Tonight’s ShoBox card featured three men who were trying to rebuild their status as elite prospects in the sport, an endeavor which had mixed results. In the main event, DeAndre Ware scored a huge upset in a majority decision over Ronald Ellis. The early rounds proved tactical and hard to score, with Ellis counterpunching and Ware pressing the action throughout. Ware began to press the action in the middle rounds, with several being close and scores all over the place on press row through round 8. The final rounds seemingly were controlled by Ware, who wore Ellis down throughout the fight with his constant pressure. Ultimately, the judges scored the bout 95-95, 96-94 & 96-94, with the majority decision going to Ware.
Ellis drops to 15-1-2 (10 KO’s) and will need to rebuild himself as a prospect after losing to a relatively unheralded fighter. For Ware, the win moves him to 13-1-2 (8 KO’s), and he will look to capitalize on his new status as an up and coming prospect.
In the ShoBox co-feature, Thomas Mattice was looking to bounce back from his first draw against unbeaten William Madera. The earlygoing of the fight saw Madera outwork Mattice, who appeared sluggish at the start. Through the middle rounds, Mattice began to recover and made the rounds extremely competitive. The defining difference in the fight was the jab of Mattice vs the sharp power punches of Madera, with Madera shocking ringside observers by seemingly being the bigger power puncher. The fight remained close to the end, a result which was certainly reflected in the scorecards.
The official scores were 78-74, 77-75 & 77-75 for Madera, scores which were refreshingly correct given that Mattice was the A side of this fight. This writer had it 77-75 as well. Madera improves to 13-0-2 (6 KO) coming off the biggest win of his career. Mattice suffers his first loss, and needs to go back to the drawing board to salvage his status as a major prospect in the sport. Having come in as such a large favorite, this is arguably a devastating setback for his future.
The featured bout of the non-TV portion of the card featured the return of Dominic Wade, who was coming off a 33 month layoff and looking to get back into form as a contender tonight. Wade took on Martin Fidel Rios, and wasted no time disposing of him. After scoring an early knockdown, Wade landed a huge left hook at the 1:38 mark of round one that sent Rios tumbling to the canvass. Rios tried to get up, but ultimately could not beat the ten count. Wade improves to 19-1 (13 KO’s) and looked very sharp tonight. It will be fascinating to see where he is as a contender at light heavyweight.
The third fight of the evening saw Cleveland knockout artist Roney Hines blow Sherman Artis Jr out of the water, getting a 1st round TKO at the 1:46 mark after three very early knockdowns. Hines wasted no time coming out, stalking Artis Jr and almost immediately scoring a body shot knockdown. After two more knockdowns the referee had no choice but to stop the fight. Hines improves to 4-0 (4 KO’s) in his career, and is clearly ready for a step up in competition.
In the second fight, Rochester native Lawrence King Jr & Cleveland native Octavius Webb each made their pro debuts in a 4 round light heavyweight bout. Behind a raucous hometown crowd, King boxed his way to an easy unanimous decision victory. King utilized his jab and extreme height advantage to work off the backfoot and frustrate Webb all night. The judges scored the fight 40-36, 40-36, 39-37, and this writer had it 40-36. King moves to 1-0 on his career.
The card kicked off with Rochester native Tracy McGruder making his pro debut against 2-0 Michael Lee. McGruder jumped right on Lee from the opening, hurting him with a body shot early round one and relentlessly punishing him through the end of the round. McGruders domination continued through rounds 2 & 3, prompting Lee’s corner to stop the fight at the 1:05 mark of the fourth round. McGruder demonstrated a sharp jab, impressive body work and obvious athleticism in his debut, and moves to 1-0 (1 KO) in his career. He certainly gave the appearance of an intriguing prospect tonight.
Article by Rocco Lucente