Friday night from the Chumash Resort & Casino, WBC #1 super middleweight Anthony Dirrell took one step closer to his aspirations of winning a world title, scoring a fourth round stoppage of #2 rated Renan St Juste of Canada in the twelve-round main event of a ShoBox: The New Generation televised card promoted by Gary Shaw Promotions.
Dirrell [24-0, 21 KOs] more or less controlled the action throughout despite a hesitancy to engage early on. Dirrell worked well in the opening round, landing a few nice combinations behind his jab.
In round two, both landed big hooks simultaneously while Dirrell’s moved St Juste [23-3-1, 15 KOs] backwards. There was a solid exchange at the end of the round that signaled a change in the tempo for the remainder of the bout.
Round three saw St Juste more effective as Dirrell opened up his offense a little more due to a grow in confidence.
Dirrell began touching St Juste regularly with his jab and straight right in the fourth before a headbutt put him down and made cause for a pause in the action.
Following the restart, Dirrell landed a big right hook, which would be the eventual downfall of his 39-year old opponent. A flurry against the ropes followed and St Juste began to fall forward while clutching his arms around Dirrell’s waist. Dirrell lifted his arms up so as to signal to referee Jack Reiss that he was falling from his punches and not being dragged to the canvas.
St Juste fell, and when he returned to his feet, his arm was in an awkward position and he quite possibly suffered a dislocated shoulder. Referee Reiss immediately signaled the end to the fight, prompting Dirrell to immediately launch into a somersault in the ring in celebration. The official time of the stoppage was 2:54 in the fourth round.
With the win, Dirrell, of Flint, Michigan, sets himself up for a shot at the WBC title pending the result of the Super Six World Boxing Classic finale in two weeks between Andre Ward and Carl Froch. Dirrell could very well be fighting for a vacant title.
In the opening televised bout, unbeaten but unknown Jhonathan Romero [20-0, 12 KOs] survived a first-round knockdown to go on and spoil the hopes of Chris Avalos [19-2, 15 KOs], winning a ten-round split decision in an upset that was largely booed by the crowd.
Romero, of Cali, Colombia, showed good technical skills despite hailing from a country that is known mostly for straight-forward brawlers. In the opening round, Romero got beat up a bit on the ropes and when the referee called to break, Avalos went after him. A barrage at the end of the round dropped Romero right before the bell.
The early knockdown may have hurt Avalos, who came in mostly recklessly after that. Romero did a good job taking advantage, countering off the ropes when Avalos would unleash a flurry. More often than not, Romero landed the better shots when these exchanges would occur.
In the third, Romero was clubbed down to a knee but it was missed by the referee.
Through the first third of the fight, Avalos was doing the better work. As the rounds poured on, Avalos began to slow and every shot Romero caught him with sent his head snapping back, particularly lunging uppercuts and long straight rights. Avalos may have been the bigger puncher yet Romero’s shots seemed to be more effective.
In the eighth, Avalos stunned Romero and looked as though he might finish him. Romero held on and even fought his way off the ropes. Avalos had punched himself out and Romero was able to regain his legs and a stronghold in the fight.
Midway through the ninth, Romero hurt Avalos for the first time in the fight and made Avalos look silly down the stretch in the final round as he was able to land combinations and move out of the way before Avalos could chase him down with offense of his own.
Though Avalos was the more local of the two, hailing from Lancaster, California, Romero got the benefit of the doubt on the scorecards, prevailing via split decision. Patrick Connolly had it 95-94 for Avalos, which was overruled by the scores of Marcos Rosales and Kermit Bayless who had it 96-94 and 96-93 respectively for Romero. LIITR scored the bout 95-94 for Avalos, but many of the rounds were close and the fight could have easily gone either way.
UNTELEVISED UNDERCARD RESULTS
Making his United States debut, Breidis Prescott younger brother Daulis dropped an eight-round split decision to Glendale, California’s Gabriel Tolmajyan in a competitive and at times action packed super featherweight scrap.
Prescott [23-1, 17 KOs] got off to a slow start that was further plagued by a suffered knockdown in the fifth round. Tolmajyan [12-1-1, 3 KOs] managed to win rounds with his impressive counterpunching early.
Prescott managed to mount a late rally, wining the final three rounds on two judges’ scorecards, but it was too little too late as Tolmajyan’s early success was enough to earn him a razor thin victory. Two judges had it 76-75 for Tolmajyan while one judge had it the other way 76-75 for Prescott.
Capping off an impressive first year as a pro was San Ardo, California super bantamweight Roman Morales, who earned a lopsided six-round unanimous decision over game but outgunned Alejandro Castillo of Denver, Colorado.
Morales [8-0, 5 KOs] turned over his right hand nicely and kept moving forward, slowly grinding down his tough opponent. Castillo [4-2, KO] hung in tough but wilted under the immense pressure and precise body attack of Morales, who looked experienced beyond what his age would suggest. Morales cemented himself as one of the top 122 pound prospects in the country heading into 2012.
Highly touted Colombian lightweight prospect Darley Perez [24-0, 18 KOs] remained unbeaten, pitching an eight-round shutout of Mexican trial horse Fernando Trejo [33-17-6, 19 KOs]. Perez was unspectacular and workmanlike in his attack against an opponent whose punch resistance is pretty much nonexistent these days. Perez never pressed for the knockout and seemed content to let his opponent reach the final bell.
Filipino super bantamweight Glenn Porras [27-3, 17 KOs], making his American debut, won a tougher than scores would indicate eight-round unanimous decision over journeyman Adolfo Landeros of Hidalgo, Mexico. Porras, of Cotobato in the Philippines, with the help of Nonito Donaire Sr. in his corner, outworked Landeros for a majority of the length of the bout. Porras landed a slew of good flurries throughout but was unable to put Landeros out. Landeros [21-23-2, 10 KOs], to his credit, gave a game effort the way he is known for.
Fellow super bantamweight prospect Jonathan Arrellano [11-0-1, 2 KOs] of Ontario, California earned a tough six-round unanimous decision over Jonathan Alcantara [4-6-2] of Novato, California. Alcantara has proven to be a tough test for up and coming little men in the state of California, and he proved to be just as much of a test for Arrellano as for anyone. Arrellano was able to land the flashier punches in a fight that saw a lot of trading, earning him the decision by scores of 59-55 and 58-56 twice. Arrellano is trained by Henry Ramirez, trainer of heavyweight contender Chris Arreola.
Featherweight Roy Tapia [2-0, KO] of East Los Angeles, California kept opponent Jose Garcia [0-6] of Bakersfield, California winless, but had to work hard in order to do so. Tapia, who is from the Black House stable, which features MMA standouts Anderson Silva and Jose Aldo, had to put up with the early volume of Garcia, choosing to pick his shots and be accurate rather than reckless. Garcia had a good second round, snapping Tapia’s head back with a few shots. Neither guy displayed much handspeed and were content to fight on the inside, ultimately favoring Tapia down the stretch. Tapia won by scores of 40-36 twice and 39-37.
ShoBox was promoted by Gary Shaw Promotions in association with Thompson Boxing and will return to Chumash Resort & Casino in February for another televised card. Matchmaker John Beninati mentioned matching 154 pound contenders Jonathan Gonzalez and Gabriel Rosado for the main event.