Rob Brant seemed to have the goods, but his lack of competition was worrying. This evening, ShoBox pitted him against a very capable spoiler in Louis Rose to see if he had the goods.
Looks like it. Working behind a powerful jab, Brant (18-0, 11 KO) edged out Rose (13-3-1, 5 KO) over ten competitive rounds to earn a well-scored majority decision.
Brant's jab commanded the early rounds, with some right crosses and step-through lefts landing clean on an active but mostly ineffective Rose. For a good portion of the first six rounds, Brant consistently landed the cleaner punches on the front and back foot.
Then Rose turned it up.
While his punches lacked the technical flair of Brant's, Rose threw a bunch of them, including some lovely body shots as he walked the increasingly-inactive Brant around the ring. His volume regained some lost ground and, going into the tenth, the fight seemed almost up for grabs.
Rose wound up throwing 122 punches in the final round while Brant came after him with everything he had. Ultimately, however, Rose's comeback was not to be, as he lost the decision on scores of 95-95 and 96-94 (twice) for Brant, the latter of which matched Bad Left Hook's score.
Both men gave good accounts of themselves tonight and put on a very entertaining main event. They're both fairly young as well, so hopefully they'll get the opportunity to make waves in the future.
The middle feature, a clash of powerful heavyweights, produced two exciting rounds before reaching a definitive conclusion in the third. Former kickboxer Jarrell Miller met some resistance in the first round, but ultimately overwhelmed Ahror Muralimov for his fourth-straight knockout.
Muralimov (16-2, 13 KO), who gave up a staggering 42 pounds to Miller, seemed to have a winning gameplan early on, catching the plodding Miller coming in with check hooks and whacking away at the body, but "Big Baby" soon put his size to use. Miller (15-0-1, 13 KO) essentially overwhelmed Muralimov by throwing 92 punches in the second round and, early in the third, staggered the Uzbek brawler with an overhand right before crushing him with a right cross.
The punch was obviously brutal, but Muralimov got his wits about him in a hurry. He used those wits to take out his mouthpiece and stay down for the full ten count.
Miller might need to get his weight in check and his defense leaves a lot to be desired, but he should be good for some fun fights if they match him up right.
Light heavyweight Samuel Clarkson turned in a terrific performance in the opening bout, blowing out Lavarn Harvell in a total of 3:48. Clarkson (17-3, 11 KO), who'd upset Jerry Odom in his previous ShoBox appearance, landed a counter right hook late in the first when Harvell overcommitted to some body shots, taking the latter's legs out from under him. Though Harvell (15-2, 8 KO) survived a second knockdown to reach the bell, Clarkson absolutely devastated him in the second.
After backing Harvell to the ropes, Clarkson landed a heavy cross that had Harvell out on his feet. As the ropes held him up, Clarkson continued the flurry with some more devastating punches, including a worrying right hook that twisted Harvell's head something fierce. It wasn't quite Mercer-Morrison, but it was ugly. Incredibly. Harvell made it up, but he clearly wasn't there and his corner made the wise choice to stop it.
Clarkson's now scored four straight knockouts and it would probably behoove Showtime to keep prospects as far away from him as possible.
For quick results and round-by-round coverage of the night's proceedings, click here.