Wednesday Shobox Preview
By: Sean Crose
Shobox: The New Generation returns to Showtime this Wednesday evening live from Connecticut’s Mohegan Sun Casino. “A total of four fighters will put their undefeated records on the line in the mid-week bouts” Showtime states, “including Janelson Bocachica (15-0, 10 KOs) taking on Nicklaus Flaz (9-1, 7 KOs) in an eight-round welterweight clash. In the telecast opener, hard-hitting Brandun Lee (19-0, 17 KOs) returns to ShoBox in the telecast opener against Jimmy Williams (16-3-2, 5 KOs) in another eight-round welterweight matchup of rising 147-pounds contenders.”
Isaiah Stern was also supposed to be on the card facing off against Kalvin Henderson in a scheduled 8 round super middleweight affair. That match won’t be happening, however, “due to a non-COVID related illness suffered by Henderson.”
Rising Prospect Brandun Lee Headlines a Quadruple-Header on Shobox
By: Rich Lopez
Shobox has been on a busy schedule so far for 2020 and the show keeps rolling this Friday. Shobox will be at the Grand Casino in Hinckley, Minnesota and will showcase a full card of undefeated prospects. Four fights will be on tap with rising prospect Brandun Lee headlining the card.
In the main event, super lightweight Brandun Lee (18-0, 16 KO’s) of La Quinta, California, will be making his second appearance on Shobox. As he is the headliner on the card, Lee will be looking to make a lasting impression for the fans in attendance and TV audiences. Lee, who is of Korean and Mexican decent, started boxing at the young age of eight. He had a successful amateur career with a reported record of 195-5. He started his professional career in 2017 and has been on the road defeating opponents in different states. He even has fought in Mexico three times. Audiences got a glimpse of Lee on his Shobox debut last year. He stopped Milton Arauz (10-2-1, 5 KO’s) in the second round by spectacular fashion. A quick left jab followed by a hard right hand from Lee put Arauz out. To start the New Year, Lee scored a first round TKO over Miguel Zamudio (44-16-1, 27 KO’s) in January. Lee possesses quick hands combined with punching power. He has stoppages in his last nine bouts. He will look to add another one on Friday. Lee will be fighting Camilo Prieto (15-2, 9 KO’s) of Miami, Florida. Prieto is unknown and has been mainly fighting in the Dominican Republic and Columbia. His only two blemishes have gone to distance. Prieto will be fighting for the first time in the US and he will have a chance to try to pull the upset.
In the co-feature, another young prospect will be in action. Welterweight Brian “The Assassin II” Norman Jr (16-0, 14 KO’s) of Atlanta, Georgia, is making his Shobox debut and will be looking to steal the show. Norman got his start in his professional career in 2018 at the young age of seventeen. Norman has been mainly fighting out of Mexico against competition that has not been so steep. So far he has shown very quick hands and power. On paper, Norman will fight his toughest opponent up to date. His opponent will be Flavio Rodriguez (9-1-1, 7 KO’s) of Los Angeles, California. Rodriguez is twenty nine years old and he does not have many fights under his belt. He will have to make the most of his opportunity to try to upset the younger Norman.
Also on the card will be undefeated lightweight Alejandro “Pork Chop” Guerrero (11-0, 9 KO’s) of Dallas, Texas. This top amateur fighter is another top prospect to look out for and he has sparred with the likes of Mikey Garcia. Guerrero is also a big puncher who will be looking for a knockout as well. The twenty one year old will be making his Shobox debut against Jose Angulo (12-1, 5 KO’s) of Ecuador. Angulo will serve as Guerrero’s toughest test.
Also on the card, there will be a battle of unbeaten fighters. It will be a lightweight battle between Aram Avagyan (9-0-1, 4 KO’s) of Armenia and Dagoberto Aguero (17-0, 11 KO’s) of the Dominican Republic. This opening bout can be the most competitive fight on the card.
Hunter Drops Rakhmanov in rematch, Wins ShoBox Main Event
By Robert Aaron Contreras
Super lightweight upstart Keith Hunter (12-0, 7 KO) proved he has Sanjarbek Rakjmanov’s number, defeating him for the second time on Friday night. Hunter, originally slated to face blue-chipper Malik Hawkins, found himself in the ring with Rakjmanov (12-3-1, 6 KO) for the second time within a single calendar year when the Uzbek bruiser stepped into the ShoBox main event on a week’s notice.
Hunter, competing for the fourth time at Sam’s Town Hotel in Las Vegas, never let his rival dictate the tale of the fight, softening up Rakjmanov with a tremendous jab, scoring one knockdown, and laying on heavy abuse in the final round, winning 98-91, 97-92, and 98-91 to remain undefeated in his five-year career.
After the fight, Showtime color commentator Raul Marquez offered the victorious man high praise.
“Hunter left no doubt in the rematch,” Marquez said. “This fight and the rounds he won very decisively. I only gave Rakjmanov one round. Hunter is a really good prospect: tall, rangy, and knows how to use that to his advantage.”
Hunter did benefit from a large reach advantage: seven-and-a-half inches to be exact. Rakjmanov got a taste of that in their first encounter which Hunter got off to an early, poking at the zealous shorter puncher.
Hunter, 27, returned to his bread and butter this weekend. This time hooking off that picturesque jab in the opening round. Rakjmanov was again seen parrying a few jabs from a crouched position. But when Hunter continued layering his offense with different artillery, the match slipped out of his reach.
There were long right hands that opened the second frame for Hunter. They landed flush, she audibly thudding off Rakjmanov’s temple. The same punch floored Rakjmanov in their first fight. This night, just under the two-minute mark of Round 3, it was a follow-up left hook that skid across the Uzbek’s head and the stout puncher fell over, catching himself with gloves to the canvas: an unquestionable knockdown.
Hunter’s output was ample through the middle stages. His one-two volleys were crisp. But sometimes he overextended himself, especially in the fifth round, wherein he was susceptible to arcing left hands form Rakjmanov. Same as their first go, Hunter ate his man’s best punches and soon Rakjmanov would be reduced to singular punching.
Rakjmanov, however, bit down on his mouthpiece for the sixth stanza. It was his cleanest round, scoring by pitching fastballs upstairs, chopping blows to Hunter’s head. The taller man dropped his hands and relied on elaborate upper-body movement but the round was Rakjmanov’s.
It looked as though Rakjmanov could carry the momentum over into the seventh inning when he quickly drove Hunter to the ropes. But Hunter created distance between himself and any incoming windmill punches. Then the focus from the broadcast became centered around an apparent injury to Hunter’s power, right hand (later revealed to have little swelling but still supposedly injured according to Hunter’s corner).
Those sharp, spearing right hands from Hunter diminished in the eighth and ninth rounds but he was still all smiles.
Well ahead, Hunter broke out of his corner for the final round eager to mix it up with Rakjmanov. This level of bloodrival action defined the excellent seventh round they shared last year. And Hunter clearly wanted to do it again.
Bouncing in and out, Hunter was seen hitting at his opponent—his right hand included. Even when Rakjmanov rushed in and wrapped up the bigger combatant, Hunter managed to tag his clinging assailant, curling his long pendulums into Rakjmanov.
In the final minute, Rakjmanov was overwhelmed. That distance he craved to close for so long was now his worst enemy. Hunter in his face, and the center of the ring, nicked Rakjmanov up and down, hooks and uppercuts crashing into the crumbling figurine.
