By: Matthew N. Becher
Showtime boxing put on a three card fight from the Sands Casino in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania to showcase some of the sports young talents. It was supposed to be a night to highlight some prospects and present them with stepping stone fights, to begin the next chapters of their careers. All went according to plan except for the first fight, where undefeated Antoine Douglas was completely outdone by a thirty five year old fill in fighter from the country of Georgia.
Tony Harrison was able to get back to his winning ways and possibly ended Fernando Guerrero’s career in the meanwhile, and Julian “JRock” Williams was able to get one step closer to a showdown with Jermel Charlo and the IBF Jr. Middleweight title.
Antoine Douglas (19-0-1 13KO) vs. Avtandil Khurtsidze (31-2-2 20KO): Middleweight
Antoine Douglas had the height, length and age advantage, but none of that mattered at the end of the day. Avtandil Khurtsidze just beat up Douglas, plain and simple. Khurtsidze threw 841 punches and just continued to put pressure on Douglas right off the bat.
Douglas was cut badly over his right eye from a head-butt in the second round and was put onto the canvas from a big left hand in the third, the first time being knocked down in his career.
Khurtsidze just continued to stay very busy, get inside and make the fight dirty. Douglas was never able to get a game plan together or use his strengths to stop the 35 year old Georgian.
In the seventh round Khurtsidze landed another big left hand dropping Douglas and throwing everything he had at him to try and stop the fight, but Douglas was able to hang on.
Eventually the punches were just too much to handle and the referee put an end to the fight in the beginning of the final round.
Khurtsidze TKO10 0:33
Tony Harrison (22-1 18KO) vs. Fernando Guerrero (28-3 20KO): Middleweight
Harrison controlled this fight easily in the early rounds using a strong lead jab followed by a crisp right hand. Guerrero seemed to have no answer for it and didn’t even land a punch in the first round. The same one-two combination put Guerrero down at the end of the second round.
In the third to fifth round Guerrero began to get more aggressive and was able to start pushing Harrison back. But the six round was the undoing of Guerrero, where Harrison went back to the jab and follow up right hand, knocking Guerrero down twice in the round and scoring the TKO win.
Harrison TKO6 1:55
Julian Williams (21-0-1 13KO) vs. Marcello Matano (16-1 5KO): Jr. Middleweight
Julian Williams did what he was supposed to do in taking out the smaller Matano. Matano did show a lot of guts in this fight. Fighting outside of his native Italy for the first time and being the naturally smaller man and lesser athlete, he threw caution to the wind and went out on his shield. Many expected Williams to end this fight rather quickly, but Matano was able to throw wildly and stay in the fight for 7 rounds.
Williams started off slowly, pumping out his jab and was eventually able to break down Matano in the seventh round where he landed a big left hand that staggered Matano and had the ref step in putting an end to the fight
Williams TKO7 2:24