(J'Leon Love uppercuts Lajuan Simon; credit: Stephanie Trapp, Showtime)
Floyd Mayweather-promoted fighters got showcases Friday on ShoBox, a Showtime show once meant to show how ready prospects were for the bigtime. This is the price a network pays for tying their fortunes too directly to one boxer's earning appeal and Q Score. Each "TMT" (ugh) stablemate dispensed with their woebegone opponents in style, at least, all winning via brutal knockout.
Junior middleweight Chris Pearson only took one round to get rid of Acacio Joao Ferreira, who at least came forward winging punches to pressure Pearson into a quality performance. Toward the end of the round, Pearson landed a left-right combo that had Ferreira in outrageous trouble, not that the ref, who looked like at Ferreira, cared to step closer as a result to halt the bout if needed. Another big left-right combo had Ferreira out on his feet against the ropes, and two more rights dropped Ferreira for good. Did this tell us anything about Pearson? Dunno. He was in against an anonymous South American with a gaudy KO percentage, but those percentages sometimes prove legit against tougher competition and sometimes prove false when they're transplanted to more northern climes.
Lightweight Mickey Bey, one of two fighters coming off illicit drug suspensions on the Mayweather card (hey guys, remember how Mayweather was going to save us from performance enhancing drugs?), made easy work of Carlos Cardenas, finishing him off in the 3rd with a double left hook to the head and body. Cardenas was coming off a knockout loss in his last fight, which at least puts him on even terms with Bey, last seen being knocked out by John Molina. I can't count out Bey as a fighter to be watched for future contender status, but then again, I can't look at this win as any sign of anything other than Mayweather having big sway with Showtime.
Badou Jack, a middleweight, had the hardest night of it. Rogelio Medina hasn't exactly distinguished himself with his record, so maybe that says something bad(ou) about Jack. I had Jack slightly ahead, 3-2, through five, but some saw it more lopsided for Jack, namely the Showtime commentators who are usually more reliable in accurately describing whether the "house" fighter is struggling a little. It didn't matter because Jack took over after a 2-2 split on my card against a fading Medina in the 5th and then dropped him three times in the 6th. A counter right did Medina in for the first knockdown, followed by a combo finished by a right and then a nifty double left uppercut for the third and final knockdown. Jack had a draw against the dangerous Marco Antonio Periban in his last bout, so this is a minor bounceback, not that it will convince anyone fully that Jack is a real prospect rather than a rugged fighter whose upside is as a borderline contender.
Lastly, main eventer J'Leon Love somewhat mimicked Jack's "difficult, even outing followed by a big KO" against Lajuan Simon. Love's last win was transformed into a no contest owing to testing positive for a banned substance, and he moved up to 168 for this one. He looked rusty, frankly, throwing awkward wide punches despite a speed advantage and significantly less wear-and-tear than Simon, who is now 2-5 in his last seven, including a 1st round knockout loss to Gennady Golovkin in his last fight, a respectable enough outing against the fearsome GGG except for it was two years ago and Simon hasn't fought since. Simon was better than he deserved to be against Love if Love was all that good, so for as much as the Showtime team was convinced Love was winning it easily prior to the stoppage, Simon faring better than a shutout in the view of people I follow on Twiter until the 6th isn't good enough.