Super middleweights J’Leon Love and Badou Jack, and middleweight Chris Pearson were all victorious by knockout, as was lightweight standout Mickey Bey, on Friday’s ShoBox: The New Generation card from the Little River Casino in Shelton, Wash.
The show was promoted by Floyd Mayweather Jr., who was at ringside.
“I’m proud of my team. We have a talented group of fighters, and they proved that tonight,” said Mayweather, who could announce his opponent for a May 3 return as early as next week.
“It was a nice crowd of boxing fans, and I enjoyed myself. The city of Shelton, Wash., welcomed us with open arms and the hospitality was great! I’m looking forward putting on more exciting shows like the one Mayweather Promotions put on tonight.”
In his first 168-pound bout, Love (16-0-1, 8 KOs) used a barrage of blows punctuated by a right hand to the jaw, another right to the temple and a finishing left uppercut that flattened Lujuan Simon (23-5-2, 12 KOs), who had last been in the ring for a first-round stoppage loss to Gennady Golovkin in December of 2011.
“This was a good fight. This guy was a vet. I knew I couldn’t just go in and blow him away,” said Love, 26, who moved up to 168 pounds for his first start under trainer and former light heavyweight world champion, Eddie Mustafa Muhammad.
“I knew I had to work angles and fight smart, but I had to do something. Everybody on my team before me was knocking everybody out. We work so hard as a team. We’re always behind each other. There is no limit to what we can do.”
With Simon lying on his back, referee Bobby Howard waved an end to the bout at the 2:48 mark for Love, who had a 121-to-60 advantage in power punches, one of 60-to-20 in body blows, and of 50-to-9 in jabs.
In addition, Love fought in the wake of the death of a sibling earlier this year.
“I lost a brother earlier this year. He had nine kids. I treat them like my kids now. The oldest is 13, the youngest is six months,” said Love.
“I don’t hesitate to do anything for any of them. I love them to death. They keep me going. That’s why I do this, to take care of them, my family, my mother and my sister.”
Jack (16-0-1, 11 KOs) scored three knockdowns in the final round of a sixth-round technical knockout over Rogelio Medina (31-5, 25 KOs), who had last been in action when he lost a majority decision to Marco Reyes in October.
Jack first knocked Medina flat to his back with a counter-right hand, then dropped him, yet again, face-first, with another right hand before a double-left hook crumpled Medina in the corner, where Howard waved an end to the fight at the 2:30 mark.
“He was tougher than I thought he would be. I’m known as a slow starter, and it took me a while to break him down, but it felt great to get the knockout,” said Jack, 30, who was coming off a majority draw with Marco Antonio Periban in September.
“I thought the referee would stop the fight after the first knockdown. After the second knockdown, I thought that Medina was definitely done. But then, he got up, and the fight went on, and I was like, ‘I gotta go for the kill.'”
Pearson (10-0, 9 KOs) used a head-swiveling, five-punch combination to come up with his eighth straight stoppage victory, this one in the first round against Acacio Joao Ferreira (14-1-1, 12 KOs), whose streak of 11 consecutive knockouts was ended.
“I trained hard and was prepared to go 10 rounds, but I knew if I caught him right, I could take him out of there,” said Pearson, 23.
“I’m just glad to give the fans what they love to see. This was a good win, but now it’s time to get ready for the next one.”
Bey (19-1-1, 10 KOs) used a single, crushing left hook to deposit Carlos Cardenas (20-7-1, 13 KOs) on his back for the knockout at 2:22 of the third round to bounce back from his 10th-round stoppage loss to John Molina in July.
“It always feel good to get your hand raised. I knew he was going to come out strong and try and catch me in the early rounds. The fight before me ended so quickly, I’m not sure I was totally warmed up,” said Bey, 30.
“So I just took my time. This guy was not an easy opponent. But I wanted a tough fight. Honestly, I didn’t even know I threw the punch that knocked him out. It was so automatic, just like I do all the time in training. It was like hitting the mitts. It’s good to get back on track.”
Also on the card, junior welterweight Ashley Theophane (34-6-1, 10 KOs) won by split-decision over Robert Osiobe (14-8-4, 6 KOs), and super middleweight Luis Arias (8-0, 4 KOs) stopped Cameron Allen (5-14, 3 KOs).
Photo by Stephanie Trapp, Showtime
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org