Sharif "The Lion" Bogere kept his undefeated record, but he didn't keep it easily. Tonight on ShoBox: The New Generation, Bogere just got past Raymundo Beltran in a bloody, headbutt-filled cracker of a main event, winning on scores of 96-94, 96-94 and 97-93. Bad Left Hook scored the fight very close for Beltran, 96-95, but I'm not suggesting a robbery. Just a decision I mildly disagreed with, in my view.
Bogere (20-0, 12 KO) had a pretty big speed advantage against Beltran (24-5, 16 KO), but for much of the fight was unable to keep the distance necessary to really exploit it. Beltran constantly stalked Bogere, walking through his punches with relative ease, and looking to engage him in close quarters. For much of the bout, this worked for Beltran, but Bogere definitely had plenty of moments.
A would-have-been critical moment came in the eighth round. Bogere was nailed with a left uppercut, then staggered into Beltran and hit the canvas, pulling Beltran down with him. Referee Robert Byrd did not rule a knockdown, but in the end the knockdown wouldn't have changed the result, so it wound up not being a huge factor, at least in terms of the scores.
What we saw with Bogere tonight is a talented but still rather raw fighter, taking on a highly-regarded sparring partner whose own career doesn't get enough credit. Beltran is no easy out, and has made major strides since his last loss in 2008.
Like the earlier fight between Sam Webb and Prince Arron, I'd recommend those who missed this one track it down as soon as possible. This was a rough, gritty fight where both men left blood on the canvas and didn't leave an ounce of remaining energy in their bodies. Hats off to both for closing a terrific day and night of boxing with the best fight of the day.
In the co-feature, Nicaraguan heavyweight Evans Quinn decided he'd had enough of Seth Mitchell in just the first round, clearly quitting after a few solid shots by "Mayhem" and just staying on the mat after purposely dropping to his knees. I think Mitchell is a legit prospect -- rare for an American heavyweight -- and while he's still raw himself, he's got legitimate upside. Quinn, on the other hand, quit in this one, plain and simple. There's no way to sugarcoat it.