David Stevens scored a dramatic knockout of Sean Hemphill in tonight’s ShoBox main event, dropping Hemphill twice and securing the KO victory at 2:58 of the eighth and final round.
Stevens (12-0, 9 KO) did lead 68-65 on all three official cards, it was reported on the broadcast, so he didn’t technically need the stoppage or even the first knockdown, but he didn’t know that for sure, and it had largely been a nip-and-tuck sort of fight where judges may easily have preferred either guy in most of the first seven rounds.
Bad Left Hook’s unofficial card was 67-66 Stevens, and Showtime’s Steve Farhood had it 68-65 Hemphill.
Stevens, 22, seemed to consistently land the harder shots throughout, but Hemphill (14-1, 8 KO) certainly never made it easy, as the 27-year-old did his best to keep Stevens’ power shots neutralized.
It was also a fight where, by the middle rounds, both men were clearly flagging in energy, and by the final two rounds, were both pretty well gassed. Stevens then lunged forward with a big burst late in round eight, dropped Hemphill, and the fight was pretty well secured there. Hemphill did get up, but two more shots dropped him again, and the referee jumped in to call for the bell.
Atif Oberlton UD-8 Artem Brusov
Scores were 78-74, 78-74, and 79-73, which I think were all fair. Bad Left Hook unofficially scored the fight 78-74, giving Brusov (12-1, 11 KO) the first and last rounds, and Oberlton (8-0, 6 KO) everything in-between, and very clearly everything in-between.
Oberlton, 24, was a standout American amateur who might maybe have made the Tokyo Olympic team, but decided to turn pro instead. It’s clear the potential he has — a 6’3” southpaw light heavyweight, likes to get his jab going, moves pretty well. If you scout him from what we’ve seen so far, a few fights on TV, he looks maybe like he doesn’t have the mega-high ceiling, but a pretty high floor.
Julian Gonzalez TKO-4 Rosalindo Morales
Correct call to stop this by referee Shawn Carter. Morales, a 29-year-old hoping to get something going, was really, really tough, but also really over-matched against the 21-year-old Gonzalez.
Gonzalez (9-0-1, 9 KO) was controlling the action in round one, then dropped Morales (9-1, 2 KO) hard right before the bell to end the frame. Morales never truly recovered, though he did his best to scrap and survive, and he didn’t want the fight to be stopped when it was. But he was just walking onto shots and clearly didn’t have the tools to make the difference going forward; referee had to weigh out how much of a risk he was taking letting it continue, because it was mostly one-way action. Even the shots Morales did land weren’t doing much.
ShoStats saw Gonzalez landing 68 of 200 (34%) total punches and 64 of 124 (52%) of his power shots, with Morales at 28 of 159 (18%) total and 16 of 64 (25%) on power punches. Again, Morales did his best, especially considering they probably could have stopped this in the corner between rounds one and two. But Gonzalez was better, and I’d expect to see the 130 lb prospect back on ShoBox or somewhere else on TV.