At a glance, the ShoStats were peculiar. For all his dominance, Hunter only landed 17 percent of his total punches, compared to Rakjmanov’s 31 percent clip. But the American landed both more power punches and body shots, in addition to 500 more jabs, and totaling nearly 1,100 punches.
It was unreal output that did not go unnoticed by either the judges or Rakjmanov who was out on his feet in the waning seconds.
The decision marked Hunter’s second win over the 10-round distance. He is unbeaten, doing his fighting bloodline proud, as the younger brother to heavyweight popularizer Michael Hunter II, and son to their father, the original Michael “The Bounty” Hunter, who battled through the notable heavyweight scene of the 1990s.
Now a veteran headliner, Keith Hunter is beginning to make a name for himself.
Tripleheader Highlights: Big Punches and Huge Upsets
To open the broadcast, Mayweather Promotions had high hopes for two of their associates, Kevin Newman (11-2-1, 6 KO) and Richardson Hitchins (11-0, 5 KO).
Hitchins, for one, took care of business, decisioning Nicholas DeLomba by wide margins, not giving up a single round in this 10-round junior welterweight bout. A former Olympian, he used his fast hands to drill into DeLomba with classic combinations and pull out an unanimous decision (100-90 across the board). The ShoStats painted a clear picture as Hitchins landed 192 of 585 total punches (33 percent) while DeLomba only connected on 81 of 447 (18 percent).
Newman was less impressive, losing in a big upset to the unrecognizable Genc Pllana (8-1-1, 4 KO).
Pllana’s unorthodox fighting may not have looked as pretty as to be expected from someone with the self-styled nickname “Sexy Albanian” but it was good enough to overcome 5-1 underdog odds. It was an unremarkable fight, save for typical Jay Nady antics, but the ringside panel was in agreement, turning in three scores 96-94 for the visiting Kosovan brawler.
Pllana, 26, was far busier than his opponent from the beginning. He opened the fight with three consecutive harsh blows to the back of Newman’s head, to which referee Nady quickly threatened a disqualification. The rest of the way, Pllana never quite got on Nady’s good side but continually stamped Newman’s in the face with an array of winging punches from inconceivable angles, walking the house fighter down in an amateurish manner, often standing upright (arching his back, to boot) allowing his lead hand to dangle below his waist.
The 28-year-old Newman may have landed at a more accurate clip, regularly landing a flickering jab to this man’s body, but was showed zero ability to adapt or command the momentum. This despite having the promoter behind him and Roy Jones Jr. in his corner.
According to the broadcast’s ShoStats, Pllana landed 74 of 602 punches (12 percent) and Newman connected on 96 of 315 (30 percent).
Keith Hunter Gets New Opponent in ShoBox Main Event from Las Vegas
By Robert Aaron Contreras
Keith Hunter (11-0, 7 KO) will now rematch Sanjarbek Rakhmanov (12-2-1, 6 KO) in the main event of this weekend’s ShoBox: The New Generation broadcast after an undisclosed injury forced Malik Hawkins off the card. The action takes place on Feb. 28 at Sam’s Town Hotel in Las Vegas.
News of the super lightweight shakeup broke on Monday. A matchup between Hawkins and Hunter would have paired up two of the most talented and tallest undefeated prospects in the division. After going 5-0 in 2019, Hawkins added his name to the growing list of excellent fighters out of Maryland. A group highlighted by beltholders past and present like Gervonta Davis and Jarrett Hurd.
Hunter, 27, also represents a strong cohort of boxers. Big ones too. He is the son of Mike “The Bounty” Hunter Sr., a former heavyweight contender and veteran of 35 fights, who passed along his skills to his sons. That includes Michael Hunter II, the 31-year-old heavyweight who recently battled Alexander Povetkin to a draw. Michael’s only loss remains a decision to the master-boxer Oleksandr Usyk.
Younger brother Keith last year also found himself fighting down to the wire. With none other than Rakhmanov, who he meets again on Friday.
Rakhmanov, 30, of Uzbekistan, lost the first meeting but closed out the year with a stoppage victory over an undistinguished veteran by the name of Andre Byrd, who had enough after four rounds. Rakhmanov has lost just one other time in his career, also on points, dropping a decision to Texan welterweight Marquis Taylor in 2018.
The rematch with Hunter will be Rakhmanov’s first 10-round contest. A former national champion, in addition to a first-place finish at the 2009 Asian Amateurs, he transplanted to Las Vegas upon earning a promotional contract with Floyd Mayweather’s TMT.
Hunter, born and bred in Las Vegas, met Rakhmanov in April 2019 at the exact same venue, Sam’s Town Hotel which has been a showcase for Mayweather’s stable. So it could be said Hunter was operating in enemy territory despite fighting in his hometown. Hunter would nonetheless edge out a split-decision verdict after eight rounds of tense activity.
A second-round knockdown from Hunter put the B-side up early, carrying him triumphantly over Rakhmanov’s late flurry.
Hunter, a six-foot technician, holds a considerable height advantage over the barreling Uzbek. So he was smart to continually prod out a massive orthodox jab through the first three minutes. It paid extreme dividends in the second stanza when Hunter followed it up with a right cross that buckled Rakhmanov’s knee, accounting for the only knockdown of the fight.
In the fourth round, Hunter could be seen working in an uppercut and feinting a number of bolo punches. Rakhmanov remained persistent, never giving up the center of the ring. He found some success in the opening frame with an overhand left. But was unable to score again with the wild shot until the sixth round. From there the flinging punches poured in.
Hunter had to survive big blows over the final three rounds. Rakhmanov transforming into a crouched devil. Ultimately it was not enough. One referee gave Rakhmanov a 76-75 score but was overuled by nods of 77-74 and 76-75 in the American’s favor.
Worth nothing was the terrific punches traded to close Round 7. The two men actually acknowledged their special rivalry and exchanged a friendly headbutt at the bell, as if to say they could do this violent dance again some day.
On Friday, just a year later, they get their chance to.
Hitchins, Newman Complete Tripleheader in separate bouts
Richardson Hitchins 10-0, 5 KO) is a celebrated farmhand of Mayweather Promotions and he fights in the co-main event of the night against Nick DeLomba (16-2, 5 KO) over a scheduled 10 rounds.
The 22-year-old Hitchins, is a two-time golden glove champion out of Brooklyn, who will be making his 2020 ring debut. A representative for Haiti at the 2016 Olympics, he extended his unbeaten ledger with four wins in 2019, including two stoppage victories.
Having already performed on some of the sport’s biggest stages, fighting multiple times at Barclays and once at the MGM Grand, Hitchins graduated to the 10-round distance in his last bout, also at Sam’s Town. There he decisioned another Vegas welterweight in Kevin Johnson.
DeLomba, 29, seems to have a decent record on paper. He is riding a five-fight win streak. But fighting exclusively out of Rhode Island, against limited talent, he is expected to be nothing but lunchmeat for Hitchins.
Kevin Newman II (11-1-1, 6 KO) is also under the TMT banner and he will be the first of the Showtime tripleheader to compete. Just a teenager when he began training under Jeff Mayweather, he was familiar with the Mayweather stable when he officially joined their ranks in 2014.
Newman, 28, experienced a short setback against California native Mark Anthony Hernandez in 2017, losing on points in a sixth-round undercard match. But following three consecutive victories, Newman exacted his revenge over Hernandez, defeating him last year by unanimous decision.
His opponent on Friday is Genc Pllana, a 26-year-old Kosovan super middleweight who is 2-1-1 over his last four, all against unheralded competition.
