By: William Holmes
Showtime’s ShoBox series was broadcast tonight from the Buffalo Run Casino & Resort in Miami, Oklahoma and featured a main event between two undefeated boxers competing for a guaranteed shot at the IBF Junior Welterweight belt that is currently held by Lamont Peterson.
Newark, New Jersey native John Thompson (11-0) and Geovanny Rodriguez (8-0) fought first in the junior middleweight division. The crowd was subdued at the beginning of the fight but was on its feet by the end.
Tonight was the televised debut of John Thompson and the fight was for the WBC Latino Junior Middleweight Championship. Thompson did not have a reputation as a heavy hitter since he old had four knockouts on his resume and tonight was the first scheduled eight rounder for both fighters.
Rodriguez was a southpaw but he had a reach disadvantage against Thompson. Thompson was taller, quicker, and longer and his lead right hand was landing early. However, his stiff left jab helped him score several knockdowns. He knocked Rodriguez down twice in the fourth round with his jab.
The announcers noted that Thompson left his chin unprotected at times and briefly stunned Rodriguez in the sixth round with his straight left hand. Thompson however was able to recover and nearly ended the fight in the last round when he knocked Thompson down twice again. Rodriguez was barely able to survive. The finals scores were 78-70, 78-70, and 78-71 for Thompson.
The main event of the night was between Cleotis Pendarvis (17-3-1) and Dierry Jean (24-0) in an IBF Junior Welterweight division.
Jean is a Haitian born fighter that currently trained out of Montreal, Canada and he does have a considerable amount of hype behind his name. The first two rounds were slow and close, but Jean was beginning to land his lead right hand and did enough to win the rounds. A clash of heads occurred in the third round and Jean suffered a cut near his right eye.
The blood streaming down his face may have woken him up as he picked up the pace and stopped Pendarvis dead in his tracks in the third with a hard stiff jab. Pendarvis came out aggressively in the fourth round, but a vicious lead right hand landed cleanly and sent Pendarvis to the mat hard. He was still wobbly when he got back to his feet and Jean immediately pounced on him and forced Pendarvis to cover up and not throw any punches back.
The referee correctly waived off the fight at 2:01 of the fourth round and gave Jean the TKO victory.
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