FROM SHOWTIME BOXING ANALYST STEVE FARHOOD
About the only kind of fighter not seeing action on Friday’s smorgasbord edition of ShoBox is a Swedish meatball.
Included will be a nomadic lightweight who’ll be fighting in his sixth different country in six fights … and a pair of baby featherweights who’ve never fought outside of Texas.
There’ll be a super middleweight who won his last fight while on his knees … a lightweight from a country I’ll bet you never heard of … and in the main event, an exciting middleweight whose mother may be more entertaining than he is.
In all, we’ll see eight fighters, six of whom are unbeaten. The combined records: 105-3-4.
A fight-by-fight look:
Antoine Douglas-Thomas Lamanna, middleweights: Mama Douglas’ cameo was the highlight of Antoine’s last appearance on ShoBox, a draw with French veteran Michel Soro last July.
While I interviewed her between rounds, she showed as strong a jab as her son, and at least in the later rounds, a bit more energy.
That aside, Douglas, 16-0-1, is young (22) and refreshing. Naturally aggressive and quite promising. In Lamanna, 16-0, he faces a tall, tough kid from New Jersey who’s making a monstrous jump in class.
In other words, quintessential ShoBox: two unbeaten prospects who are willing to risk their fistic futures.
Ismael Barroso-Issouf Kinda, lightweights: Barroso’s five most recent fights have been in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, his native Venezuela and Panama. Now, the unbeaten and sharp-punching southpaw fights in the U.S.A. for the first time.
At 32, Barroso isn’t really a prospect. And he’s hasn’t yet done enough to have secured contender status. What he’ll gain from a win over the tough Kinda is invaluable American television exposure.
By the way, Kinda is from Long Island via Burkina Faso, which used to be Upper Volta.
If you can find that country on a map, you’ve probably traveled even more extensively than Barroso.
Jerry Odom-Andrew Hernandez, super middleweights: In January, the big-punching Odom was a sizzling and unbeaten prospect when he faced Hernandez, 8-0-1 with 1 ND, at Madison Square Garden.
Odom remains a sizzling prospect, but he’s no longer unbeaten.
In the fourth round, Odom was on the verge of scoring a stoppage when he threw punches while Hernandez was down.
Odom, 12-1 with 1 ND, was disqualified. This rematch is about one thing: cleansing his record, so he can move forward.
Anything less than a kayo win will be disappointing.
Pablo Cruz-Adam Lopez, featherweights: There are so many similarities between these two: both are Texans; both are unbeaten, but have fought squishy-soft opposition to date; both have low kayo percentages; both are six-round fighters jumping to eight.
They’ve even sparred together.
Lopez has a much deeper amateur background. We’ll see if that’s neutralized by the fact that Cruz is the naturally bigger fighter.
Cruz, 11-0, marches forward, while Lopez, 9-0, counterpunches. This should be a good style matchup between young 126-pounders who are looking to begin to establish names and reps.
See you Friday night in Westbury, N.Y.!