Isaac Cruz Defeats Thomas Mattice by Majority Decision in His Shobox Debut
By: Rich Lopez
Shobox made its return back to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at the 2300 Arena. The telecast featured a total of four fights. In the main event and the co-feature, two fighters had impressive debuts on Shobox. In addition, the other two fights showcased undefeated prospects.
The main event was in the lightweight division. Isaac “Pitbull” Cruz (19-1-1, 14 KO’s) of Mexico, won a ten round majority decision over Thomas “Gunna Man” Mattice (15-2-1, 11 KO’s) of Cleveland, Ohio. In the opening round, Cruz came out and put the pressure on Mattice. Cruz focused on the body of Mattice. In round two, Cruz continued to outwork Mattice. Cruz continued with his body punching. Cruz started strong in round three and then finally Mattice woke up. Mattice landed two right hands that backed up Cruz and got his attention. On the ropes, Mattice landed two left hands to the body of Cruz. Mattice got into a groove in round four. He was out boxing Cruz and using his jab well. At the moment, Cruz seemed puzzled by the movement of Mattice. Round five was a close round as both fighters had good exchanges in the center of the ring. Mattice seemed to have edged out Cruz in the round. Cruz picked up the pace in round six. At the end of the round, Mattice landed a right hand on Cruz and Cruz responded with a counter left hook. As round seven started, Mattice looked tired. Cruz landed a left hook that staggered Mattice. Mattice then grabbed Cruz to survive the round. At the end of the round, Cruz landed an overhand right that hurt Mattice once again. In round eight, Cruz continued his assault with body punches and was also landing uppercuts. Mattice survived the round. Mattice came back a little in the ninth round but Cruz still outworked him. In the final round, Mattice got a second wind. He stood in the middle of the ring and landed good combinations to the head of Cruz. Mattice outworked Cruz in the final round but it was not enough. Cruz won the fight by majority decision with scores of 95-95 and 96-94 (twice).
Mattice who had become a staple of Shobox came up short in the fight and was outworked. The twenty-one year old Cruz made an impressive Shobox debut and showed why he is called the Pitbull.
The co-feature was in the super bantamweight division. Raeese “The Beast” Aleem (16-0, 10 KO’s) of Las Vegas, Nevada scored a fourth round TKO over Adam “Mantequilla” Lopez (19-4-2, 9 KO’s) of San Antonio, Texas. In the opening round, Aleem showed off his speed and landed good combinations to the head and body of Lopez. Aleem continued to display his speed in round two. Aleem moved well and was giving angles. Lopez just kept following Aleem around the ring. In round three, Aleem let his hands go more and was putting a beating on Lopez. Lopez tried his best but was too slow for the quicker Aleem. Aleem closed the show in round four. He threw power shots that hurt Lopez. Lopez was busted up and bleeding from the nose. The corner of Lopez saw enough and stopped the fight. The time of the stoppage was 1:31 of the fourth round.
Like Isaac Cruz in the main event, Aleem was also successful in his Shobox debut. Look to see Aleem in Shobox again.
In a super lightweight contest, Montana “Too Pretty” Love (13-0-1, 6 KO’s) of Cleveland, Ohio scored an eighth round unanimous decision over Jerrico “Hands of Stone” Walton (16-1, 7 KO’s) of Houston, Texas. It was a battle of undefeated fighters. Love took control of the first round by landing straight punches to the head and body of Walton. In round two, Love landed a left hand followed by a right hook that staggered Walton. Walton grabbed on to Love and managed to survive the round. Walton would have a good comeback in round three. Walton landed a good overhand right on Love. In round four, Walton landed a right hand that wobbled Love. This time Love was forced to grab and hold onto Walton. Round five was a good round for Walton as he pushed back Love to the ropes. Walton also landed good body punches on Love. Walton continued the pressure in round six and seemed to edge out Love in the round. Love turned things back in his favor in round seven. He landed a right hand that stunned Walton. Walton managed to survive the round. In the final round, Walton was fatigued and Love stayed busy and boxed well. The scores were 78-74, and 77-75 (twice) all for Love.
The opening bout of the telecast was in the super welterweight division between two unbeaten fighters. Joseph “Action” Jackson (16-0, 12 KO’s) of Greensboro, North Carolina won an eighth round unanimous decision over Derrick “D-Man” Colemon Jr (11-1, 8 KO’s) of Detroit, Michigan. Jackson started off quick in the opening round throwing a lot of punches. Most of the punches were blocked by Colemon. Colemon landed a left jab and right hand that were the most significant punches of the round. In round two, both fighters exchanged punches well. During a moment, both fighters threw and landed left hooks with Colemon getting the better of the exchange. Colemon put the pressure more in round three, going to the body of Jackson. Colemon also landed lead right hands to the head of Jackson. Round four was a better round for Jackson. Jackson did a good job of landing counter punches on the charging Colemon. Jackson displayed good boxing in round five. He showed side to side movement and out boxed Colemon. Jackson continued to out box Colemon in round six. Jackson was landing good combinations to the head of Colemon. In round seven, Jackson landed a left hook that hurt Colemon which made Colemon back up. Jackson then dug punches to the body of Colemon. In the final round, Jackson dominated Colemon with body punches and straight head shots. The scores were 77-75, 80-72 and 78-74 all for Jackson.
Vladimir Shishkin Dominates Ulises Sierra, Ergashev Steals the Show
By Rich Lopez
Shobox: The New Generation started the New Year off in Sloan, Iowa to showcase upcoming prospects. Shobox is celebrating their 19th year and last night’s show was its 250th episode. Even though the weather was treacherous in Sloan, Iowa, fans still came out for the fights to witness the future in boxing.
The main event was between two undefeated fighters. Vladimir Shishkin (10-0, 6 KO’s) of Russia, made his second appearance on Shobox and it was a successful one. He defeated Ulises Sierra (15-1-2, 9 KO’s) of San Diego, California by a ten round unanimous decision in the super middleweight division. As the fight began, Shishkin started out fast and he put the pressure on Sierra. He threw punches to the head and body of Sierra. Sierra was also having some success by landing good counter shots but the Russian was outworking Sierra. Shishkin continued this in round two while Sierra was still having his moments with some good counter right hands. Round three was more of the same with Shishkin landing combinations and he was the busier of the two fighters. Sierra was only landing one shot at a time.
Sierra did pick up the pace in round four and he had his best round. He outworked Shishkin and displayed good defense by blocking his shots. Sierra started round five well with good combinations to the head of Shishkin, but it was short lived. Shishkin finished the round strong and backed up Sierra. As round six got underway, Sierra was looking more tired. Shishkin was mixing straight punches to the head and body of Sierra. In rounds seven and eight, Shishkin continued the attack backing up and breaking Sierra down. Sierra landed punches in spots but could not keep up the pace of Shishkin. Shishkin threw power shots in round nine and was landing hard right hands to the head of Sierra. It looked like Sierra was ready to go as he was taking a lot of damage. In the last round, Shishkin went for the knockout but Sierra hung in tough and went to distance. The final scores were 100-90, 99-91 (twice) all for Shishkin.
Shishkin dominated the fight and Sierra had his moments. The difference was Shishkin had a better work rate. Expect to see Shishkin again on Shobox as he steps up the competition.
