Ivan Baranchyk To Meet Fellow-Unbeaten Anthony Yigit In IBF Junior Welterweight Title Eliminator
SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION Live At 10 p.m. ET/PT From Deadwood Mountain Grand in Deadwood, South Dakota
NEW YORK (Feb. 6, 2018) – Undefeated 140-pound contender Regis Prograis and former world champion Viktor Postol will face off for the vacant WBC Super Lightweight World Championship on Friday, March 9 in the 12-round main event of SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION live on SHOWTIME at 10 p.m. ET/PT from Deadwood Mountain Grand in Deadwood, South Dakota.
Prograis (20-0, 17 KOs), of Houston by way of New Orleans, has scored knockouts in 13 of his last 14 fights and is a rising star in the wide-open 140-pound division. The aggressive-minded southpaw will face the toughest test of his career in Postol (29-1, 12 KOs), a former WBC Super Lightweight World Champion with only one loss on his record.
In the 12-round co-feature, undefeated 140-pound contenders Ivan Baranchyk (17-0, 10 KOs) and Anthony Yigit (21-0-1, 7 KOs) will square off in a Junior Welterweight World Title Eliminator to become the mandatory challenger for IBF champion Sergey Lipinets. Lipinets will defend his belt the following day, March 10, on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® against undefeated three-division champion Mikey Garcia.
The event is presented by DiBella Entertainment, in association with Elite Boxing, Fight Promotions Inc., Holden Productions and Sauerland Promotions. Tickets, priced at $200, $80 and $60, go on sale Friday, Feb. 9, and can be purchased on Ticketmaster.com or by calling (877) 907-4726.
“I feel I’m one of the best junior welterweights in the world and this is my chance to display my belief in myself,” Prograis said. “I’m very excited to be fighting Viktor Postol – he’s a very experienced fighter that previously held the WBC world title. I want to become a world champion this year, and I know Viktor Postol wants to reclaim his title, but we have to go through each other first. This is a great fight for boxing because you have two hungry fighters. It’s a can’t-miss fight.”
“My goal is to become a world champion again and I know a win over Regis Prograis will bring me one step closer,” Postol said. “I have been training hard for the past couple of months and I’m very excited for the opportunity to face Prograis on March 9.”
“My next fight is very important for my career and I am preparing for it very seriously,” Baranchyk said. “A few months ago, I moved to Miami, Fla., where I am now being trained by Pedro Diaz. I have strict discipline for everything in my training. I’m working on improving my skills, tactics for the fight, my skill set and physical strength. I’m also maintaining a much stricter diet and eating very healthy. I want every fighter to know if I am in the boxing ring you will never have an easy fight with me.”
“My dream is to become a world champion and I need to defeat Baranchyk to continue on my path,” Yigit said. “This will be my first time fighting in the United States but I’m ready to show the boxing fans that I have what it takes to become a world champion. From Stockholm, Sweden to Deadwood, South Dakota, onward my journey continues.”
“Two excellent super lightweight matchups highlight this SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION on March 9. At the Deadwood Mountain Grand in South Dakota, the rising young gun will duel the seasoned ex-champion,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “Regis ‘Rougarou’ Prograis can earn a world championship by beating his toughest foe, the respected and formidable Viktor Postol, with the interim WBC title at stake. Undefeated puncher Ivan Baranchyk is truly ‘The Beast’ in the ring and is determined to blaze a path toward a world title shot in his IBF eliminator, taking on Sweden’s European Champion, former Olympian, Anthony ‘Can You Dig It?’ Yigit.”
“Prograis and Baranchyk have appeared a combined nine times on ShoBox: The New Generation and it’s fulfilling to see their development from talented prospects to legitimate contenders,” said Gordon Hall, ShoBox Executive Producer and SVP Production, SHOWTIME Sports. “We view this progression as a validation for the ShoBox series, and we’re thrilled to see their hard work pay off with these potentially career-changing opportunities. These are two tough fights that will determine who is ready to take the next step in this exciting division.”
“We are thrilled that DiBella Entertainment is bringing big time boxing back to South Dakota,” said Susan Kightlinger, General Manager at Deadwood Mountain Grand. “Deadwood is renowned for its rough and tumble past and professional boxing fits that mold perfectly. It’s an amazing card, great fighters and SHOWTIME is the ultimate name in boxing. It’s a perfect fit!”
