By Tyson Bruce
Floyd Mayweather is one of the most physically talented boxers to ever lace up a pair of gloves. Tonight, however, he learned that being a promoter is one hell of a tough job, as three of his top prospects were surprisingly put to the test—with some passing and some failing. Clearly, not everyone can be Floyd Mayweather and Shobox yet again proved to be the boxing series that most defines what Larry Merchant termed the “theatre of the unexpected.”
The main event of the evening saw J’Leon love, 17-0-0-(12), dish out a ten round beat down to the game but heavily overmatched Vladine Biosse, 15-3-3-(7). Biosse came into the bout with a reputation as a tough former football player, but his boxing skills proved to be less than refined. Love used his greater variety, athleticism, and smooth boxing prowess to leave Biosse a bloody mess.
The bout started out in an academic fashion that would define the pace of the rest of the bout. Love used his speed to set traps for his patented right hand, which caused a severe cut over Biosse’s eye in the third round that would plague him for the rest of the fight. Biosse, despite being overmatched, made a brave but vain attempt to come forward—although he often did more scoring with his head than his fists—causing a nasty gash over Love’s left eye in the fourth round.
Despite the cut, Love continued to use his greater coordination to punish Biosse, whose white shorts were stained crimson red by the middle stages of the bout. As a result of exhaustion Biosse lost his mouthpiece on three separate occasions and finally referee Benjy Esteves Jr. deducted a point in the sixth round for disruption of the action. Love continued to press the action until Esteves mercifully called a halt to the bout in the tenth and final round.
A title shot is something that every professional dreams about but very few actually accomplish. The bout between Badou Jack and the little respected Derrick Edwards, once a knockout victim at the hands of Adonis Stevenson, proved just how dangerous and elusive this goal could be. Jack, a native of Sweden, was coming off a banner year in which he had elevated himself from an untested prospect to a legitimate title contender. In fact, all he had to do was patiently bide his time and a title eliminator against James Degale would be his. His decision to fight a tune up against the soft chinned Edwards turned out, on this night, to be his worst nightmare personified.
Jack came out in a boxing stance, pumping his left jab and giving Edwards lateral movement. However, Edwards looked engaged from the opening bell, as he circled Jack and looked to counter his jab over the top with a right hand. After coming up just short in the opening minute of the action, Edwards exploded with a dynamite, yet short overhand hand right directly over Jack’s lazy left hand. Jack was put down hard and despite beating the count was badly shaken and would be stopped seconds later by an Edwards onslaught. Mark it down folks, one of the first major upsets of 2014.
An upset of similar magnitude almost occurred in the first bout of the evening, as heavily hyped prospect Chris Pearson was very nearly upended by the Detroit veteran Lenardo Tyner. Undefeated middleweight Chris Pearson,14-0, 10 Kos, survived a sixth round knockdown to take a close eight round split decision over Lenardo Tyner, 31-9-2, 20 KOs. The scores were 76-75 for Tyner, and 78-73 twice for Pearson. Boxing Insider scored the bout 76-75 for Pearson, despite the heavy fan disapproval.