Photos by Tom Casino/SHOWTIME
Fernando Guerrero furthered his pursuit of middleweight stardom with a hard fought unanimous decision over veteran Ishe Smith in Friday’s ShoBox main event. Shawn Porter and Mike Dallas Jr. also took home unanimous decision victories at the DeSoto Civic Center in Southaven, Miss. to remain unbeaten. Coming in to tonight’s matchup, Smith (21-5, 9 KOs) was quoted as saying, “I’m going to take Guerrero into deep waters and see if he can swim.” Guerrero (19-0, 15 KOs) proved to be a buoyant battler by withstanding an eighth round flash knockdown and ten rounds of body shots from Smith. Though most of the body work was legitimate, referee Randy Phillips twice warned Smith, of Las Vegas, Nev., for repeated low blows before deducting a point in the sixth round.
Facing his toughest opponent to date, Guerrero, of Salisbury, Md., pleased the crowd by throwing a tremendous amount of punches and keeping up the pace against a traditionally defensive minded fighter in Smith. Guerrero stated, “I train so hard so the zero in the loss column never goes away.” As the judges scored the fight 96-93, 95-93, 97-91, Guerrero successfully continued his hopeful transition from prospect to contender.
In the co-main event welterweight bout, Porter (16-0, 12 KOs), of Cleveland, Ohio defeated Ray Robinson (11-2, 4 KOs), of Philadelphia, Pa., via unanimous decision with scores of 99-89, 97-92, 98-91. After an impressively aggressive start for Robinson, Porter poured on punishing body blows before an explosive combination that ended with right hand knockdown in the sixth round. Robinson displayed his mettle by recovering from the knockdown and regaining his composure through the fight’s final rounds.
After the fight, Porter said, “It was a hard fought victory. My dad (and trainer, Ken Porter) asked a lot of me and I did what I could to deliver. It took a lot of heart and we’re going to keep going from here.”
In the night’s battle of unbeatens, Dallas Jr. (15-0-1, 5 KOs), of Bakersfield, Calif. handed Lanard Lane (12-1, 7 KOs), of Houston, Texas, the first loss of his career via unanimous decision. All three judges scored the fight 78-74 as Dallas Jr. frustrated Lane throughout most of the fight. Lane was unable to establish of his jab which prevented him from landing enough of his favorite right hands. Dallas Jr. set the pace early with his quick hands and nimble footwork. As stated by SHOWTIME expert analyst Antonio Tarver, “Hand speed was the difference” in the junior welterweight bout.
The judges for the evening were Gerald Deming, of Hernando, Miss., Louis Henry, of Greenville, Miss. and Ressie Mullens, of Greenville, Miss.
The Prize Fight promoted tripleheader was the143rd ShoBox telecast since the series began nine years ago on July 21, 2001. 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.