A consensus top-10 ranked fighter at 140 pounds, the 29-year-old Prograis has beaten three previously undefeated fighters on the SHOWTIME developmental series ShoBox: The New Generation. Prograis stamped his arrival as a legitimate contender in the 140-pound division on June 9 scoring four knockdowns of previously undefeated Joel Diaz Jr., en route to a second-round TKO. Following the fight, Prograis called out the top players in the 140-pound division, including Terence Crawford and Adrien Broner, and on March 9, he’ll get his first chance to prove he’s ready to face the division’s elite.
Prograis’ nickname “Rougarou” originates from Louisiana folklore and is defined as a werewolf-like creature. Originally from New Orleans, Prograis relocated to Houston following Hurricane Katrina.
Postol won the vacant WBC 140-pound World Championship with a stunning and dominating 10th round knockout of Lucas Matthysse in 2015. The 34-year-old Ukrainian attempted to unify the division in his first defense, losing via unanimous decision to then-WBO champion Terence Crawford in 2016. He has since bounced back with a win over previously unbeaten Jamshidbek Najmiddinov last September in his native Ukraine. A win would move him one step closer to earning back the coveted WBC title he lost.
The co-feature also pits two of the top prospects in the 140-pound division, each with an opportunity to score the biggest win of their respective careers.
The aggressive-minded Baranchyk is a former amateur standout that packs power in both hands. The 25-year-old native of Belarus is currently ranked No. 4 in the IBF at 140 pounds and owns seven wins over previously undefeated fighters. He’s gone the 10-round distance three times and is coming off an eight-round unanimous decision over then-undefeated Keenan Smith last July on ShoBox in his adopted hometown of Miami, Okla.
The 26-year-old Yigit competed in the 2012 Olympics for Sweden, advancing to the second round before losing a very narrow decision to eventual Silver Medalist Denys Berinchyk. The Stockholm native has tallied 21 victories in just four years following the Olympics while campaigning in Europe. The southpaw will make his U.S. debut against Baranchyk as he looks to prove he’s ready to contend on the world stage.
The doors open and first bout begins at 5:30 p.m. More information on the Deadwood Mountain Grand can be found on their website at www.DeadwoodMountainGrand.com.
All Four Heavyweight World Championship Titles At Stake On Industry-Leading 2018 SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® Schedule
Photo Credit: Matchroom Boxing; Click Image For High-Res Version
NEW YORK – February 5, 2018 – SHOWTIME Sports will present the heavyweight world championship unification between undefeated IBF and WBA World Champion Anthony Joshua and unbeaten WBO World Champion Joseph Parker on Saturday, March 31 live on SHOWTIME from Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.
The British sensation Joshua, who has knocked out all 20 of his professional opponents, burst onto the global scene with a dramatic knockout of long-reigning heavyweight kingpin Wladimir Klitschko in the universally acclaimed 2017 Fight of the Year. In two fights last year, Joshua drew 168,000 spectators combined to massive stadium events in the U.K. Now, he faces another significant challenge in Parker, a native of New Zealand with 24 wins, no losses and 18 knockouts. Parker is attempting the third world title defense of his WBO belt.
With the addition of Joshua vs. Parker, all four heavyweight world championship belts will be at stake in the same month on SHOWTIME as undefeated American Deontay Wilder (39-0, 38 KOs) will defend his WBC title against unbeaten Luis Ortiz (28-0, 24 KOs) on Saturday, March 3 from Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The four top-rated heavyweights — Wilder, Ortiz, Joshua and Parker — boast a combined record of 111 wins, zero losses and 100 knockouts.
Both heavyweight championships are cornerstones of a remarkable 2018 SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING schedule that now includes 16 undefeated fighters and 13 world titles fights across 11 marquee events through the first six months of the year.
“The heavyweight division is in the midst of a renaissance, and SHOWTIME is delivering all of the pivotal bouts to our subscribers,” said Stephen Espinoza, President, Sports and Event Programing, Showtime Networks Inc. “Anthony Joshua is a global superstar, and we’re proud to present his sixth, and perhaps most challenging, world title fight to the U.S. audience. Joshua vs. Parker will be the 12th heavyweight world championship match on SHOWTIME since Deontay Wilder won his title in 2015, an undisputed industry-leading offering in boxing’s preeminent division.”
Joshua vs. Parker is just the second heavyweight championship unification in history between undefeated world titleholders. The only fighter to emerge victorious from a matchup of unbeaten heavyweight world champions was Mike Tyson in 1987.
