Once-beaten junior middleweight prospect John Jackson endured a stiff test Saturday night in his homeland, earning a hard-fought eight-round unanimous decision over the well prepared Tony Hirsch in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The son of International Boxing Hall of Famer Julian Jackson, John was faced with his toughest challenge since losing to Willie Nelson last September in Las Vegas. The always game Hirsch, who has served as a primary sparring partner for RING super middleweight champion Andre Ward for much of his career, went tit-for-tat with Jackson for much of the fight.
Both guys felt each other out in the first round with Jackson landing the only meaningful punch of the round. Hirsch got things moving in the second, landing a few overhand rights to punctuate the round. The two proceeded to take turns landing their power punches with neither guy able to move their hard-headed opponent. Both are known as being solid punchers.
The fight followed the same blueprint round after round, with Hirsch always competitive but not doing enough to clearly win rounds. At the end of the final round, the two exchanged heavy blows like it was a Rocky film until the final bell.
The judges saw it 79-73, 78-74, 77-75. The 77-75 score looked the most realistic.
Super middleweight prospect (and John’s older brother by two years) Julius Jackson (16-0, 12 KOs) stopped late replacement Julius Fogle (16-9, 11 KOs) of Tacoma, Wash., in the opening round of their scheduled eight-round bout. Fogle went down from a head butt early in the bout and then twice more before the referee waved it off. A body shot finished the fight right at the bell.
Promising local middleweight Samuel Rogers (14-0, 8 KOs) had an easy night taking care of the limited and overmatched Eduardo Adorno (2-19-1, 1 KO) of Vega Alta, Puerto Rico. Rogers had Adorno down twice early and punctuated the opening round with a third knockdown and sent Adorno to the canvas again to start the second. Another knockdown in one of the corners had referee Steve Smoger wave it off after taking a look at Adorno and deeming him unable to continue.
Las Vegas featherweight Rocco Santomauro (11-0, KO) engaged in an entertaining six-round contest with Christian Fernandez (3-6-1) of Puerto Rico, earning a unanimous decision. Neither guy could punch with much authority despite finding themselves in a good number of exchanges. Fernandez was a bit gamer than his record would indicate, always answering back when Santomauro would land an eye-catching combination. Scores were 60-54 and 59-55 twice.
In a battle of unbeaten welterweights of differing skillsets, Puerto Rico’s Daniel Rosario Cruz (5-0, 4 KOs) made quick work of Jordan Wisenfeld (4-1-2, 2 KOs) of Orlando, Fla. The end came at just 25 seconds of the opening round.
In a four-round junior middleweight contest, Ariel Cabrera Jr. (1-0, 1 KO) of Boca Raton, Fla., stopped Arnaldo Decelet (0-3) at the end of the first round without landing so much as one clean punch. Decelet was hit after the bell and his corner didn’t let him go out for the second. Referee Steve Smoger seemed confused by this.