The biggest moment of the telecast was in the co-feature. Hard hitting super lightweight Shohjahon “Descendant of Tamerlane”Ergashev (18-0, 16 KO’s) of Uzbekistan, showed why he may be the future of the division. He destroyed Adrian “Diamante”Estrella (29-5, 24 KO’s) of Mexico in the 1st round for his fourth appearance on Shobox. Even though Estrella is from the smaller weight classes, he brought in power and experience to test Ergashev. None of that mattered in this fight. As expected, Ergashev was full of energy once the bell rang for the 1st round. The southpaw was already looking to set up the knockout shot on Estrella. He already had Estrella backing up. All of sudden, Ergashev landed a powerful left hook to the liver of Estrella. Estrella immediately dropped on pain and could not get up. He was counted out. The knockout came at 1:32 of the 1st round.
What a statement by Ergashev and we have a new player in the super lightweight division which is wide open. It was expected for Ergashev to win this fight but the way he did it was impressive. Ergashev is entertaining and he goes for the knockout in every fight. Expect to see him back real soon as he continues to rise in the rankings
In the opening bout of the telecast, Jarico “The Great Lakes King” O’Quinn (13-0-1, 8 KO’s) of Detroit, Michigan was successful in his Shobox debut. He defeated Oscar “Chapito”Vasquez (15-3-1, 3 KO’s) of Reno, Nevada by an eight roundunanimous decision in the bantamweight division. O’Quinn got to a good start in the beginning of the 1st round, but Vasquez closed the gap. Vasquez was successful in the inside and landedgood right hands to the head of O’Quinn. In rounds two and three, both fighters were landing good punches on each other. The difference was O’Quinn was a little busier of the two fighters. The fighters were only throwing hooks, punches and no jabs. Vasquez had a good round four as he backed up O’Quinn and he landed some good right hands. O’Quinn got busier in round five and backed up Vasquez. In spots, Vasquez would land a right hand on O’Quinn but he lacked punching power. Vasquezstarted round six well, but O’Quinn picked up the pace and landed good combinations. In round seven, O’Quinn kept the fight in the middle of the ring and kept his combinations going. O’Quinn went for the knockout in the final round by throwing all power shots. He did land a right hand that stunned Vasquez. O’Quinn also landed a few hard body shots to finish the round. All the judges scored it the same at 79-73 for O’Quinn.
It was a one sided fight but a very entertaining one. O’Quinn showed his skills and speed while Vasquez showed his toughness. O’Quinn looked good overall and he would need to improve his defense but that will come with time.
Shobox Begins the New Year with a Tripleheader Headlined by Hard-Hitting Shohjahon Ergashev
By: Rich Lopez
Shobox: The New Generation which showcases upcoming prospects and rising contenders had a busy 2019 schedule. Shobox will look to continue their busy schedule for the 2020 year and their first card of the year should start with a bang. The card will take place at the Winnavegas Casino & Resort in Sloan, Iowa.
In the main event, super lightweight knockout sensation Shohjahon Ergashev (17-0, 15 KO’s) of Uzbekistan, will look tostart the year with another win and another knockout. The 28 year old southpaw was an outstanding amateur with a record of 202-14 and has been a professional for four years. He currently trains out of Detroit, Michigan at the famed Kronx Gym with trainer Sugarhill Steward. Since he started his career in 2015, he has had an impressive run. In 2018, he made his U.S. TV debut on Shobox by stopping another undefeated fighter in Sonny Fredrickson. Since then he has fought on some big undercards in the U.S. and is moving up the rankings. Early last year, he was forced to go to distance against the undefeated Mykal Fox. The southpaw had a hard time against the taller Fox, but did enough to win the fight. Ergashev ended 2019 by stopping hard punching Abdiel Ramirez in the fourth round. Simply put, Ergashev is on the rise and is must see TV due to his exciting style. This Friday, Ergashev will be making his fourth appearance on Shobox against Adrian Estrella (29-4, 24 KO’s) of Mexico. Estrella brings experience to the ring as he is a nine year pro. Also like Ergashev, he also has punching power. Expect fireworks in this fight and it should not last the distance.
In the co-feature, undefeated super middleweight Vladimir Shishkin (8-0, 6 KO’s) of Russia, will be making his second appearance on Shobox. Shishkin also trains out of Detroit, Michigan at the Kronx Gym. Shishkin who has been a professional since 2016, made his U.S. debut last year and made quite a statement. He fought DeAndre Ware and broke his opponent down which led to an eighth round TKO for the Russian. His opponent will be undefeated Ulises Sierra (15-0-2, 9 KO’s) of Mexico. Shishkin will be looking to win inspectacular fashion on Friday. Sierra on the other hand will be looking to make a name of his own if he can get the win.
To begin the Shobox telecast, undefeated super flyweight JaricoO’Quinn (13-0-1, 8 KO’s) of Detroit, Michigan, will look to steal the show. Since his pro debut in 2015, this rising prospect has been on a busy schedule. Last year, he defeated fellow Detroit native James Smith. O’Quinn captured the WBO International Super Flyweight Title with the victory. O’Quinn hopes to impress again and bring more attention to the smaller weight division. O’Quinn will face Oscar Vasquez (15-2-1, 3 KO’s) of Sun Valley, Nevada.
Xavier Martinez Scores Quick Knockout on ShoBox
By: Ken Hissner
On Friday night Mayweather Promotions put on a card at Sam’s Town Hotel and Gambling Hall in Las Vegas, Nevada. This card was broadcast on Showtime and featured Xavier Martinez scoring a sensational knockout over Jessie Cris Rosales.
Super Featherweight Xavier Martinez improved his record to 15-0 (11) when he scored the knockout over Filipino boxer Jessie Rosales, 22-4-1(10) when he scorched him at 0:21 of the first round.
Martinez stung Rosales about ten seconds from the start and immediately followed it with a left hook and right on the chin of Rosales and down he went. Referee Vic Drakulich immediately waved it off.
Photo Credit: Showtime Boxing Twitter Account
In the co-feature Welterweight 2016 Olympian Richardson Hitchins, 10-0 (5), #144, of Brooklyn, NY, defeated Kevin “Thunder Storm” Johnson, 7-2 (4), #143 1/4, Las Vegas, NV, over 10 rounds.
In the first round Hitchins was much stronger outlanding Johnson. In the second round it was another close one with Hitchins countering well. In the third round after a minute of action Johnson landed a solid right to the chin of Hitchins. It was a close round with Johnson getting the edge.
In the fourth round the closeness of the rounds continued. Hitchins seemed the stronger of the two landing more than a jab at a time like Johnson. In the fifth round Johnson landed a looping right to the chin halfway through the first minute. Hitchins continued to outwork Johnson the rest of the way.
In the sixth round halfway through the round Hitchins landed several combinations while Johnson depended on his jab. In the seventh round Johnson kept his distance instead of getting closer inside. Halfway through the round Johnson finally got inside landing four consecutive body shots. Hitchins showed his power in his right whether countering or leading with it.
In the eighth round Johnson had his mouth opened yet made it close by the end of the round which could have gone either way. In the ninth round Johnson sencing he was behind became more aggressive. In a close round Johnson may have won it.
In the tenth and final round at the halfway mark Johnson landed several rights on the chin of Hitchins. Sensing he may need a knockout to win Johnson outlanded Hitchins.
Scores were 96-94, 97-93 twice.
In a rematch Super Middleweight Mark “Madman” Anthony Hernandez, 14-3-1 (3), #165, of Fresno, CA, lost to Kevin “The Second Coming” Newman II, 11-1-1 (6), #165, of Las Vegas, NV, getting his revenge over 8 rounds.
