While weather on the East Coast wreaked havoc on travel and holiday plans, there were clear skies and the stars were out on ShoBox: The New Generation in Hinckley, Minn. Friday night when Fernando Guerrero, Shawn Porter and Lanard Lane all remained undefeated with impressive knockouts, each in less than four rounds. “These guys are future stars,” said ShoBox: The New Generation expert analyst Steve Farhood, of Guerrero and Porter, who are now 17-0 (14 KOs) and 12-0 (10 KOs), respectively. “Not only are they fun to watch, but I think they have star potential outside the ring as well. They have pleasing personalities, good smiles, they’re good-looking guys, they speak well. I think the American middleweight scene for 2010-2011 is in good hands.”
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The crowd-pleasing triple feature, promoted by DiBella Entertainment, took place in front of a sellout crowd at Grand Casino Hinckley in Hinckley, Minn. It aired LIVE on SHOWTIME at 11 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the west coast).
Guerrero, of Salisbury, Md. – by way of the Dominican Republic – took down Jessie Nicklow (19-2-2, 7 KOs) of Baltimore in a four-round middleweight bout; Porter, of Akron, Ohio, bested Jamar Patterson (8-1, 8 KOs), of Utica, N.Y., in their jr. middleweight fight, also in four rounds; and in the night’s opening welterweight bout, Lane (10-0, 7 KOs) took down Said El Harrak (8-1, 3 KOs) of Henderson, Nev. – by way of England – in just two rounds.
In the main event, Guerrero and Nicklow were touted as cross-town rivals – the Baltimore fighters had fought each other five times as amateurs, Guerrero holding the edge, 3-2. Guerrero, however, quickly put any notion of a rivalry to rest. In the second round, the charismatic Dominican transplant landed multiple solid punches that had slowed down “The Beast” Nicklow and put him back on his heels.
“I knew I had him as soon as the third round, when he started moving for no reason,” Guerrero said. “He wasn’t giving me those quick movements, so I knew I had hurt him with a punch. That’s when I knew that I had to go for the attack.”
Attack he did. In the fourth round, Guerrero knocked Nicklow down, and as soon as he was back up, slugged away again. Punch drunk but staying with it until the referee called it at 2 minutes, 9 seconds, Nicklow proved true to his nickname.
“He’s got the heart of a beast,” Guerrero said.
As for that cross-town rivalry, that might be KOed too.
“Guerrero had every advantage,” Farhood said. “He was bigger, he was stronger, he was faster, he hit harder. Nicklow’s heart was the only reason that fight lasted as long as it did.”
In the second co-feature, Porter faced Patterson, who was 8-0 with eight KOs but had only one fight under his belt in the past three and a half years. Despite the layoff, Patterson came out sharp in the first round.
Right at the bell, Porter charged Patterson, showing his speed in attempting to set up big right hooks.
“Early off, he was on point, he was fast, he was quick enough to slip out of the way of those shots or ready to defend them,” Porter said of Patterson.
But as Porter broke Patterson down, he faded, and so did his ability to elude Porter’s attack. By the beginning of the fourth round, the end appeared near.
“I looked him in the eyes, and I just knew that he really wasn’t ready,” Porter said. “When I went to go back at him, he was coming out a little slow, so I knew the first thing he would do is throw his hands up, so I threw in some quick straight shots to set up that hook, and I knew the hook would be the one to get him. I doubled up on the end of it, and I caught him with both of them real clean.”
One clean knockdown and a few punches later, it was over, 1 minute, 51 seconds into the fourth.
“It was a great fight,” Porter said. “I was well prepared.”
In the first co-feature of the night, Houston Firefighter Lane certainly didn’t milk his SHOWTIME debut. He quickly knocked El Harrak down twice in the first round.
“He couldn’t take the power of my right hand, and I saw how slow he was,” Lane said.
Fortunate to get out of the first round, El Harrak came back out in the second with a heavily swollen eye, and Lane finished him off. It was called at 1 minute, 38 seconds, much to the dismay of the El Harrak camp – and a vocal Grand Casino Hinckley crowd.
“They shouldn’t have stopped the fight,” said Mike Criscio, El Harrak’s manager, after El Harrak declined to comment. “They said because of his eye, and I said, ‘OK, but you’re not a doctor.’ You bring him to the doctor and say, ‘Can the fight go on?’ The guy can see. His eye’s not closed.”
“They should’ve called it in the first round,” Lane said. “The first time he got dropped, he didn’t even know where he was.
“That was my first ever live show. People are going to get to know me.”
As for the Houston firehouse where Lane works full time while still boxing professionally, “They’re loving it. They’re cheering up and down right now hoping they don’t catch a call. They’re probably going to watch and re-watch it over and over again.”
Friday’s stirring bouts will re-air on Thursday, Dec. 24 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME 2. They’ll also be available On Demand from Dec. 21, 2009 – Jan. 17, 2010.
Al Bernstein called the action from ringside with Farhood and Antonio Tarver serving as expert analysts. The executive producer of ShoBox: The New Generation 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 Web site at http://www.sho.com/sports.