The event is promoted by Matchroom Boxing in association with Duco Events. SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING will televise the event live from Principality Stadium where organizers expect a sell-out of 80,000 spectators. The host of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING is Brian Custer. Mauro Ranallo calls the action from ringside along with International Boxing Hall of Fame analyst Al Bernstein and former two-division world champion Paul Malignaggi. SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSIP BOXING is produced by David Dinkins Jr, and directed by Chuck McKean. The start time for the March 31 telecast will be announced.
Showtime Networks Inc. (SNI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of CBS Corporation, owns and operates the premium television networks SHOWTIME®, THE MOVIE CHANNEL™ and FLIX®, and also offers SHOWTIME ON DEMAND®, THE MOVIE CHANNEL™ ON DEMAND and FLIX ON DEMAND®, and the network’s authentication service SHOWTIME ANYTIME®. Showtime Digital Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of SNI, operates the stand-alone streaming service SHOWTIME®. SHOWTIME is currently available to subscribers via cable, DBS and telco providers, and as a stand-alone streaming service through Apple®, Roku®, Amazon, Google, Xbox One and Samsung. Consumers can also subscribe to SHOWTIME via Hulu, YouTube TV, Sling TV, DirecTV Now, Sony PlayStation® Vue and Amazon Channels. SNI also manages Smithsonian Networks™, a joint venture between SNI and the Smithsonian Institution, which offers Smithsonian Channel™, and offers Smithsonian Earth™ through SN Digital LLC. SNI markets and distributes sports and entertainment events for exhibition to subscribers on a pay-per-view basis through SHOWTIME PPV®. For more information, go to www.SHO.com
Lightweight World Champion Robert Easter Defeats Javier Fortuna
in SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® Co-Feature
Don’t Miss The Replay Monday, January 22 at
10 p.m. ET/PT On SHOWTIME EXTREME
Click HERE for Photos from Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME
Click HERE for Photos from Ed Diller/DiBella Entertainment
BROOKLYN (Jan. 21, 2018) – Undefeated welterweight world champion Errol Spence Jr. retained his IBF title with an impressive stoppage of former two-division champion Lamont Peterson in the main event of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXINGSaturday night from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING®.
In his first defense since dethroning Kell Brook on SHOWTIME last May, Spence (23-0, 20 KOs) out boxed a tough Peterson (35-4-1, 17 KOs) from start to finish, showcasing a wide array of skills, speed and power. The fight was stopped prior to the start of the eighth round after Peterson’s trainer, Barry Hunter, called for the stoppage.
The fight played out similar to how both fighters predicted, starting in a cagey tactical affair before it turned into an aggressive fight in the middle rounds. Two minutes into round five, Spence used a blistering left hook to send Peterson to the canvas (Click HEREfor highlight). The Washington, D.C. native returned to his feet and continued to battle, but Spence proved to be too much. The 2012 U.S. Olympian out landed Peterson 161-45, while connecting on 49 percent of his power punches to just 31 percent for Peterson.
After the fight Spence spoke to SHOWTIME Sports reporter Jim Gray and was quick to give credit to his opponent. “I want to thank Lamont,” he said. “A lot of guys turned down the fight and he took it like a real warrior and I commend him for that. He’s a tough fighter. He’s willing to die in there.” Click HERE to watch the interview highlight.
Despite earning the win in commanding fashion, Spence still believes he has room to improve. “I still can improve a lot on my defense,” said the unbeaten world champion. “I just have to keep perfecting my skills and keep progressing. You’re going to see a better Errol Spence next time I get in the ring.
“Everybody knows I’ve been waiting on “Some Time” Thurman,” said Spence, looking ahead to a possible unification match with WBC and WBA Welterweight World Champion Keith Thurman. “Since I was 15-0 I’ve been calling this guy out and he keeps making excuses. Let’s get it on. He has two of the belts and we both have big names. It’s an easy fight to make and I want it.”
Peterson, who fought valiantly against the younger Spence, respected the decision of his trainer to stop the fight, “If he asks me to fight a million people, I will. If he asks me to stop. I will stop. I will never question his decision. I know he has my best interests at heart.”
“It was really hard, but if you know Lamont, you know he was not going to give up,” said trainer Barry Hunter. “I had to stop it. At the end of the day, this is my son right here. There’s nothing more valuable than his well-being. If it comes to him or winning, I pick him. I care about him.”
Undefeated 135-pound world champion Robert Easter (21-0, 14 KOs) earned a split decision victory over former world champion Javier Fortuna (33-2-1, 23 KOs) in the co-main event of the SHOWTIME telecast. The judges scored the bout 114-113, 113-114 and 115-112.