In the first two rounds Newman seemed to win with his hand speed and footwork.
In the third round Hernandez pinned Newman against the ropes but Newman returned as many body punches as Hernandez. Newman’s jab seemed to be the difference of the two. In the fourth round Hernandez fought better but Newman’s hand speed kept him ahead.
In the fifth round there was too much holding on both parts. Hernandez continued to be the aggressor for the most part. In the sixth round Newman rocked Hernandez in the first minute with a right uppercut to the chin. Newman finished strong possibly enough to win the round. The action slowed down in that round.
In the seventh round Newman seemed to get his “second wind” being more accurate. A Newman right uppercut to the chin of Hernandez rocked him. Newman had a right blocked in the final minute but followed with a left to the chin of Hernandez. In the eighth and final round in the first minute Hernandez landed a solid left hook to the chin of Newman. Seconds later Newman came back with a flurry of punches. Halfway through the round Newman landed a double left hook to the body and head. It looked like Newman got his revenge.
Scores were 80-72 and 79-73 twice.
Flyweight Ava Knight, 19-2-5 (5), of Las Vegas, NV, defeated Colombian Luna del Mar Torroba, 12-10-3 (2), of LaPampa, ARG, over 8 rounds.
Super Flyweight prospect Dylan Price, 10-0 (7), of Sicklerville, NJ, stopped Elias Joaquino, 12-5-2 (6), of Cebu, PH, at 1:48 of the 6th of an 8 rounder.
Lightweight Cris Reyes, 9-0 (8), of Renton, WA, stopped Recky “The Terror” Dulay, 11-7 (8), of Makati City, PH, at 1:55 of the 4th of an 8.
Lightweight Rolando “Rolly” Romero, 10-0 (9), #138, of Las Vegas, NV, knocked out Juan Carlos Cordones, 14-2 (9), #141 1/2, of La Romana, DR, at 2:14 of the first round in a 6 rounder.
In the first round a left hook from Romero dropped Cordones getting up quickly receiving an 8-count from Referee Robert Byrd. Half a minute later a right on the chin dropped Cordones a second time. He showed little effort to beat the count.
Super Featherweight Malik Warren, 2-0 (2), of Baltimore, MD, stopped Shauncy Perry, 0-1 (0), of Jonesboro, AR, at 1:09 of the second in a 4 rounder.
Mattice Upsets Dutchover While Villa Wins in Texas
By: Ken Hissner
Thompson Boxing Promotions – Ken Thompson, Banner Promotions – Art Pelullo and Mikey Garcia Promotions Friday promoter a card from the La Hacienda Event Center on ShoBox The New Generation.
In the Main Event Lightweight Michael “West Texas Warrior” Dutchover, 13-1 (10), 134 1/4, of Sante Fe Springs, CA, was stopped by Thomas “Gunna Man, 15-1-1 (11), of Cleveland, OH, for the vacant WBO inter-continental title, at 1:33 of the eighth round.
Photo Credit Showtime Boxing Twitter Account
In the first round there was plenty of action in a close round. In the second round within 10 seconds Dutchover landed an overhand right on the chin of Mattice stopping him in his tracks. The local fans were loudly behind the Midland born Dutchover. In the final seconds Dutchover drove Mattice into a neutral corner with a solid left hook to the chin.
In the third round it was a good action close fight with both taking turns getting the better of the action. In the fourth round the action continued with Dutchover taking a slight edge. In the fifth round of another action round Mattice looked like he had the edge.
In the sixth round Mattice used his jab well. Inside the final minute of the round Mattice turned his head and got hit on the back of his head by Dutchover. In the seventh round the closeness of the fight continued with Dutchover busier while Mattice ended the round with a flurry.
In the eighth round Mattice started well cutting Dutchover along the left eyebrow.
The referee Robert Velez called the ring physician in who stopped the fight due to the cut.
Dutchover was ahead on two of the three cards while this writer had Mattice ahead 4-3 in rounds.
In the co-feature WBO Int’l Featherweight champion southpaw Ruben “RV4” Villa, 17-0 (5), 125 1/4, of Salinas, CA, defeated Jose “El Ejecutor” Vivas, 17-1 (9), 126, of Montebello, MEX, over 10.
In the first round Vivas pressed the action working the body of Villa. In the second round Villa moved well landing his jab landing a left on the chin knocking down Vivas after a minute of the round. Vivas was warned for hitting behind the head and hitting on the break by referee Robert Velez. The round went beyond 3 minutes going near 4 minutes.
In the third round Villa continued controlling the fight countering well. In the fourth round Vivas got away hitting behind the head and on the break without a warning in a close round.
In the fifth round Villa became the aggressor. Vivas continued his dirty tactics being frustrated with the quicker hands of Villa landing his punches at a high percentage. Prior to starting the sixth round the referee noticed one of the ring ropes broke causing a long delay of over 10 minutes to start the round.
In the sixth round Vivas again became the aggressor walking into counter punches by Villa. In the seventh round Vivas kept getting away with hitting behind the head and landing a low blow. The referee finally stopped the action warning Vivas of hitting behind the head which he has been doing the entire fight.
In the eight round Villa was landing quite a bit to the head with little return from Vivas during the first half of the round. Vivas did well in the second half continuing his rough tactics without warning. It was a close round.
In the ninth round Villa kept the jab followed by a left throughout the round. In the tenth and final round Villa kept boxing well despite the continuous dirty tactics by Vivas.
Scores were 100-89 by all three judges while this writer had it 98-91.
Super Lightweight Brandun Lee, 17-0 (15), 142 1/2, La Quinta, CA, knocked out Milton Arauz, 10-2-1 (5), 142, of Jinotega, Nicaragua, at 2:59 of the second round in a scheduled 8.
In the first round Lee had his left to his side using an effective jab. In the last 30 seconds of the round Lee landed half a dozen punches without return until Arauz grabbed him almost taking him to the canvas.
In the second round Lee continued to control and in the final minute a right to the chin of Arauz knocked out his mouthpiece. A right hand from Lee in the final seconds on the chin of Arauz and down he went. He struggled to get up but fell to the canvas forcing referee Daniel Sandoval to immediately wave the fight over.
Welterweight Vito “White Majic” Mielnicki, Jr., 2-0 (2), of Roseland, NJ, knocked out Caleb Bailey, 0-2 (0), of Salisberry, NC, at 1:00 of the first round.
In the first round a left hook on the chin from Mielnicki dropped Bailey. A bit later a right hand on the chin put Bailey down for the count. The 17 year-old Mielnicki had quite an outstanding amateur career.
Unbeaten Ruben Villa to Face Jose Durantes on Showtime
By: Ken Hissner
Thompson Boxing Promotions and Banner Promotions will put on a fight card from the La Hacienda Event Center in Midland Texas. The main event will be between two unbeaten featherweights, WBO International Champion Ruben “RV4” Villa (16-0, 5kos) against JOse Enrique “El Ejecutor” Durantes Vivas (17-0, 9 kos) of Montebello, Mexico. Villa was a 2015 Olympic Alternate and is from Salinas, California. Friday will be his first title defense.
In his last bout in May, Villa defeated Luis “El Venado” Lopez Vargas, 17-1. Vivas biggest win was over Edixon “El Cabezon” Perez, 17-2.
“I am excited to be back on ShoBox. I know I must be winning and doing my job for me to keep getting on ShoBox and getting this great exposure,” said Villa.
