By: William Holmes
Showtime’s ShoBox series was presented from the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York. The Turning Stone Resort Casino is close to the boxing hall of fame in Conestoga, New York and a lot of the boxing media were in attendance for tonight’s fight.
The first fight of the night was between Jeffrey Fontanez (11-0) and Alejandro Rodriguez (18-10) in the lightweight division.
ShoBox is known for giving up and coming prospects their first shot on national television against legitimate competition and Jeffrey Fontanez is one of those prospects with a high ceiling. He was five years younger than his opponent with a five inch reach advantage and all signs pointed to an easy victory for Fontanez.
However that was not the case. Fontanez was trained by Jose Miguel Cotto but he looked lackadaisical tonight. He barely won the first three rounds by using his reach advantage and speed advantage over the veteran Rodriguez. Rodriguez had a solid fourth round by applying pressure and attacking the body of his opponent. He landed solid uppercuts in the fifth round and the tide began to turn in his favor.
A straight right hand by Rodriguez dropped Fontanez late in the seventh round but Fontanez was not seriously hurt. The last round was a close round but Fontanez was back peddling for most of the round and avoiding any serious exchanges.
Rodriguez deserved the decision but the judges felt differently. Jeffrey Fontanez remained undefeated with a split decision with scores of 76-74 for Fontanez, 78-73 for Fontanez, and 76-75 for Rodriguez.
The main event of the night was between Nick Brinson (14-1-2) and Jorge Melendez (26-2-1) in the middleweight division. Jorge Melendez had an incredible knockout ratio as he had stopped twenty five of his opponents but he has been untested for most of his career.
Brinson looked confident early on and Melendez looked tentative despite the power advantage as well as the 2.5 inch reach advantage. Brinson was by far the more accurate fighter and mixed up his combination to the body and head of his opponent.
In the third round Brinson began to focus more on the body of Melendez and was able to land some solid counters. A left hook by Brinson dropped Melendez in the fourth round but Melendez was able to get back to his feet and did not look hurt at all. Melendez was able to bounce back by landing a hard right hand that wobbled Brinson. Brinson was barely able to defend himself and the referee rightly ruled a knockdown for Melendez.
Brinson was hurt badly at the end of the fourth round but Melendez was unable to take advantage of a hurt opponent and put Brinson away in the fifth round. Brinson once again took control of the fight in the sixth round and was landing cleaner shots and more punches. He landed a solid four punch combination in the eight round and Melendez resorted to punching behind Brinson’s head and was deducted a point in the ninth round for illegal blows. Brinson closed the show in the last round despite being hit with rabbit punches.
The finals scores were 96-92, 98-91, and 99-90 for Nick Brinson.