photo by Naoki Fukuda
Sharif Bogere followed his questionable decision victory over Raymundo Beltran in May with a questionable knockout of fellow undefeated lightweight prospect Francisco Contreras in a ShoBox: The New Generation main event in Las Vegas on Friday.
Bogere (21-0, 13 knockouts) clocked Contreras with two right crosses that drove the hard-punching Dominican into the ropes, and then dropped him face-down to the canvas, where he remained throughout Jay Nady’s full 10 count.
The fight officially ended at 2:01 of the third round, but the debate about which punch caused the knockout, as well as the legitimacy of the stoppage, had just begun.
Bogere’s first right hand landed to the left side of Contreras’ head, near his neck, and sent the taller man careening into the ropes. Contreras was turning away from the on-rushing Bogere as the second right seemed to glance off of his left shoulder blade. That’s when Contreras hit the canvas, and that’s where the 27-year-old New Jersey resident stayed until he was carried out of the ring on a stretcher.
The opinions of Showtime’s commentators were split on which punch caused the knockout. Steve Farhood and Curt Menefee seemed to believe it was the first punch that did most of the damage. Antonio Tarver, a former light heavyweight champion and current cruiserweight contender, was adamant that the punch that hurt Contreras was the blow that landed to his back (and, he believes, to the back of the head as well).
The Nevada State Athletic Commission ruled that it was the first punch that caused the knockout, which means that result will likely stay in the record books.
It’s a good result for Bogere, who won a hotly contested 10-round decision over tough veteran Raymundo Beltran in his last ShoBox appearance in May.
His performance against Contreras (16-1, 13 KOs) was pretty good, too. The Las Vegas-based Ugandan confidently stalked his 5-foot-10 opponent in the first round, survived a hard left hook at the start of the second and gradually took over the bout by drawing Contreras into inside exchanges which favored his quicker hands and shorter stature (5-foot-6½).
By the start of the third round Bogere attacked Contreras without fear of return fire. He repeatedly pinned the bigger man to the ropes and got off with crisp combinations.
The end of the fight may remain in question, but there’s no questioning that Bogere was in firm command at the time of the stoppage.
[Click here to view a photo gallery of the fight]
In the co-featured bout of the Showtime broadcast, undefeated junior middleweight prospect Jermell Charlo survived a rough spot in the sixth round of his eight rounder against capable aggressor Francisco Santana to win a comfortable unanimous decision.
Charlo (16-0, 7 KOs), who won by scores of 79-73 (twice) and 78-74, controlled the tempo and distance during most of the fight with a quick jab, fast footwork and accurate single power shots.
Santana (12-3-1, 6 KOs), who methodically stalked Charlo throughout the bout, was game and somewhat effective whenever he was able to get the 21-year-old Texan’s back to the ropes, but for the most part, the 25-year-old Californian could not cope with his opponent’s sharper technique, quicker reflexes and lateral movement.
Santana’s best moment in the fight came when he landed a flush right that stunned Charlo mid-way through the sixth round. However, the Houston native fought through the adversity and finished the round strong.
Charlo, who is trained by veteran Ronnie Shields, resumed control of the bout in round seven and stuck and moved with authority in the final round.
Charlo didn’t fight as aggressively over the second half of the bout as Shields had wanted him to, but the fight was clearly a positive learning experience for the young boxer.