Junior welterweight prospect Brandun Lee continued tearing through his opposition to date, scoring a vicious third round knockout win over tough veteran Samuel Teah in tonight’s ShoBox: The New Generation main event.
The 21-year-old Lee (22-0, 20 KO) looked like his usual self, brimming with confidence, full belief in his power, and sharp-shooting away on the 33-year-old Teah (17-4-1, 7 KO), who had never been stopped in his pro career.
Teah wasn’t totally helpless here or anything, he showed some decent stuff in the first half of the second round, but otherwise Lee was too fast, too strong, and too accurate. He dropped Teah early in the third, and Teah took the knockdown like a true pro, taking the eight count and gathering himself as best he could.
Lee came after him, and Teah tried to weather the storm, then tried to throw a left hook. Lee came over the top with a crushing right hand that turned Teah’s lights out before he even hit the canvas.
“Honestly, I don’t think I learned a whole lot tonight. I knew he couldn’t out-box me. I knew he couldn’t out-punch me. I knew the knockout was going to come and that one was definitely one of my top one or two favorites so far in my career,” Lee said after the fight.
“This is probably my biggest accomplishment yet. It was a step up in competition and even the betting odds were way closer than usual. Most of the time, I’m a -5000 favorite or something like that and this time it was only -1000. I was getting a lot of DM’s on Instagram and Twitter of people telling me that Sam is going to be tough, Sam is going to beat you. But hopefully, the doctors check him out and everything is all good.”
It’s an impressive performance and a good win for where Lee is at. Without power promoters funneling their prospects through ShoBox anymore, the series maybe lacks the sort of potential star appearances it used to have pretty routinely. But Lee looks like he might be one. He’s lean and athletic at the weight, pretty tall with a good reach, and just generates a lot of power. He’s exciting to watch and easy to like, ticks all the boxes you’d want for a young fighter in terms of them potentially becoming a star.
There are levels to go, of course; it’s a good ways from Samuel Teah to the real contenders, but when you watch Lee, it’s so easy to see. He said after the fight he’d like to go after the IBO title, which I’m terrified means more fighters are going to start trying to legitimize the IBO. But for the record, their belt at 140 is held by Jeremias Ponce, who is about to be in a four-man IBF eliminator tournament.
But if not Ponce or the fringe belt, if they think about another veteran type, I think you might look at someone like Daud Yordan, Steve Claggett, Fedor Papazov, Ismael Barroso, Yves Ulysse Jr, Antonio Moran, or Petros Ananyan — there are plenty of guys at that sort of level, and there is plenty of time for Lee to keep working in the gym, making the moderate steps forward in the ring, and getting ready to possibly seriously contend in the next year or two. It’s a division where there’s a very good chance four belts (the ones people care about) are going vacant after Ramirez-Taylor in May.
Jordan White TKO-6 Misael Lopez
A minor upset here, and a really good fight. Judges had this 48-47 twice for White, and 48-47 once for Lopez at the time of the stoppage. We had it 48-47 Lopez, and the 24-year-old Mexican-American junior lightweight seemed to be finally taking some control of things a little bit when White hurt him in the sixth, then finished him off with a pair of knockdowns.
Lopez (11-1, 5 KO) did some good stuff here, especially to the body, and both he and White landed north of 40 percent of their power shots, a big percentage. But White just seemed to be the clear harder hitter, and the 23-year-old “Shortdog” is now 11-1 (9 KO) and should be on the radar now at 130. His only loss back back in 2017 to Adam Lopez, who has gone on to become a solid pro, and that was White’s fifth pro fight.
“It was a good performance. It was my first time fighting in a year and I feel like I was just getting warmed up when the stoppage came,” White said. “I would grade my performance as a B- or C+. This was a big win, but honestly, it’s just the beginning. We’re going to come back better and stronger each time.
“In the first couple rounds, I hit him with a few good body shots. I knew I had him with my power. When I hit him with the right uppercut that hurt him in the sixth, I was like, ‘Okay, I’m going to pace it out a little bit. I’m not going to rush the knockout.’ And I was patient, man. After the uppercut, I set up a couple hooks, an overhand, and it was lights out.”
Steven Ortiz UD-8 Jeremy Hill
Hill is 28, unproven as a lot of fighters on this series are coming in, took this on short notice, but had some moments despite being rather clearly the less-prepared fighter. Scores wound up 77-75, 77-75, and 79-73 for Ortiz (12-0, 3 KO), and Bad Left Hook had it 78-74 for Ortiz, so right in the middle.
Hill (14-1, 9 KO) had the longer reach but got out-jabbed heavily, which is what really won the 27-year-old Ortiz the fight. I wouldn’t really call either of these fighters serious prospects, in all honesty. I’d seen Ortiz before and he’s a decent boxer, but I don’t think he has the power or skills to go a lot higher than this, either. He was good enough to get past Hill, who is really limited but again did have some moments.
