VERONA, N.Y. — On a night that was otherwise unimpressive from The Money Team stable, J’Leon Love showed he probably is the best of the bunch.
Love (17-0, 10 knockouts) stopped Vladine Biosse in the 10th round of a physical, but mostly one-sided bout in the main event of Friday’s ShoBox offering from the Turning Stone Casino.
It was a bloody affair, thanks to a gash over Biosse’s right eye opened in the third round, and one over Love’s left eye the very next round. In terms of physical damage otherwise, it was all Love’s doing. The Detroit native pushed around a natural super middleweight in just his second real outing at the weight.
Apart from the head clash that caused the abrasion above his eye, Love was never bothered by the southpaw matchup, keeping Biosse (15-2-2, 7 KOs) with his back on the ropes for the majority of the night.
In what is an early candidate for Upset Of The Year, Derek Edwards stopped Badou Jack at 1:01 of the first round.
The fight was penciled in my ringside observers as a gimme 10-round decision for Jack, who was on a path to face James DeGale in a WBC super middleweight title eliminator. Scouting reports suggested Edwards would fade as the fight went on, and Jack’s unusually active jab would grind him down.
However, it never got that far. And Edwards’ power, which he displayed in hurting Matt Korobov badly in his last outing, was clearly understated.
"You put as much in the gym work as a so-called marquee top fighter does, and guys overlook you," said Edwards. "That motivates me to think that a man that breathes just like I do is overall better than me. You've gotta prove that to me."
Edwards (27-3-1, 14 KOs) caught Jack with a hard counter right hand, flush on the chin, sending him wobbling to the canvas. “The Ripper” was clearly out on his feet, and one more flurry caused him to land face first on the mat before referee Charlie Fitch wisely waved it off.
It was nearly a disastrous start for The Money Team on the telecast too, as Chris Pearson survived a hard-charging Lanardo Tyner, overcoming a knockdown to take a split decision.
Since his days in the World Series of Boxing, Pearson has been able to feast on weak opposition. That might have been the intention again tonight, as Tyner was brought in on one week’s notice and fighting at a contracted weight 20 pounds above what is ideal for him. Tyner told RingTV.com that he weighed 152 on the scales but that the commission simply listed him at 154 anyway.
Pearson (11-0, 9 KOs), who is a legitimate middleweight and weighed as such, was never able to take advantage of the assumed power advantage that came with the size differential. His shining moments came as a result of length and height, when he let maintained distance and jabbed actively.
Tyner, 38, Detroit, MI., showed signs that he could get to Pearson early, tagging him with a good lead right hand at the end of Round 2, and followed it up with a quick uppercut on the inside.
In the 6th, two overhand rights, and a big sweeping left hook landed before a barrage sent Pearson to the mat at the end of the frame. Tyner would nail Pearson with a big let hook once again in the final round, but he managed to take it well, smack his gloves and stand toe to toe.
Though he didn’t get the win, Tyner (38-9-2, 20 KOs) did earn himself a personal invitation to Floyd Mayweather’s training camp for his upcoming bout against Marcos Maidana immediately after the fight.
For Pearson, the struggles on this night aren’t necessarily an “exposure,” per-se. Though it was expected to be a physical mismatch, it was also the first live body he’s encountered as a professional, and it just so happened to be one of the livest of journeymen in the sport.
On the off-TV undercard, super middleweight prospect Luis Arias was given all he could handle by rugged journeyman Dashon Johnson. Scores were 77-75 twice and 76-76 even.
Arias, the two-time US national amateur champion was certainly the more polished and accurate puncher at times, but the eye test also suggested he was getting outworked. On numerous occasions, Johnson rattled Arias with chopping right hands, most notably at the end of round 6.
Johnson has been making a habit of exceeding expectations and surprising fighters favored over him. He took a six-round decision over former contender Craig McEwan last December, and very nearly stopped Golden Boy prospect Dominic Wade on the Lamont Peterson-Dierry Jean undercard in January.
Arias improves to 9-0 (4 KOs) despite the scare, and figures to continue being featured on Money Team cards prominently in the future.
Photo / Tom Casino-SHOWTIME