During the 14 years Showtime has televised ShoBox: The New Generation, there have been hundreds of terrific fights and about as many knockouts. Saturday night inside the Sands Casino Hotel in Bethlehem, Penn., the fights unwound as expected: young contenders making a name for themselves in the sport and taking the next step toward a world championship.
Washington, D.C.- based Antoine Douglas was sensational in the evening’s main event as he electrified the capacity crowd with a third-round knockout of Istvan Szili. With both men entering the contest with zeroes in their loss columns, it was expected to be a nip-and-tuck battle until the end. As it turned out, the Hungarian-born Swiss resident had no chance against Douglas.
Szili was relentless from the start, swarming the American with an assortment of punches to the body and head. Douglas, against the wishes of his corner, obliged and opted to trade with the shorter man. Szili had some success on the inside, but his punches had little effect on Douglas. “Action” routinely peppered his foe with sizzling jabs and short hooks when Szili got close enough to open up, but Douglas was the stronger of the two.
Douglas’ better punching power became a reality late in the second, when a short counter right scrambled Szili’s equilibrium. He fell face first, almost out, but he was able to climb back to his feet. Douglas then tried to close out the show when the fight resumed, but Szili was saved by the bell. Douglas didn’t need much more time because just 29 seconds into the third, the fight was over. Douglas floored him twice more -- the final time with a virtual carbon copy of the first right hand that felled him -- and referee Gary Rosato called it off.
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In what was the fourth ShoBox appearance for Douglas, he demonstrated that he is on the cusp of taking on some fighters in the upper reaches of the division. The knockout allowed him to improve to 18-0-1 with 12 KOs and remains one of best middleweight prospects in the sport. Szili, for his efforts, dipped to 18-1-2 with eight KOs.
Magomedov Decisions Webster
Unbeaten Russian middleweight prospect Arif Magomedov continued up the ranks with a one-sided drubbing of New Jersey-based Derrick Webster in the co-feature. Magomedov was relentless with a crippling body attack and he pressed the action for every minute of every round. Webster tried to keep Magomedov away with his jab and movement, but the Russian was all over him.
As the rounds progressed, so did Webster’s stamina. His lack of true punching power was unable to keep Magomedov away and eventually, the shorter fire plug was able to land his power to the head. Late in the seventh, Magomedov landed a double right hand along the ropes, dropping Webster in the process. “Take It To The Bank” was able to get on his feet and finish the round, but he was falling dangerously behind on the cards. His corner imploring him to score a knockout, Webster did well in the 10th out of desperation, but his hopes were dashed with 16 seconds left when a thunderous right to the mouth dropped him a second time. Webster beat the count and lasted until the final bell, but the outcome was academic.
“The opponent was prepared, but I thought I would knock him out,” Magomedov said afterward. “I just did what I was supposed to do. I did what we practiced in the gym, and that's get inside, and the ref did a nice job of letting us fight inside. Time will tell where I am with the middleweights.”
Magomedov won a lopsided unanimous decision by the tallies of 99-89 on all three scorecards, improving to 16-0 with nine KOs. Webster fell to 19-1 with 10 KOs.
Lopez Bests Aquino
Bantamweight contender Adam Lopez was able to improve to 13-0 (6) with a close majority nod over Dominican brawler Eliezer Aquino, winning with scores of 95-95 and 96-93 (twice). Lopez was super for the first half of the contest, scoring a knockdown in the opening frame with a short right hand, but Aquino was in the Texan’s face until the end.
Lopez boxed well in the later stages of the fight, but his gas tank betrayed him late, allowing the shorter, wilder Aquino into the fight and able to steal rounds. Still, with the early knockdown and several frames already in the book, he hung on to win.
“This means to me a top-15 rating, and another win over another undefeated guy who was a very good fighter,” Lopez said after the fight. “Six rounds was my longest fight before this, and I jumped all the way to 10. I didn't think the fight would last as long as it did, after I dropped him in the first round. I honestly thought I was going to drop him again. I thought I was going to stop him. I like to box, move and control the pace. But he was swinging wildly. The hardest part was trying to counter. He threw wide, awkward shots, and sometimes it forces you to move a little further away to counter.”
It was arguably the toughest test for young Lopez, who improved to 13-0 with six KOs. He’s been making it look easy lately and the sort of opponent that Aquino was made him earn the win. Aquino lost for the first time as a pro. He now stands 17-1-1 with 11 KOs.
Clarkson Stops Odom
In the opening bout of the telecast, expected cannon fodder Samuel Clarkson had the last laugh as he scored a somewhat shocking upset over Jerry Odom. The D.C.-based Odom was supposed to steamroll Clarkson, who had been dropped many times in his career. This was a different Clarkson.
He repeatedly tagged Odom with powerful rights in the second and even rocked the favored fighter. Odom cleared his head after being buzzed by a wild right hand. But when he threw left hook late in the stanza, he was clobbered by a right uppercut. Odom collapsed immediately, but was able to climb back to his feet. He was saved by the bell but it didn’t matter; his time was about to end.
Sensing he had Odom in trouble, Clarkson poured on the attrition as soon as the third started. A series of shots, capped by another right hand, dropped Odom early. “The King’s Son” beat the count, but was quickly felled again. Up now on wobbly legs, Odom tried to fight back. He was nailed by two vicious right uppercuts and when his knees buckled, referee Shawn Clark jumped in, waiving off the mugging. The official time of the TKO came at the 1:15 mark of the third, giving Clarkson the biggest win of his career.
“We’ve been working on the uppercut all camp,” Clarkson (15-3, nine KOs) said. “One thing I noticed is when fighters come with the right hand, they’re real vulnerable to the left and right uppercuts. So when I saw him leaning in, his head really wasn’t moving with his punches, I just slipped and threw the right uppercut and hit him right there on the button. This is a blessing. We had a lot of struggles getting here and we made it. I was up in weight. I wasn’t supposed to win, but you can’t judge a fighter by his record. I studied this guy for five to six weeks. Everything I expected he did. I’m officially moving up to 175. ”
Odom, as expected, was disappointed but remained positive after the loss.
“In the world of boxing, you get caught,” Odom (13-2, 12 KOs) said. “Tonight I got caught. This is just a small setback. I’ll be back.”
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