Three rising prospects faced what some considered the toughest tests of their respective careers as they headlined a tripleheader edition of Showtime Sports’ popular ShoBox: The New Generation series on Friday night at the Wind Creek Events Center in Bethlehem, PA. First up it was a battle between unbeaten Jr. Featherweights as Julian Gonzalez faced Johnny Spell in a fight scheduled for eight rounds. A fight for the Pennsylvania state Jr. Featherweight championship.
Gonzalez began the fight by coming forward and was able to establish early that he was the fighter with the heavier punches. A focal point was the right hand for Gonzalez early, including staggering Spell in the fourth round. Although it appeared as though Gonzalez was perhaps on the verge of scoring a stoppage, Spell was able to recover and to his credit, slowed the pace of the combat over the second half of the fight. Despite having some effective rounds where he seemed to outwork Gonzalez, Spell did not have the punching power to stop Gonzalez from coming forward and it would be Gonzalez who would go on to win an eight round unanimous decision. Official scores were: 78-74 (On two scorecards) and, 79-73 all in favor of Gonzalez. Julian Gonzalez advances to 11-0-1, with 9 Knockouts. Johnny Spell falls to 8-1, with 4 Knockouts.
In a Super-Middleweight bout, unbeaten Paul Kroll fought to a hotly contested eight round majority draw with Guido Schramm. A give and take battle from the opening bell Schramm’s pressure and harder punches seemed to carry most of the first five rounds of the fight including badly staggering Kroll with a right uppercut, left hook combination to the head in the third round. As the fight progressed however, Kroll gradually found his footing and while he was never really able to turn the ebb and flow completely in his favor as Schramm kept coming forward with pressure and throwing punches with knockout intent with every blow, Kroll’s Boxing pedigree was able to make the fight close at the conclusion of the eight round bout. Ultimately it would be too close for two official judges as they arrived with identical deadlocked scores resulting in a majority draw. Official scores were: 77-75 (Kroll), and 76-76 (On two scorecards) making it a majority draw. Pau Kroll advances to 10-0-2, with 6 Knockouts. Guido Schramm advances to 16-1-2, with 9 Knockouts.
The main event of this edition of ShoBox: The New Generation saw a return to the Jr. Lightweight division as undefeated Eridson Garcia faced highly touted prospect Jordan White. What was shaping up to look like an even fight between two prospects at similar stages of their careers ended just as suddenly as one could use the term “Sudden” when White connected with a perfectly time short counter left hook that sent Garcia flat on his back on the canvas. Garcia was essentially out cold as his eyes were wide open as he laid on the canvas, but he was not responding and the count was immediately waved off and the fight stopped giving White a thrilling first round knockout over a previously unbeaten prospect. Official time of the stoppage was 1:57 of round one. Jordan White advances to 15-1, with 11 Knockouts. Eridson Garcia falls to 17-1, with 11 Knockouts. Garcia was up sitting on a stool and was able to leave the ring under his own power.
While the theme of this card, much like most of the Boxing events held under the ShoBox banner in the series twenty-two year history centered around prospects on the rise being matched against their toughest competition to this point, and though I was prepared to talk about how crucial these fights are in terms of the overall development for fighters as they look to progress towards contention and ultimately the goal of fighting for world championships, which it is indeed crucial, I find myself missing what I was going to close this column and my coverage of this card with. It is not too often that a seasoned Boxing Lifer, such as this observer, who has seen just about everything one could on every possible level and variation the sport has to offer, is left “Speechless.” “Speechless” by the sudden and destructive nature of a knockout that seemingly came out of nowhere.
Jordan White may not be quite ready to fight for a world championship, but scoring a devastating knockout like he did against Eridson Garcia, was not only a statement-making performance, not only a probable candidate for Knockout of the Year honors at the conclusion of 2023, but it was the type of knockout that will generate buzz and likely lead him to an opportunity to move up the ladder a bit more quickly. The sudden nature of how he was able to end the night as well as the fact that it was presented on a national level here in the United Sates on television will likely assist White in garnering a following and now he has emerged as a fighter to watch in the 130lb. Jr. Lightweight division.
“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”
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