We might not have seen a top prospect on ShoBox Friday night. Instead we got one nice fight among the bunch with some uneven performances, and some sordid scorecards.
The most sordid scorecards came after lightweight Christopher Brooker dominated John Magda, only to suffer a draw. Brooker won clearly, even easily; he was more aggressive, more active, and landed the harder punches. Magda might’ve won a couple rounds, the ones where he came close to keeping up with Brooker’s pace. James Kinney somehow scored it 77-74 for Magda, of all people. Larry Layton scored it a draw. Only Don Givens was in the right ballpark, giving it to Brooker 78-74. Brooker upset the apple cart last time he was on ShoBox, and he deserved to again, whereupon he should have become the A-side on his next appearance. Either way, the injustice and his exciting style mean he deserves to be back on TV ASAP. It was a robbery, plain and simple.
But Givens was the author of another of the most sordid scorecards. You might remember him as the man who got suspended by New Jersey after scoring Paul Williams over Erislandy Lara. Friday, Givens awarded Donald Ellis his fight by a 78-74 margin, when most either had Jerry Odom winning or a draw. The other two judges scored the super middleweight bout a draw, so at least it wasn’t the wrong outcome. Ellis and Odom came in with reputations as power punchers, but both wanted to box, and both mostly did. Ellis had success when he caught Odom on the ropes, where Odom felt compelled to slug, mostly to his detriment. But at times Odom backed Ellis off with his own power, and as the fight wore on, the more experienced Odom — relying on body work and having gone eight rounds before, ever — began to take over. It was a bout that featured some sporadic power surges and action, so it was a solidly watchable bout. Ellis might get better with some seasoning, while Odom seems stuck in a weird entropy cloud.
The best controversy-free showing of the evening was that by the headliner, junior featherweight Adam Lopez. When he was right, he was a crisp boxer-puncher who didn’t get hit much. When he was wrong, he was a foul machine who got shook by an eye that began closing mid-fight, with the cause of the closing unclear. Mario Munoz won a couple rounds after Lopez’s mid-fight fade. In the end, Lopez won the unanimous decision, as he should have. In the evening’s fourth fight, lightweight O’Shanique Foster rebounded from a loss in his ShoBox debut to batter Lavisas Williams so much his corner stopped the fight in the 7th.
(One of the winners among the ShoBox results, Adam Lopez [left], squares off with Mario Munoz; credit: Rosie Cohe, Showtime)