By: William Holmes
Showtime presented their ShoBox Series at the Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California on Friday Night, and they had Juan “Baby Bull” Diaz as a commentator to replace disgraced former commentator Antonio Tarver, who recently tested positive for a banned substance after his latest fight.
The opening bout was between Fidel Maldonado (13-2) and Michael Perez (17-1-1). Perez was a 2008 National Golden Gloves Champion and is considered a top notch prospect. However, the southpaw Maldonado also had extensive amateur experience, and was clearly not fazed at the hype surrounding Perez.
There was good moments of action in the bout, but Perez appeared to be winning a majority of the early rounds. By the fourth round, Maldonado had a cut over his right eye, and was beginning to take some hard punishment from Perez. However, Maldonado, to his credit, never went down and continued to fight hard.
Maldonado looked incredibly wobbly at the end of the 8th round but he managed to stay on his feet and continue fighting. Maldonado came back out in the 9th round and was sharp with his punches. Fatigue must have been setting in for Perez in the 9th round as he easily fell down from a push by Maldonado.
Maldonado came out strong in the last round and finished the fight on a positive note with a knockdown from a combination that was set up by a beautiful body punch. Perez was able to beat the count, but the fight ended immediately after he rose to his feet.
Maldonado made the fight interesting at the end, but it was not enough to score the victory. The judges scored it 95-94 for Maldonado, and 95-94 and 97-92 for Perez.
Some in the crowd booed the decision, but Maldonado did not do enough early on in the fight to earn the decision.
The main event was between Randy Caballero (16-0) and Manuel Roman (15-2-3) in the bantamweight division. This fight was not as close as the opening bout.
Caballero fought in front of his hometown crowd and clearly had their support. Roman had fought sparingly and inconsistently in his career, and only had six knockouts on his record. It was clear throughout the bout that Caballero was the superior skilled boxer.
Roman had the height advantage on Caballero, but he was unable to use it effectively. Caballero scored a solid knockdown in the second round with a double jab followed by a left hook upstairs. Caballero followed up the knockdown with a flurry of combinations but was unable to finish his opponent off.
Caballero coasted throughout the rest of the fight and was never in any trouble. He remained the aggressor and established control of the ring. There was really no doubt as to who the winner was even before the scores were announced of 97-92, 96-93, 96-93 in favor of Randy Caballero.