready to come right back in April, early May at the latest. I think Andre is the best, most talented 168-pounder in the world and I can’t wait until he gets the chance to prove it.’’
Offered Ward: “I’m excited about the future. I’m ready for the top guy(s) now. This fight was just a prelude to what’s ahead. The right doors will open. I want to be a seasoned champ and I want to reign.
“You need to understand there are a lot of components to making a fight. First, you need the consent from a boxer that he’ll fight. Then, you need to get a network to buy it. And so on ….
“But for me it is all about winning and learning. I expected a whole lot more from Buchanan, but he walked into the ring in survival mode. He’s a tough, seasoned fighter but I think he read me wrong from the beginning.
“He’d made comments about me being a slick, pretty boy but I don’t know where he got that from. I am tough in the ring. I wanted to set the tone by meeting him in the center of the ring at the sound of the first bell. I wanted to let him know that if I am not hitting him I am still going to be in your face.
“I had Buchanan off balance the whole fight (Ward switched to southpaw a few times) and I was alert the entire 36 minutes. It’s a lot of stress on the mind and body, but I kept alert.
“I know I could have used the left hook more, but Buchanan was loading up, looking to land that one home run punch. But I didn’t want to give him that chance. It’s much better to come out with a win than to get reckless and possibly lose.’’
After a show-and-tell first round, the promising Molina dominated. At one stage in the second round, he delivered something like 28 consecutive shots before Allotey retaliated.
Early in the third, Allotey went down in a heap from a punch he claimed was south of the border. Although replays indicated otherwise, a grimacing Allotey remained on the canvas for about two-and-one-half minutes. Shortly after the match resumed, Molina connected with a picturesque left hook to the liver and that was that.
“I feel like I knocked him out twice in the same round,’’ Molina said. “I didn’t hit him low. He was just trying to buy time. But it backfired and worked against him because the longer he stayed down the more irritated I got. My trainer, Joe Goossen, and I have been working on that punch.’’
SHOWTIME will replay Friday’s telecast next Thursday, Feb. 12, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHO 2.
Nick Charles called Friday’s action from ringside with boxing historian Steve Farhood serving as expert analyst. The executive producer of ShoBox is Gordon Hall with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.
ShoBox: The New Generation will return on Friday, Feb. 27, when IBF cruiserweight champion Tomasz Adamek (36-1, 24 KOs) of Jersey City, N.J, by way of Golwice, Poland, makes his first defense against unbeaten Johnathon Banks (20-0, 14 KOs) of Detroit at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
On SHOWTIME tonight/Saturday, Feb. 7, the eagerly anticipated world title fight between IBF/WBC/WBA 115-pound champion Vic Darchinyan (31-1-1, 25 KOs) and former two-time world champion Jorge Arce (51-4-1, 39 KOs) will highlight a SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast that begins at 9 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the west coast) from Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.
For more information on SHOWTIME Sports, including exclusive behind-the-scenes video and photo galleries, complete telecast information and more, please go to the new SHOWTIME Sports website at http://sports.sho.com.