By Miguel Maravilla at ringside
Photos by Tom Casino/SHOWTIME
ShoBox: The New Generation returned to Fantasy Springs Resort and Casino this past Friday as 2008 U.S. Olympic Bronze medalist Deontay “Bronze Bomber” Wilder (28-0, 28 KOs) of Tuscaloosa, Alabama took on former WBO heavyweight champion Sirahei “White Wolf” Liakhovich (25-5, 16 KOs) of Belarus in the scheduled ten round heavyweight main event.
Wilder came out boxing patiently in the first minute, working the jab. Midway in the round, Wilder forced Liakhovich into the ropes and followed thru with a series of jabs that setup a crushing right hand that dropped Liakhovich. Liakhovich landed like a sack of potatoes and started to twitch. The time of the stoppage was 1:43 of the first round. The “Bronze Bomber” Wilder continues his KO streak and goes to 29-0 with 29 knockouts. Liakhovich falls to 25-6, with 16 KOs.
“El Bandito” wins easy decision over “The Untouchable”
In the co-main event between two undefeated up and comers cross paths 2008 Mexican Olympian Francisco “El Bandito” Vargas (16-0-1, 13 KOs) squared off against Brandon “The Untouchable” Bennett (16-0, 7 KOs) of Cincinnati, OH in a scheduled ten round junior lightweight bout.
The southpaw Bennett came out popping the jab in the opening round as Vargas boxed shooting in the right hand. In round two Vargas stalked with the jab as Bennett circled the ring. Shortly afterwards Vargas backed Bennett up to the ropes with a huge right hand that forced Bennett to clinch. The Mexican warrior came out continuing his attack with body punches followed by rights in round three while Bennett clinched to survive.
The fourth round saw both fighters on the inside as Bennett landed flurries of combinations while Vargas landing short punches and worked the body. Later in the round, Bennett was warned by for shoving his glove in the face of Vargas.
In round five, Vargas appeared to be cut above the left eye but continued his attack on Bennett. The body work appeared to be showing its effectiveness for the Vargas in round six as Bennett appeared to be slowing down. Midway of the round, the action was stopped momentarily as the ringside physician took a look at cut above the left of Vargas.
Vargas continued to attack the body in the seventh round. Bennett seemed to be fading as the crowd chanted “Mexico!” In round eight, Vargas resorted back to textbook boxing using his jab and shooting the right on the southpaw. Bennett was running for his life in round nine as Vargas chased him around ring attempting to land punches on his slippery elusive opponent.
In the tenth and final round, Vargas continued to press the action while Bennett would throw flurries while he stick and moved. The scores were 99-91, 98-90 and 98-92 for Vargas. Vargas goes to 17-0-1, 12 KOs and Bennett suffers his first career loss as he goes to 15-1, 7 KOs.
“The Hitman” scores a knockout
Undefeated junior middleweight Jermall “The Hitman” Charlo (14-0, 10 KOs) of Houston, Texas was impressive with scoring a second round knockout over Miami’s Antwone Smith (23-4-1, 12 KOs) in a scheduled ten round junior middleweight bout. Charlo came out popping the jab and keeping his distance from Smith. Continuing to box behind the jab in round two, Charlo connected with a crushing right hand that dropped Smith. Smith staggered to his feet but the referee waived the bout at 2:23 of the second round. “The Hitman” goes to 15-0, 10 KOs. Smith goes to 23-5-1, 12 KOs.
Russell shutouts Ruiz
In a ten round junior lightweight bout, 2008 U.S. Olympian Gary Russell Jr. (22-0, 13 KOs) of Capital Heights, Maryland was dominant in his decision over Juan Ruiz (23-12, 7 KOs). The southpaw Russell displayed brilliant hand speed with excellent footwork as he effortlessly boxed his opponent. Ruiz kept coming forward the entire contest while Russell used his jab while sticking and moving. All of the scorecard tallied the contest at 100-90. Russell improves to 23-0, 13 KOs. Ruiz goes to 23-14, 7 KOs.
Kavanaugh destroys Meza in 59 seconds
Jamie Kavanaugh (14-0-1, 6 KOs) took less than a minute to knockout Antonio Meza (29-12-1, 21 KOs). A crunching body shot sent Meza to the canvas. The referee reached a ten count at 59 seconds of the opening round. Jamie Kavanaugh – who now trains in Indio, California with trainer Joel Diaz – goes to 15-0-1 with 7 knockouts. The veteran Meza falls to 29-13-1, with 21 KOs.
Hermosillo wins pro debut; Nevarez loses pro debut
Making their pro debuts local lightweights Allen Nevarez and Rigoberto Hermosillo went the distance as they fought four tough rounds. A short right hand by Hermosillo dropped Nevarez in round three which was the deciding factor with the scoring. Hermosillo won a unanimous decision with scores of 39-36 twice and 38-37. Hermosillo wins his pro debut and Nevarez goes to 0-1.
Gonzalez remains unbeaten
Middleweight Juan Gonzalez (7-0, 4 KOs) of Phoenix won a unanimous decision over Lehson Sims (5-14, 3 KOs). Gonzalez boxed patiently in the opening round as he staggered Sims at times. Gonzalez was dominant throughout the contest. All of the judges tallied the bout at 40-36. Gonzalez moves to 8-0, 4 KOs while Sims falls to 5-15, 3 KOs.
Washington demolishes Forrest
Former USC football player Gerald Washington (9-0, 6 KOs) scored a devastating second round knockout over Jerry Forrest (7-1, 6 KOs) in a heavyweight four-rounder. A right hook by Washington laid Forrest out as the referee quickly waived the bout over at 1:32 of the second round.
Leon scores first win
Eridanni Leon (1-1) won a hard fought unanimous decision over Martin Morales who was making his pro debut. Leon scored a knockdown in the first round but the remaining rounds were lackluster. Two judges scored it at 39-36 and the remaining score was 38-37 for Leon.
Easter makes quick work of Brownfield
In the opening bout, lightweight Robert Easter (5-0, 5 KOs) won a second round knockout over Lowell Brownfield (11-9-1, 4 KOs). Easter backed Brownfield to the ropes and dropped him with a body shot in the opening round. Brownfield beat the count and survived the round, however in round two a left hook to the body dropped Brownfield once again. The referee stopped the 38 seconds into round two.
Easter goes to 6-0, 6 KOs while Brownfield drops to 11-10-1, 4 KOs.
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Former world champion Sugar Shane Mosley was a ringside meeting and greeting fans. WBA welterweight champion Adrien “The Problem” Broner was also in attendance to support his stablemate Brandon Bennett. Former world title challenger Antonio Diaz and his brother Joel Diaz – both from nearby Coachella – were at ringside.
Boxing returns Friday, September 6th to Fantasy Springs Resort Casino as heavyweight contenders Chris Arreola and Seth Mitchell battle for the vacant WBC Silver championship.
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Follow me on Twitter @MigMaravilla