The back-and-forth bout saw two skilled fighters stay in the pocket and look to do damage from the inside. A second round point deduction from Fortuna proved costly when the Dominican was warned and then penalized for hitting Easter behind the head. Without the one point deduction, the fight would have been scored a draw. While Easter Jr. was slightly busier, Fortuna landed the more powerful punches. Easter Jr., who held a significant height advantage, out landed Fortuna, connecting on 120 of 383 (31 percent) power punches while Fortuna connected on 113 of 441 (26 percent).
“It was a tough fight, he’s a former world champion for a reason,” Easter told Gray. “We made it tough trying to counter punch. He wasn’t throwing much and it made it difficult for me to chase this guy around.
“I couldn’t get the knockout but we got the win and that’s all that matters. I knew he was going to run once he felt my power. He just wanted to grab and hold the whole fight.”
Looking ahead, Easter made his intentions clear as he seeks unification bouts in the near future, “I want to fight the champions and unify these belts. Fights like these aren’t in my game plan. I’m ready for Mikey Garcia and Jorge Linares to sign the contract.”
A disgruntled Fortuna also spoke to Gray, “the public knows what happened here. They booed because they know that I won this fight.
“If he’s a man let’s fight again at 135-pounds,” said Fortuna, who failed to make weight on two attempts Friday, which meant that Easter’s belt would not be on the line. “I will definitely make the weight. I didn’t give myself enough time to train.”
Unbeaten light heavyweight contender Marcus Browne (21-0, 16 KOs) made quick work of Francy Ntetu (17-2, 4 KOs) in SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING PRELIMS action, as he dropped and battered his opponent early to force referee Arthur Mercante to stop the bout at just 2:15 of the first round. Fighting for his 12th time at the Barclays Center, the 27 year-old Staten Island native kept his unblemished record intact by utilizing his powerful left hand on the overmatched Ntetu.
Browne established his dominance from the start, landing a clean overhand left that dropped Ntetu halfway through the round. The Montreal, Québec native was never able to regain his feet and found himself cornered against the ropes just thirty seconds later. A barrage of powerful combinations landed on the defenseless Ntetu left the referee with little option but to stop the fight with 45 seconds remaining in round number one.
“We worked for this win. He walked into a sure shot and I made him pay,” said Browne. “The overhand left caught him and that was the beginning of the end for him. I knew he was hurt.
“I need a world title shot. I’m ready to take on any of the champions. I don’t have any preferences. I’m glad I put together another great performance here at Barclays Center. I’m going to keep improving until I really become Mr. Barclays Center.”
Ntetu, who moved up to the light heavyweight division for this fight, had a hard time dealing with Browne’s combination of speed and power on his way to the second loss of his pro career.
“[Browne] is very explosive, congrats to him,” said Ntetu. “He’s fast, he’s smart and I did not expect him to be that explosive. He got me with his right hook and a straight left.
“I was in enough shape to fight for 10 rounds. This is not my weight class, but I don’t want to make excuses.”
In the opening bout of the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING PRELIMS, undefeated Adam Kownacki (17-0, 14 KOs) delivered a brutal knockout of Iago Kiladze (26-2, 18 KOs) at 2:08 of the sixth round of their heavyweight matchup. Kownacki, born in Lomza, Poland but fighting out of Brooklyn, New York, enjoyed the support of his hometown crowd as he steadily wore Kiladze down.
Kownacki was the more aggressive and accurate of the two fighters, landing 43 percent of his power punches and 35 percent of his total punches, compared to just 30 percent and 18 percent, respectively, for Kiladze. Despite a bloody nose that Kownacki suffered in the first round, the Polish heavyweight began to pour it on and tire Kiladze with a series of uppercuts and one-two combinations in the fourth round. The action-packed bout came to an end when Kownacki connected on a combination of two uppercuts and a right hand that sent Kiladze on his back in the final minute of the sixth round. After a stunned Kiladze returned to his feet, referee Shada Murdaugh called the fight at the suggestion of the ringside doctor.
“I’m so thankful to all my Polish fans who come out and give me that extra support”, said Kownacki, who fought in front of hundreds of his compatriots. “I’m going to keep fighting for the fans and give everyone a great show.
“I think I made the fight a lot harder than I should have. It’s another learning experience and I got the win. That’s all that matters.”
The Republic of Georgia-born Kiladze, who fights out of Los Angeles, was unable to speak to media as he was taken to NYU Lutheran Hospital for precautionary reasons.
