Well, it was a busy Friday in Mississippi:
On a somewhat disappointing note, the Shobox Super Middleweight tournament came to a close last night in Southaven, Miss, with no clear winner, as Jean Paul Mendy and Anthony Hanshaw fought to a draw in Southaven. Both fighters remained undefeated, and I would have to think that a rematch is in order. The truth is, I thought this Super Middleweight tournament was going to be much bigger than it ended up being. It seems as though not too much attention was paid to it, and that Showtime didn't really promote it all that heavily. Originally, I thought it had a lot of potential, especially in the age of The Contender. Although the "human interest" element of The Contender was missing, the pool of talent was, it seemed to me, superior to that of the ESPN show. All of the participants were solid up-and-coming prospects with damn good records. The fights themselves, however, didn't turn out to be as explosive as I would have hoped. For the most part, they were just okay. That said, I think Showtime had the right idea with the 8-man tournament, and I hope it's something they continue to pursue in different weight classes. Showtime gets props for putting this tournament on, and so do the eight prospects who were not afraid to face each other.
On the other side of the state, meanwhile, the Peterson brothers continued their undefeated streaks in Biloxi. In the main event, Anthony (22-0, 16KOs) scored a solid fourth round knockout over Humberto Garza, who at 28-3, 23KOs, was his toughest opponent to date. With the win, he defended his NABO Lightweight title and showed yet again that he's ready to take on stronger opposition.
On the undercard, older brother Lamont (20-0, 8KOs) won an eight-round UD over Joaquin Galardo. The older Peterson, who fights at 140, was in control throughout the entire match and won every round on all three scorecards. He's still not as far along as Anthony though.
The Peterson brothers are steadily building their reputations as top contenders in the fight game. Their promoters and managers have done a very good job of keeping them busy while getting them good TV exposure. It seems as though they're coming along steadily, while gaining solid experience. At 21 and 22 years of age, respectively, there should be no rush.
In the other noteworthy fight of the evening, which headlined "Solo Boxeo," former lightweight champ Jose Armando Santa Cruz rose from the canvas to score a 12-round unanimous decision victory over Luis Arceo in New Mexico. In his biggest fight of note, Santa Cruz defeated Edner Cherry on a Shobox telecast before going on to win the WBC title against Chikashi Inada. In his first defense, Santa Cruz was well ahead in all three scorecards going into the 10th round against David Diaz. So far ahead, in fact, that he would've won the fight unanimously even if he had given away the last three rounds. Nonetheless, he stood and fought with Diaz and got knocked out. It seems as though that would have been a tough one to bounce back from, but Santa Cruz took care of business on Friday night.