“Honestly, I’d give myself a D,” Ortiz said after the win. “Only because I feel like I came out beautifully in the beginning and I stopped being consistent with the jab and stopped doing the things that were working. I hurt my right hand a little bit and he hit me in the back with a kidney shot that slowed me down a little bit, so I was upset at that. Besides that, we took on a guy that was 14-0 with nine knockouts after a year-and-a-half layoff. Most guys would never do that.
“He was a good fighter. He was disciplined. If I didn’t have the long layoff, I would have stopped him. Guaranteed. I hurt him plenty of times. If I was just a little sharper and a little more consistent, I would have gotten him out of there
Victor Padilla TKO-5 Thomas Velasquez
Good lightweight opener, Padilla (9-0, 8 KO) didn’t have the easiest time with Velasquez (10-1-1, 6 KO), but his power turned the fight around very suddenly, and ended things in the fifth round.
Padilla, a 22-year-old southpaw from Puerto Rico, was officially down in the first round, but caught more off-balance than anything. More legitimate is that Velasquez, 25, did frustrate Padilla for the opening three rounds in particular, just staying crafty and awkward and not giving Padilla a lot to work with.
But the class started to show in the fourth round, when Padilla started putting his punches together. And to Padilla’s credit, he never got overly flustered or panicky between rounds, stayed calm, definitely a little frustrated, but always looking for the right way to take over the fight. He made it happen, dropping Velasquez in the fifth, which came as the result of sustained offense after clearly hurting the Philadelphia fighter, and then finishing off by forcing referee Danny Schiavone to step in. Velasquez was tough and staying up, but he wasn’t throwing much back and was wobbly.
Velasquez led 38-37, 38-37, and 39-37 on the cards at the time of stoppage. Bad Left Hook also had it 39-37 for Velasquez, scoring the first round a 10-9 because we have the benefit of seeing slow-motion replay and all that, and could see the knockdown in the first wasn’t a big one, and Padilla probably won the round otherwise.
“You have to understand that I had a year off and there were a lot of emotions heading into this fight. My timing was a little off,” Padilla said. “I was trying to throw with a lot of power so that’s why I was missing so much. He wasn’t catching me but he was making me miss. By the start of the fourth round, I started to relax and I realized that when I started putting pressure on him he didn’t know what to do. I just needed to calm down and let the knockout come naturally.
“Next fight, you’re going to see a better me. That’s the plan. I’m growing. I’m just 22 years old. I’m growing in the sport and I’m growing as a man. I’m a lot wiser now.”
Padilla added, “He was making me miss a lot so I understand why I was behind on the scorecards. But I have power in both hands and that was always in my mind. I knew I was going to get him with one shot but there were just too many emotions. In the fifth round, I was completely calm and that’s when the knockout came.”
“I can’t say if the stoppage was early or not right away,” Velasquez said. “I have to go back to the video and watch it. A fighter isn’t going to say that they should have called it. I was executing the game plan pretty well up until that point. It was just a real good punch that I didn’t see
Diuhl Olguin TKO-6 David Navarro
This one didn’t air on the broadcast, but it’s a notable upset of a good prospect, and a controversial one at that.
21-year-old featherweight Navarro led on scores of 49-46, 50-45, and 50-45 after five rounds, and was well on his way to going to 3-0 in his pro career, but he was cut and the fight was stopped in Olguin’s favor with just 21 seconds left in the sixth and final round — or at least what was supposed to be the sixth and final round.
“He said it was an elbow, and right after that, they talked to us and told us that the fight was an eight-rounder. Thinking that, I told him to box in the final round,” said Navarrao trainer Robert Garcia.
“The cut was not even bleeding until late in the round. I don’t even know why they stopped it. We were in the corner and they told us it was an eight-round fight. I have no idea why they changed to an eight-round fight during 6th round. The cutman did a great job on the cut. The referee called a break with 21 seconds and took him to the doctor and that’s what they called. David felt an elbow. I did not see a punch.”
Navarro is now 2-1 (2 KO) for the moment, but this sounds like something they might get overturned and changed to a no-contest at least. The 32-year-old Olguin (15-16-4, 10 KO) is known as a tough prospect checker, it’s almost exclusively what he’s been doing for years now, but this wasn’t one of his nights where he was winning or anything, and if they can prove the cut was from an elbow, the result could very well get changed.
Also of note: welterweight Brian Norman Jr went to 19-0 (16 KO) with a fifth round TKO win over Benjamin Whitaker (15-5, 3 KO), a solid win for the 20-year-old Norman.