Late substitute and hometown favorite Nick Brinson (15-1-2, 6 knockouts), of Rochester, N.Y., scored one knockdown en route to registering an upset, 10-round unanimous decision over hard-punching Jorge Melendez (26-3-1, 25 KOs), of Bayamon, P.R., on Friday in a ShoBox: The New Generationmain event at the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, N.Y.
Brinson, who took the middleweight fight on one week’s notice, dominated much of the and won by lopsided scores of 99-90, 98-91 and 96-92, but he has to survive being badly rocked in the fourth, which resulted in a technical knockdown.
Brinson, the naturally bigger man, who had to lose five pounds at the weigh-in to make middleweight, scored a knockdown earlier in the fourth. However, Brinson bounced back well by working his jab from a distance in the fifth and sixth rounds. By the seventh he was once again putting together accurate power punches.
In the late rounds, Brinson’s combinations visibly hurt Melendez, who resorted to roughhouse tactics, including rabbit punching. In the ninth, referee Charlie Fitch took a point away from Melendez after repeatedly warning him for landing shots to the back of Brinson’s head.
In the co-featured bout of the Showtime broadcast, 20-year-old lightweight prospect Jeffrey Fontanez (12-0, 9 KOs), of Caguas, P.R., was fortunate to earn an eight-round split decision win over young veteran Jose A. Rodriguez (18-11, 11 KOs), of Guadalajara Jalisco, Mexico, who scored a seventh round knockdown.
Fontanez, going a full eight rounds for the first time, won by scores of 77-74, 78-73 and 75-76.
Photo / Tom Casino-SHOWTIME