By: William Holmes
ShoBox is known for being a program that gives up and coming prospects their first real tests. Win, and you set yourself up for more exposure in the future against bigger name opponents. Lose and you’re no longer considered a prospect.
The opening bout was between Roman Morales (10-0) and Alexis Santiago (11-2-1) in the Super Bantamweight division. The undefeated Morales was the favorite coming into the fight, but he had to take on a game opponent that showed tremendous heart.
Santiago was able to catch Morales with early counter hooks in the first round, but soon after started feeling the power of Morales. The difference in power was noticeable as Morales was hit often but seemed unfazed while Santiago reacted to nearly every punch that was landed by Morales. Morales dropped Santiago in the third round with a vicious right uppercut.
It was never close after the fourth knockdown. There were several exciting exchanges, but Morales was simply too powerful for Santiago. Roman Morales won the decision with scores of 79-72, 80-71, and 80-71.
The main event was between former world champion Miguel Acosta (29-5-2) and the no longer young prospect Art Hovhannisyan (14-0-2). Hovhannisyan fought similarly to Vic Darchinyan, as he loaded up his punches and threw and landed several had ones early on. Hovhannisyan lifted Acosta off of his feet and onto the canvas in the first round with a well-timed straight right hand. Luckily for Acosta there was little time left in the first round when he got back to his feet.
Acosta slipped several times through the next few rounds as they often stepped on each other’s feet. However the bout took a twist when Acosta scored a flashknockdown in fifth round on Hovhannisyan with a straight right hand. Hovhannisyan looked frustrated from that round on, and Acosta won his fair share of rounds with combinations while staying out of range of the hard hitting Hovhannisyan. It is conceivable to say Acosta won rounds five through nine, but Hovhannisyan finished strong in the last round and it may have been the difference in a close fight.
Art Hovhannisyan remained undefeated by split decision victory over Miguel Acosta with one score of 96-92 for Acosta, and two scores of 95-93 for Hovhannisyan.