In addition the “A” side has eight unbeaten fighters putting their perfect records on the line. In the co-feature Lightweight Michael “West Texas Warrior” Dutchover, 13-0 (10), of Sante Fe Springs, CA, takes on Thomas “Gunna Man” Mattice, 14-1 (10), of Cleveland, OH), over 10 rounds.
“I know my fights are getting tougher and my opponents getting better. Thomas Mattice is going to bring out the best in me. A lot of my fights have been quick knockouts, and hopefully with this fight, people will see I bring a high skill level,” said Dutchover.
In the Super Lightweight division Brandun Lee, 16-0 (14), of La Quinta, CA, has scored seven knockouts in his last seven fights and takes on Milton Arauz, 10-1-1 (5), of Jinotega, Nicaragua, over 8 rounds.
In 6 round bouts featuring Lightweight Abel Navarrete, Jr., 6-0 (4), of Amarillo, TX, and Super Featherweight Aaron “Angel Baby” Perez, 8-0 (5), of Albuquerque, NM.
In 4 round bouts featuring Brazilian Lightweight Matheus Avrella Lamarque, 1-0 (1), of Laurel Hill, Long Island, NY, Light Heavyweight Desmond “Dez” Hill, 5-0 (4), of Odessa, Texas, Super Middleweight James Land 1-0 (1), of Midland, Texas and Welterweight Vito “White Majic” Mielnicki, Jr., 1-0 (1), of Roseland, NJ.
Jermaine “989 Assassin” Franklin Wins Split Decision over Jerry Forrest
By: Ken Hissner
The Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma, Washington, on Friday night was the host site Forbes ShoBox the New Generation with promoters Brian Halquist Productions and Salita Promotions. Jermaine “989 Assassin” Franklin, of Saginaw, MI, competed against Jerry “Slugger” Forrest in the Main Event.
In the Main Event Jermaine “989 Assassin” Franklin, Jr., 19-0 (13), 240 ¼, of Saginaw, MI, won a split decision over southpaw Jerry “Slugger” Forrest, 25-3 (19), 222 ¾”, of Newport News, VA, over 10 rounds.
In the first round halfway through Franklin had Forrest against the ropes with both having a good exchange until Franklin’s mouthpiece went out.
In the second round both did more boxing than slugging with Forrest having an edge. In the third round Forrest used and effective jab. In the fourth round mostly on the inside Franklin outworked Forresst.
In he fifth round at the halfway mark Franklin flurries while inside. In the sixth round it was close with it going either way. In the seventh round Franklin landed some effective punches to the chin of Forrest.
In the eighth round Forrest seemed to have an edge in an all inside fighting round. In the ninth round Forrest seemed to pull out the round being held by Franklin but landing his free hand, the left, to the head of Franklin.
In the tenth and final round both exhausted fighters let it all hang out with the ten second warning ending the round.
Judge’s Alan Krebs 97-93 Franklin, Tim Wood 96-94 Forrest and Hunter Walton 97-93 Franklin. This writer had it 95-95. Referee was Bobby Howard.
Super Featherweight southpaw Giovanni Cabrera Mioletti, 17-0 (7), 129 ½, of Seattle, WA, via Chicago, IL, defeated Luis Porozo, 14-1 (7), 129 ½, of Santo Domingo, ECU, over 10 rounds.
In the first and second rounds Porozo was much more active than the defense minded Mioletti. In the third round Mioletti suffered a small cut on his left eyebrow. He’s had trouble cutting off the ring. His best punch so far was a left to the chin making Porozo’s legs buckle.
In the fourth round Mioletti finally got in some lead lefts to the chin. In the fifth round Mioletti got in some body shots as Porozo started to slow down. In the sixth round Mioletti had his best round landing more than the running Porozo with the same in the seventh round. That was the first time Porozo went past six rounds.
In the eighth round referee Howard continued warning Porozo for holding. What effective punches landed were by Mioletti. In the ninth round it was more of the same with Mioletti chasing until he got Porozo against the ropes and threw combinations.
In the tenth and final round Mioletti used a good body attack.
Judge’s Krebs 98-92, Wood 98-92 and Walton 97-93, same as this writer all for Mioletti.
Cruiserweight Constantin Bejenaru, 14-0 (4), of Moldova, out of Brooklyn, NY, stopped Jose “Olimpico” Humberto Corral, 20-25 (12), of Sonora, MEX, at 2:02 of the sixth round.
Unbeaten Sebastian “Towering Inferno” Fundora Wins on ShoBox
By: Ken Hissner
Sampson Boxing and Paco Promotions Presented a card Friday at the WinnaVegas Casino & Resort, in Sloan, Iowa, over USA Showtime. In the Main Event Super Welterweight Sebastion “The Towering Inferno” Fundora of California stopped Manuel “Baby” Zepeda of Mexico at the end of four.
In the Main Event 6:05 1/2 Super Welterweight southpaw Sebastion “The Towering Inferno” Fundora, 13-0 (9), 152 3/4, of Coachella, CA, easily stopped Manuel “Baby” Zepeda, 17-1 (4), 152 1/4, of Tijuana, Mexico, after 4 rounds when Zepeda’s corner refused to let him continue.
In the first round Zepeda did good body work backing up against the much taller Fundora. Fundora continued pressing forward after this for the remainder of the round landing punches 2-1 over Zepeda. In the second and third rounds Fundora drove Zepeda into the ropes with both hands landing. Zepeda spent the entire round on the defense for the most part.
In the third round being warned by his trainer to start fighting or he will stop the fight. It didn’t help much as he showed Fundora too much respect. Fundora had an easy round. Before the round started in the fourth round the trainer told the referee Mark Nelson he was stopping it.
Unbeaten Lightweight prospect Michel “La Zarza” Rivera, 16-0 (10), 135, from Santo Domingo, DR, easily defeated Rene “El Bravo” Tellez Giron, 13-1 (7), 134 1/2, of Queretaro, Mexico, over 8 rounds.
In the first round Giron immediatly came out fast against the taller Rivera who was using his jab to set up Giron but failed to throw the right. Midway through the round referee Adam Holland warned Rivera for leaning on Giron who came in low. Rivera picked up the action in the final minute with flurries.
In the second round Rivera was having his way while Giron was missing wild left hooks. Rivera used his height and reach well but got hit with a left hook on the chin in the final seconds of the round. In the third round Rivera landed half a dozen punches mostly to the head of Giron who was against the ropes. Giron then punched back getting Rivera to back up several steps. In the final seconds of the round both fighters were throwing punches.
In the fourth round Giron finally landed a couple of those wild left hooks leaping at Rivera on the chin. Rivera came back to control the ring for the most part but got warned several times for pushing Giron. In the fifth round a combination from Rivera halfway through the round drew blood from the nose of Giron. Giron seemed to slow down quite a bit in this round as Rivera was landing right uppercuts to the chin of Giron.
In the sixth round Rivera kept Giron at arms-length for the most part. The shorter Giron was frustrated at times not able to get inside. In the seventh round Giron worked the body of Rivera trying to slow down his punches thrown.
In the eighth and final round Giron kept coming in low with Rivera landing uppercuts at will on the chin. In the final seconds of the fight Giron’s left hooks fell short and he got countered by Rivera rights to the chin. A right to the chin from Rivera dropped Giron. He took the count getting up not looking hurt. Rivera kept up outworking Giron up to the final bell.
Scores were Hoyle and LaFratte 78-73 twice and Mora 79-72 as did this writer have it.
