Undefeated junior welterweight Dierry Jean overcame a bad cut on the side of his right eye to register two knockdowns en route to a fourth-round TKO over southpaw Cleotis Pendarvis in the main event Friday on ShoBox: The New Generationfrom Buffalo Run Casino in Miami, Okla.
By winning, Jean (25-0, 17 KOs), of Quebec, Canada, becomes the No. 1 contender for the IBF 140-pound title held by Lamont Peterson. He entered the scheduled 12-rounder ranked No. 3, four spots higher than Pendarvis (17-4-1, 6 KOs), of Long Beach, Calif.
Jean, who was cut after an unintentional clash of heads in the third round, dropped Pendarvis the first time with an overhand right hand flush on the chin. Pendarvis gamely made it to his feet, but Jean continued to attack with both hands until the referee stepped in and stopped the bout at 2:16 of the fourth.
“The cut was bad,” said the 31-year-old Jean, who was born in Haiti but has lived in Canada since he was 10. “I couldn’t see anything. But my corner did a great job with it, and then I caught him with a perfect right hand. I was very surprised the referee let it go so long after the first knockdown but I knew I had to keep fighting and finish the job.
“I’m just so excited to finally be in a position to be getting a shot at the world title. I don’t care who it comes against. I feel I’m ready for anybody. Pendarvis was a good fighter and he surprised me a little bit with his counter-punching. But I thought I was winning all the rounds.”
The loss snapped a six-fight winning streak for Pendarvis.
“This is very disappointing,” he said, “but I just got caught with a great punch. I went into a shell after I got up and felt I was blocking most of his punches, but there are no excuses. I’ll be back.”
In co-featured bout of the Showtime broadcast, unbeaten middleweights clashed as John Thompson (12-0, 4 KOs), of Newark, N.J., dropped left-hander Geovanni Rodriguez (8-1, 5 KOs), of San Juan, Puerto Rico, four times en route to taking a unanimous eight-round decision.
Thompson, making his second start for trainer, former world champion James “Buddy” McGirt, won scores of 78-70 twice and 78-71.
Thompson decked Rodriguez twice in the fourth round and two more times in the eighth.
“I’m happy with the win but I know I can do better,” he said. “I still need to jab more. I should be able to dominate with the jab. But he was a good fighter. I definitely felt I had him out in the final round, but once he started to hold I knew the fight was going the distance. My speed and defense were the keys to my win tonight.”
Photos / Tom Casino-SHOWTIME