Saturday’s telecast will replay on Sunday, January 21 at 9 a.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME and Monday, January 22 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME EXTREME and will be available on SHOWTIME ON DEMAND® and SHOWTIME ANYTIME®.
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For more information visit www.sho.com/sports , www.premierboxingchampions.com, follow us on Twitter @ShowtimeBoxing, @PremierBoxing, @LouDiBella, @TGBPromotions, @BarclaysCenter and @Swanson_Comm or become a fan on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/SHOBoxing, www.Facebook.com/barclayscenter,
and www.Facebook.com/DiBellaEntertainment. PBC was sponsored by Corona Extra, La Cerveza Mas Fina. This event was promoted by DiBella Entertainment and TGB Promotions.
Spence Makes First Title Defense In Main Event Of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® From Barclays Center In Brooklyn, Presented By Premier Boxing Champions
Click HERE For Photos; Credit: Tom Casino/SHOWTIME
SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING – 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT on SHOWTIME
IBF Welterweight World Championship
Errol Spence Jr.: 147 pounds
Lamont Peterson: 146 ¾ pounds
Referee: Harvey Dock; Judges: Julie Lederman (N.Y.), Don Trella (Conn.), Steve Weisfeld (N.J.)
IBF Lightweight World Championship
Robert Easter Jr.: 134 ½ pounds
Javier Fortuna: 136 ½ pounds**
Referee: Ricky Gonzalez; Judges: Glenn Feldman (Conn.), John McKaie (N.Y.), Kevin Morgan (N.Y.)
**Fortuna does not make the 135-pound lightweight limit and cannot win IBF title. Fortuna initially weighed 136.8 pounds and measured 136.4 pounds after the two-hour allowance.
Light Heavyweight Bout – 10 Rounds
Marcus Browne: 175 ¾ pounds
Francy Ntetu: 174 ½ pounds
Heavyweight Bout – 10 Rounds
Adam Kownacki: 260 pounds
Iago Kiladze: 220 ½ pounds
“This is a tough challenge. If you know Lamont, you know he’s a tough fight but I came to dominate the division and it started with Kell Brook. I’m going to get Lamont Peterson and then I’m going to get the other welterweights that are out there.
“It’s definitely important not just to win the fight, but how I win the fight. I came to dominate the division and I came here to look good. I’m the future of the division and I’m the future of boxing.”
“I wouldn’t say that Errol isn’t the bigger guy, I just believe that it doesn’t matter. It’s all about boxing skills.
“I think we’ll both make each other look pretty good, but I’m going to win.”
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Shohjahon Ergashev Shines While Jesse Hernandez Edges Ernesto Garza In Co-Featured Bouts
Catch The Replay Monday At 10 p.m. ET/PT On SHOWTIME EXTREME
Click HERE To Download Photos; Credit Stephanie Trapp/SHOWTIME
VERONA, N.Y. (Jan. 13, 2018) – Unified Women’s Super Middleweight World Champion Claressa Shields dominated previously undefeated Tori Nelson en route to a 10-round unanimous decision in the main event of ShoBox: The New Generation Friday on SHOWTIME from Turning Stone Resort Casino.
Shields controlled from opening to closing bell, sweeping 100-90 on all three judges’ scorecards in the first 10-round distance fight of her career. The 2012 and 2016 Olympic Gold Medalist out-landed Nelson 225-81 with her total punches, 186-70 in powers shots, and connected at a 44 percent clip with her power shots compared to just 20 percent for Nelson.
“I landed every shot that I thought possible to land,” Shields said. “She was tough, she wasn’t a pushover. She put on a good fight.”
Shields advanced to 5-0 with two knockouts in what was likely her final fight in the super middleweight division. The 22-year-old now has her sights set on the middleweight division where she will eventually target undefeated and Unified Women’s Middleweight World Champion Christina Hammer, who was ringside Friday in Verona.
“I have to drop down and see how I feel (first),” Shields said. “I think I could make 160 easy, I’m going to be bigger and stronger than any girl.
“Hammer just wants to scope. I think she’s pretty scared to be honest. She is more worried about me than I am about her. I’m going to kick Hammer’s ass. People think Hammer is more skilled than me so I can’t wait to show her that she’s not.”
Hammer, who is expected to fight in a co-featured bout on the next Shields card, was interviewed by SHOWTIME analyst Steve Farhood and expressed excitement to make her U.S. debut and eventually face the American champion.