Lightweight southpaw Yeis Gabriel Solano, 15-0 (10), 134 ½, of Monteria, Colombia, won a hard fought split decision over Elias “El Macho” Damian Araujo, 20-2 (8), 133 ¾, of Santa Fe, Argentina, over 8 rounds.
In the first round it was close with Araujo pressing the action while the younger soutpaw Solano countered him well. In the second round Araujo kept Solano against the ropes for the most part. Araujo had over 100 amatuer fights and as many professional fights that Solano had as an amateur.
In the third round Araujo continued pinpointing his punches as solano against the ropes threw as many punches but less effective. This was a carbon copy of the previous round.
In the fourth round Solano tried to keep the fight in the middle of the ring but it didn’t last for more than a minute of the round. A left hand counter from Solano put Araujo back several steps. He followed up shortly thereafter hurting Araujo again with a left hand close to the back of the head. The younger Solano may have punched himself out in the final minute of the round being back to the ropes. Solano landed a half push and punch driving Araujo into the bottom of the ropes from a right hook to the back of the head. Araujo took an 8 count from referee Mark Nelson. He was able to get through the final seconds of the round.
In the fifth round Araujo kept Solano against the ropes with body punching.
When Solano was able to back up Araujo he would get pushed into the ropes. In the sixth round Araujo had Solano back against the ropes. The younger less experienced Solano may feel he needs to “rest” against the ropes saving energy but he is getting outpunched by the lighter punching Araujo.
In the seventh round Solano was back on the ropes within seconds. Halfway through the round Solano rocked Araujo with a right hook driving him back several steps. Araujo in the middle of the ring came in head low and was getting hit with Solano right hooks to the side and back of the head. Araujo was looking more tired than the younger Solano.
In the eighth and final round it was Araujo with wild power shots driving solano back to the ropes. Solano spent most of the round in the corner before sliding over against the ropes.
Scores were Mora 76-75 for Solano, LaFratte 77-74 Araujo and Hoyle 78-73 Solano. This writer had it 76-75 for Araujo.
Unbeaten Fundora and Zepeda Headline Fridays Showtime Card
By: Ken Hissner
Sampson Boxing and Paco Presents will bring in an 8 bout card Friday at the Vinna Vegas Casino & Resort, in Sloan, Iowa, over on the Showtime Network
In the Main Event they will be featuring unbeaten Super Welterweight Sebastion “The Towering Inferno” Fundora of California and Hector Manuel “Baby” Zepeda of Mexico.
Fundora, 12-0 (8), of Coachella, CA, is a 6’7 southpaw who in February knocked out previously unbeaten Donnie Marshall, then 10-0. Zepeda, 17-0 (4), of Tijuana, Mexico, just five weeks ago won an 8 round decision over Giovanny “GG” Gonzalez, then 7-4. This will be Zepeda’s US debut. Both boxers are 21.
This will be Fundora’s sixth unbeaten opponent he will be facing. He has fought outside the US including four wins in Mexico and two in Argentina.
Unbeaten Lightweights Michel “The Bramble” Rivera, 15-0 (10), from Santo Domingo, DR, will be facing Rene “El Bravo” Tellez Giron, 13-0 (7), of Queretaro, Mexico, over 8 rounds.
Rivera’s last four opponents had a combined record of 57-6-2, including a win over Manuel Botis, then 23-1-1, in 2017. Giron has wins in Ukraine and a pair in Colombia so fighting out of Mexico is nothing new to him.
Lightweight southpaw Yeis Gabriel Solano, 14-0 (10), of Monteria, Colombia, takes on Elias “El Macho” Damian Araujo, 20-1 (8), of Santa Fe, Argentina, over 8 rounds.
Solano will be making his US debut and up against his toughest opponent in Araujo who has held the WBC Latino and Argentina (FAB) title and will be making his US debut.
Unbeaten 6:06 heavyweight Roney Hines, 6-0 (5), out of Cleveland, OH, is a 2018 National Golden Gloves Champion. He takes on 43 bout veteran southpaw Grover Young of Memphis, TN, over 4 rounds.
Super lightweight Joe James, 4-0 (2), of St. Cloud, MN, takes on debuting Emeka Ifekandu, over 4 rounds.
A pair of Super lightweight boxers from Nebraska in Jose Jacobo, 5-1 (1), and Nate Morrow, 1-1 (1), will be in a 6 round bout. Two other 4 round bouts are scheduled rounding out this 48 round card.
ShoBox Results: Ruben Villa Get Unanimous Decision Nod over Luis Lopez
By: Robert Aaron Contreras
For a bill built around California’s best and brightest prospects, the gray sky and heavy clouds lingered over the outdoor venue holding the latest edition of Showtime’s ShoBox series. But while the rain subsided, thunderclaps came from the ring.
Ruben Villa (16-0, 5 KO) def. Luis Alberto Lopez (17-2, 8 KO) by unanimous decision
Featherweight upstart Ruben Villa had a puzzling brawler in front of him Friday night. But solving puzzles is what this technician is best at, picking Lopez apart en route to a unanimous-decision victory at the Omega Products International in Corona, California.
The scorecards surprised the ShoBox commentary team, who could only find one round (the tenth) to give to the visiting Mexican. Lopez came out swinging—awkwardly—and refused to back down. But Villa, armed with a sharp jab and supremely accurate punches, got the job done, winning 98-92, 97-93 and 96-94 to set himself up for another step up in competition.
A converted southpaw, Villa popped Lopez in the face consistently with a pretty jab. Lopez did him a favor and provided a big target, walking in with interchanging rights and lefts, sticking his chin directly in the air—an odd sight to behold, with strange quirks like when Lopez threw a right hand, his back right leg would fly out.
Lopez’s awkward charges upset Villa’s rhythm in the second round. The house fighter was forced to mix up his punches, opting to change levels and throw body hooks.
The visiting Mexican banger chased Villa around over the next three rounds. His footwork resembled an amateur but his punch resistance was as professional as it gets as Villa’s sharpshooting and counters raked up round after round. At least so it seemed.
Frustration set in for Lopez by Round 5, throwing a punch after the bell. And he was grappling in the eighth stanza.
A consistent stream of punches continued from Villa, who didn’t throw the same punch two times in a row: sticking out a picture-perfect jab, slapping a right hook off the top of his opponent’s head, circling out and away from Lopez after ripping a left hook to the body.
Lopez’s wild charges grew more and more irregular. In Round 9, Villa took advantage of his sputtering opponent and split his guard with a volley of straight left hands.
Lopez dug deep for the final three minutes. Reckless punches careened into Villa who returned fire at a lower rate, and a sharp contrast emerged between a beautiful boxer and a hideous one. But in this sport, it doesn’t matter how those punches look traveling to their destination just if they get there—and how hard.
The ringside panel seemed to value Lopez’s singular strikes more than anybody else in the building or at home. Of course not enough to take away the night from Villa. And rightly so. This one belonged to him.
The ShoStats painted a clear picture. Villa landed 220 of 591 total punches (37 percent) and 95 of 207 power punches (46 percent) while Lopez connected on 142 of 799 total punches and just 80 of 472 power shots (17 percent).
Michael Dutchover (13-0. 10 KO) def. Rosekie Cristobal (15-3, 11 KO) by first-round knockout
Considering his opponent took the fight on three-days notice, Dutchover didn’t have much time to prepare for Cristobal. But it didn’t take very long to end his man’s night either, finishing the visiting Filipino inside of one round. So quickly in fact the ShoBox telecast literally replayed the entire fight as the commentary team provided analysis.
