Tonight’s ShoBox from Hinckley, Minn., may wind up being the last live boxing card we’ll be covering for a bit, but if so, at least we went out on a pretty good note, with three of four fights being quite competitive this evening.
As for how the show came off with no fans in attendance, just essential personnel and immediate family members, it wasn’t all that odd. Many of us watch a lot of boxing prelims, and those fights never have much of anyone in the building, either.
Brandun Lee TKO-3 Camilo Prieto
Prieto (15-3, 9 KO) is a 33-year-old American-born Cuban who had never fought in the U.S. before, and I think we learned why he hasn’t tonight: he can’t. He was totally overmatched here against the 20-year-old Lee, a rising prospect from California at 140 pounds, whose record improves to 19-0 (17 KO) with the easy victory.
Prieto never presented any resistance whatsoever to Lee, who just bulldozed through until referee Mark Nelson made the call to stop the utter mismatch at 2:34 of the third round. Prieto simply wasn’t offering anything back as Lee hammered away.
Lee now will hopefully fight at least a more solid journeyman type or something, but he is still very young and putting things together.
Brian Norman Jr TD-7 Flavio Rodriguez
Norman, a 19-year-old welterweight prospect and second generation fighter from Georgia, improves to 17-0 (14 KO) with a solid win here over a very game Rodriguez, a 29-year-old from Los Angeles, who falls to 9-2-1 (7 KO). Scores were 68-65, 68-65, and 69-64. BLH had it 68-65 for Norman.
Norman passes the eye test pretty easily when you watch him, showcasing good balance, sharp punches, but he’s definitely still raw and makes some mistakes. Rodriguez got to him with some decent shots and did some solid work overall, but Norman was the better guy here.
The fight was halted early, just under a minute into the seventh round of the scheduled eight-rounder, due to a bad clash of heads that left Rodriguez hurting and cut, with the blood flowing down into his eye from over the bridge of his nose. But this was good work for a young fighter, too, a valuable outing for Norman.
Alejandro Guerrero MD-8 Jose Angulo
Lightweight prospect Guerrero (12-0, 9 KO) getting a win here isn’t the absolute worst thing in the world, but the scores that gave him the victory, 78-74 and especially 79-73, seem pretty hard to defend. BLH had the fight 76-76, as did the third judge, in what was really a very even fight overall, with Guerrero rallying over the final three rounds to pull out a draw for us. The draw really seemed to be the most fair result; not many of these rounds were hard to call, maybe only one of them.
The 23-year-old Angulo (12-2, 5 KO) used his length and jab to negate the 22-year-old Guerrero a lot of the time, though admittedly he didn’t do quite enough to earn a clear victory or anything. He also got hurt in the sixth, seventh, and eighth rounds, and barely seemed able to survive in the final round. But did Guerrero win six or seven of these rounds? I don’t think so.
Aram Avagyan MD-8 Dagoberto Aguero
Avagyan (10-0-1, 4 KO) had to climb out of a hole in this one, as Aguero (15-1, 10 KO) dropped him in the first and second rounds on clean right hands, but the Armenian-Russian now based in Detroit managed to do it, clawing his way back to take a decision on scores of 75-75, 76-74, and 77-74. BLH scored the fight 75-75, with Avagyan rallying in the last two rounds to tie it up on our card.
The 27-year-old Aguero, from the Dominican Republic, started showing some real signs of fatigue around the fourth round, and had never been past the sixth before, which showed late in the fight. He was brave and tried to stay in there battling, but the 29-year-old Avagyan was able to outwork him and land the more convincing and telling blows. He also simply wasn’t huffing air, a visual that didn’t help Aguero, surely.