“It’s a great combination me and her on the same card,” Hammer said. “I can’t wait to show the fans who Christina Hammer is. That will be the best fight ever. It will be the game-changer for female boxing. It’s our time to shine.
“I’m long-time world champion and I have more experience. I have longer reach, I’m tall, I have good footwork and better technique than her. I feel the energy, and I can’t wait to fight against her.”
The former world champion Nelson (17-1-3, 2 KOs) became the 173rd undefeated fighter to suffer their first professional loss on ShoBox: The New Generation.
“I’m not happy because I didn’t win, but other than that I thought I executed pretty well,” said the 41-year-old Nelson. “I gave her a better fight than she was expecting.
“No disrespect to Claressa, she doesn’t have great power. She has great speed and she overwhelms you with a lot of punches. My movement threw her off like I knew it would but knowing she was the champion, I needed to just push a little bit more.”
In the ShoBox co-feature, Jesse Hernandez narrowly defeated Ernesto Garza via split-decision in an action-packed fight that was scored 95-94 Hernandez, 95-93 Garza, 97-93 Hernandez.
After a close first round, Garza floored Hernandez with a flush left hand to the nose in the closing moments of the second round. Hernandez recovered, and while the middle rounds featured tremendous back-and-forth action, Hernandez seemingly had no trouble walking down Garza, who’s punches seemed to lack any real power. Garza (9-3, 5 KOs) found a second wind and seemed to pick up the eighth and ninth rounds until Hernandez roared back in an excellent 10th and final round that featured 178 total punches.
Hernandez (11-1, 7 KOs) landed 50 percent of his power punches and connected on 40 percent of his punches compared to just 28 percent for Garza, however he threw just 719 total punches compared to more than 1,000 by Garza.
“I think it should have been a unanimous decision,” Hernandez said. “I’ve always been a slow starter and I feel like I lost the first two rounds, especially with the knockdown. But I won pretty much every round after that, I maybe lost three rounds.
“I’m not completely happy with my performance. I have to control my distance and my range a little bit better. I need to go back to the gym and work on those things. Before the summer comes I hope to have another fight and I hope it’s on SHOWTIME.
“I give Garza a lot of credit for getting in the ring and knocking me down. He hung in there for 10 rounds even after I caught him with some good shots. He was able to withstand those shots, but all that said, I still think it should have been a unanimous decision.”
Garza countered that sentiment.
“I thought it was a bogus decision,” Garza said. “I don’t understand that last judge’s card. I was happy with everything that I did. I executed well and did everything I needed to do to win the fight.
“I’m really disappointed with the outcome. I felt that I won. To me, I won a majority of the rounds and I knocked him down. I know knocking your opponent down usually leads to you winning the fight.”
Undefeated Uzbekistan power-puncher Shohjahon Ergashev handed Sonny Fredrickson the first loss of his career with an impressive third round TKO in the opening bout of the ShoBox telecast.
The win over the top-10 ranked Fredrickson extended Ergashev’s perfect record to 12-0 with 12 knockouts.
The 26-year-old pressed the action from the beginning, negating Fredrickson’s five-inch reach advantage with a steady diet of well-timed, crisp punches. Ergashev landed a wide left to the head that stumbled Fredrickson in the opening minute of the third and continued to tee-off as his opponent wobbled against the ropes With Fredrickson (18-1, 12 KOs) unable to defend himself and eating a series of brutal lefts, referee Benjy Esteves stepped in to stop the bout at 1:58 of the third.
All of Ergashev’s 61 connects in the bout were power shots, and he connected on 77 percent of his power punches in the third and final round.
“The ref saved him,” Ergashev said. “If he let him stay on his feet any longer I would have knocked him out. He couldn’t handle my power.
“At this stage of my career, I am in the best shape of my life and the best I have felt. This is my time right now, especially because I am training with Rick (Phillips) and (Javan) Sugar (Hill Steward). That’s what leads to all of my knockout power.
“I’m ready for whatever comes next. I’m ready for more fights in the U.S., and I want to keep getting more exposure to show off my skills. I’m ready to fight anybody in America.”
Fredrickson, who became the 172 fighter to suffer his professional loss on the prospect developmental series, suffered a jaw injury in the bout and was unavailable for comment.
Friday’s tripleheader will replay on Monday, Jan. 15 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME EXTREME and will be available on SHOWTIME on DEMAND® and SHOWTIME ANYTIME®.
Barry Tompkins called the ShoBox action from ringside with Steve Farhood and former world champion Raul Marquez serving as expert analysts. The executive producer was Gordon Hall with Rich Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.
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