Cristobal, 24, opened the contest with an almost cartoonish, winging right hand—it never came close. He never stood a chance. Soon after a right-left combination from Dutchover, ending in a left hook to the liver, put him on his knees where referee Zachary Young counted him out.
The finish extended Dutchover’s knockout streak to five.
Saul Sanchez (12-0, 7 KO) def. Brandon Benitez (14-2, 6 KO) by eighth-round knockout
War paint flowing from his nose, and likely down on the cards, Sanchez waded into his opponent with punches toward the end of the fourth round. Both hands oscillating, a right hand found its mark and buckled the knees of Benitez. The fight was belonged to Sanchez from there.
Sanchez, 21, commanded the center of the ring throughout the bantamweight contest. Benitez, 21, was there to meet him, quickly clubbing at the three-to-one betting favorite with both hands. A left hook to the midsection of Benitez induced a grimace from the Mexican fighter. And another counter left hand secured the opening period for Sanchez.
The rest of the way, however, began to fall in Benitez’s favor. He showered his opponent with punches in the second round. And continued to beat the blue-chip prospect to the punch to also steal Round 3.
Sanchez ignored the advice from his trainer Joel Diaz to open the fourth period and chased Benitez around while. Hurling big, winding blows, headhunting, Sanchez racked up more points pots hotting. But the agressopn paid dividends with 15 seconds to go and a right hand whizzed across Benitez’s chin. The Mexican’s knees instantly buckled and Sanchez smelled blood..
Still circling away from Sanchez, Benitez slowed down in the fifth-period. And by Round 7, his legs were gone. Stuck in the pocket with Sanchez, the California-born slugger abused his man’s midsection audible blows to the ribcage finally got the crowd into the action.
A short exchange opened the eighth period but soon after another right from Sanchez crashed into Benitez’s chin and Raul Caiz Jr stepped between the two. It was over. And Sanchez was awarded the victory and the WBO Latino title.
According to ShoStats, Sanchez landed 145 of 403 total punches (36 percent) and 123 of 296 power shots (42 percent) while Benitez connected on 94 of 380 total punches (25 percent) and 78 of 270 power punches (29 percent).
Villa vs. Lopez: Previewing ShoBox’s Tripleheader
By: Robert Aaron Contreras
On Friday, May 10, ShoBox has a tripleheader on tap from the Omega Products International in Corona, California where a trio of the state’s most promising upstarts headline the show as they each face some of their stiffest competition to date.
At the top of the bill, Ruben Villa returns to the ring to face Luis Albert Lopez, a world-rated contender by the WBO. Michael Dutchover and Saul Sanchez, two adopted sons of Los Angeles, will be fighting in support on the Showtime broadcast, beginning at 10:30 p.m. ET.
Barry Tompkins and Steve Farhood will be on the call for the network with Raul Marquez providing color commentary.
The early prelims, including former title challenger Petr Petrov, can be viewed at ThompsonBoxing.com.
Here’s a look at the three matchups bolstering the card.
Ruben Villa (15-0, 5 KO) vs. Luis Albert Lopez (17-1, 8 KO)
Somehow opening as an underdog (+110), Villa could be boxing’s biggest secret—at least one that’s been hiding in plain sight. The oddsmakers ignored the southpaw’s undefeated ledger and two National Golden Gloves.
Lopez, from Mexico, opened at favorable odds but has since plummeted to a four-to-one underdog (making Villa the -400 favorite heading into the weekend). Lopez, 21, is riding a five-fight win streak since the lone loss of his career to Abraham Montoya in 2018. Last time out, Lopez upended the previously-unbeaten Ray Ximenez on UFC Fight Pass. The action was tight, but after a cut stopped the bout in the eighth period, the judges agreed Lopez’s accurate potshotting was enough to defeat the Texas-born standout.
Fighting out of Northern California, Thompson Boxing Promotions recognized Villa’s aptitude early on. The promotional outfit has brought Villa along the professional ranks since he turned professional in 2016. Now they have set up Villa, 22, for his first Showtime main event and second start on national television. He’s prepared for the 10-round contest at Robert Garcia’s gym under the tutelage of father-son training duo Max and Sam Garcia.
Friday marks the second bout of the year for Villa. In January, he boxed the ears off Ruben Cervera, orchestrating the first loss of the Columbian puncher’s career, winning over an easy eight rounds. The California-bred stylist also went the distance with Miguel Carrizoza, winning by unanimous decision. Carrizoza, interestingly, was sparked out by another prospect in Ryan Garcia. Villa lacks the cracking punch of his hotshot counterparts but that’s no secret. He doesn’t rely on barnstorming ways, but a fluid, agile attack.
Before Villa’s ShoBox debut four months, he decisioned Jose Santos Gonzalez, who in his next fight bloodied Manny Robles III en route to a split-decision loss. And then in March, Gonzalez extended Manuel Avila to a draw. Villa, on the other hand, showed no trouble with the Mexican banger.
If Villa’s impressive pro record leaves anything to be desired, his time as an amateur doesn’t. Making up 166 ammy wins, he triumphed over Shakur Stevenson and Devin Haney in headgear.
Another impressive outing over Lopez would help Villa continue to stand out from the cohort of talented Californians making their names around the 126- and 130-pound divisions.
Michael Dutchover (12-0, 9 KO) vs. Ramon Mascarena (10-0, 5 KO)
Dutchover is set to face the first undefeated opponent of his career since crushing a 1-0 novice in his pro debut. Mascarena, 25, travels from Chile to meet the California transplant.
Dutchover is a hard-hitting lightweight training out of Southern California with Danny Zamora. He’s originally from Midland, Texas where he earned the nickname “West Texas Warrior.” And in his last outing, Dutchover was all over Ruben Tamayo from the word go, in three rounds stopping Tamayo, which has become a rite of passage for Mexican-American boxers following the veteran’s tussles over the years with Joseph Diaz, Oscar Valdez and Miguel Flores.
The 21-year-old puncher planted his feet and pitched right hands to Tamayo’s body, relentlessly. The powerful blows eventually forced not only the hardened man to hit the deck twice but the referee to call a halt to the action just two minutes into the third stanza. It was Dutchover’s fourth consecutive knockout.
Never tasted defeat, Dutchover stands an inch taller than his man this weekend. But Mascarena is still a career junior welterweight and so prove more difficult to crack open like he’s done to so many others.
Saul Sanchez (11-0, 6 KO) vs. Brandon Benitez (14-1, 6 KO)
Sanchez was pushed to his limit last time out but hopes to outdo himself in his first fight of 2019 against Benitez. Nicknamed the “Beast,” Sanchez is the odds-on favorite (-300) to get the job done Friday night.
Last October, the 21-year-old bantamweight fought the unheralded Luis Saavedra. The two battled for a complete eight rounds. Sanchez settled for a majority-decision. His past opponents haven’t been so lucky. Before that surprisingly competitive tilt, Sanchez punched out Mexico’s Ernest Guerrero in four rounds—quicker than champions like Francisco “Chihuas” Rodriguez took to ditch Guerrero.
Benitez represents another Mexican combatant to deal with. One younger, fresher and sharper. Equal in age, “Leoncito” Benitez makes his way from Queretaro, Mexico having rattled off five straight victories. More importantly, included in his winning streak is a three-fight stint in Venezuela. There Benitez defeated three middling homegrown fighters in enemy territory.
Of course he’s never faced anyone highly-touted as Sanchez. But Benitez won’t be the least bit shy on the road.