Photos by Tom Casino/SHOWTIME
WBO junior middleweight champ Sergiy Dzinziruk made the fifth defense of his title look easy with a dominating 10th round TKO of previously once-beaten challenger Daniel Dawson in the main event of ShoBox: The New Generation Friday night on SHOWTIME from the Chumash Resort Casino in Santa Ynez, Calif. “My plan was to use the jab to make him tired and then go to the other punches,” Dzinziruk said. “We saw some tapes of him and knew the early rounds would be tough. Our plan was to apply more pressure in the later rounds and finish him. We’d had a long layoff and we wanted to take it easy in the beginning.”
Dzinziruk, a superstar in Europe, was more than impressive in his U.S. debut, dominating the fight from the opening bell with his relentless jab. Dzinziruk (36-0, 24 KOs), of Hamburg, Germany, fought safely in the opening rounds and established the jab before becoming more aggressive and punishing against the outmatched, Australian-born Dawson (34-2, 24 KOs).
Dzinziruk certainly didn’t look like a fighter who was making his first defense in more than 17 months. The 34-year-old peppered the clearly defenseless Dawson, 32, with combos and jabs in the later rounds, forcing referee Jose Cobain to stop the fight at 2:12 of the 10th round.
“Whatever we planned, it worked out,” commented the champion. “I feel good about my performance, especially after the long layoff. I wanted to please the American fans, and I think I did. Now, I want to take collect a few more belts and take on the other (154 pound) champions.”
Steve Farhood, ShoBox’s expert analyst, agreed.
“The jab was a dominating weapon,” Farhood said. “We knew going in that Dawson had to find the answer for it and he never did.
“You can’t help but project his jab against the best 154-pounders in the world and wonder if he’d be as effective. We really want to see him against the best.”
Dawson, who was also making his U.S. professional debut, knew he had no answer for Dzinziruk’s most dangerous weapon.
“Obviously, he had a good jab. That’s pretty clear,” Dawson said. “I think once he established the jab and the range, I was fighting to get back in it and he was already comfortable. I failed to get around the jab or beat him to it. “
While Dzinziruk put on a technical boxing clinic in the main event, Friday’s co-feature was a little more wild and unorthodox.
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In the opener, unbeaten prospect Vernon Paris narrowly defeated the tough Juan Santiago in Friday’s co-feature with an eight-round split decision victory, scored 77-74 Santiago, 76-75 Paris, twice.
Paris (21-0, 13 KOs), of Detroit, Mich., was clearly the more talented boxer, but he tired towards the middle rounds and didn’t fight with a sense of urgency. Santiago (2-4-1, 7 KOs), of Denver, Colo., continued to press the action and won the crowd over with his tough and determined style of fighting.
A close fight throughout, Paris came out in the eighth and last round knowing that he needed a strong showing to impress the judges and earn a decision.
“It was a close fight, but the judges got it right,” Paris said. “He was aggressive and strong and he landed a lot of good blows, but he also missed a lot. At the same time, all of my punches landed. The judges got it right.”
Santiago, who earned a lopsided 77-74 on one judge’s scorecard, saw it differently.
“I’m very disappointed,” Santiago said. “I feel like I won, everyone knows that I won. I don’t know what more I needed to do to win it.
“I did everything I possibly could do. I fought my hardest. Everyone thought I won that fight.
Antonio Tarver, an expert analyst for ShoBox, felt Paris didn’t give his best effort against a tough opponent.
“It was very entertaining, but Paris has to get in shape,” Tarver said. It’s obvious he has the skills and the talent, but he has to get committed and dedicated. It’s clear he was the better fighter, but, sometimes, wills beat skills.
“That last round is what did it for him. He laid it all on the line and, if it wasn’t for that, he would have lost it.”
The doubleheader was promoted by Gary Shaw Productions, LLC.
Friday’s fights will re-air on SHO 2 on Tuesday, May 18 at 10 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the west coast). The fights will be available On Demand from May 19 until June 1.
Curt Menefee called the action from ringside with Steve Farhood and Antonio Tarver serving as expert analysts. The executive producer of ShoBox is Gordon Hall with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.
For information on SHOWTIME Sports Programming, including exclusive behind-the-scenes video and photo galleries, complete telecast information and more, please go the new SHOWTIME Sports website at http://www.sho.com/sports.