Yuandale Evans credited the hometown crowd in Cleveland for spurring him on to a split decision victory over Luis Rosa Jr on Friday night’s year-ending edition of ShoBox: The New Generation.
Whatever it was, he definitely needed a boost in what was a war that veteran analyst Steve Farhood called “one of the best main events we have had in the 16 years of the ShoBox series.”
Evans (20-1, 14 KO) and Rosa (23-1, 11 KO) traded power shots starting very early in the fight, and the pace never really let up, with 512 power shots landing between the two of them over 10 rounds of action.
Evans won on scores of 96-94, 97-93, and 94-96.
Here’s a quick look at a little action from round four:
“I’m tired but I'm feeling great,” Evans said. “My performance was great. I've never felt myself pushed that hard. He’s a tough Puerto Rican. He's a very tough fighter. The crowd really propelled me to victory tonight, and I’m grateful for that.”
“I thought I won the fight, he won maybe three or four rounds,” Rosa offered. “I won the fight 6-4, 7-3 at least. I won mostly all of the beginning rounds and I gave him a few after the first six. Four rounds is the most I give him, and that's being nice. I feel like the judges were swayed by the hometown crowd.”
Evans, 28, called out the top fighters in the division.
"I want Gary Russell, I want [Carl] Frampton, I want [Leo] Santa Cruz,” said Evans. “I'm nothing but a contract killer. I'm a contract killer and I want one of those top five guys.”
On the undercard
Russian welterweight Radzhab Butaev improved to 8-0 (6 KO) with a decision win over Janer Gonzalez (18-1-1, 15 KO), on scores of 77-75, 79-73, and 80-72, with the 77-75 card perhaps most accurately reflecting the fight. Gonzalez did give Butaev some trouble, but the win went to the right man.
New Zealand heavyweight Junior Fa (13-0, 8 KO) knocked out Fred Latham (9-1-2, 5 KO) in 67 seconds.
U.S. Olympian Charles Conwell, a junior middleweight, went the six-round distance with Roque Zapata, dominating the whole way and winning on scores of 60-51, 60-51, and 60-53. He dropped Zapata twice in the third round, including on this right hand:
Conwell is now 6-0 (5 KO), while Zapata falls to 4-2-3 (0 KO).