By Boxing Bob Newman at ringside
Photos: Andy Newman
In the first televised fight of the ShoBox card in Verona, New York, Super lightweights Sonny “Pretty Boy” Fredrickson and Shohjahon “Descendant of Tamerlane” Ergashev lived up to the expectation of “this is going to be the fight of the night!” After a weigh-in full of disdain for each other, it was expected that this matchup would bring fireworks. At the bell for round one, Ergashev showed no fear, rushing right at Fredrickson. For his part, Fredrickson seemed tentative and unsure of his distance, often lunging with his punches, despite a distinct height and reach advantage.
Perhaps it was Ergashev’s southpaw stance, or just respect for the Uzbek’s power (ten-for-ten KOs to wins). Suddenly in the third, a hard left got through the guard of Fredrickson, hurting him badly. Fredrickson tried to tie Ergashev up, but the relentless slugger wailed away, eventually forcing the ring doctor to step up on the ring apron, signaling referee Benji Esteves to halt matters at 1:58 of round three. Ergashev moves to 11-0, 11 KOs. Fredrickson suffers his first defeat at 18-1, 12 KOs.
In a battle of super bantamweights, pint-sized Ernesto Garza III and Jesse Angel Hernandez didn’t disappoint the fans, as the little guys rarely do. While Hernandez looked to employ his height and reach (5’8” to Garza’s 5’4 ½”), Garza for his part use his tenacity in this battle of southpaws. By the end of the second round, Hernandez was sporting a mouse under his right eye, which may have accounted for not seeing the sneaky left to the chin that dropped him with seconds to go in the stanza. The two battled on even terms for the next three rounds until Garza seemed to score another knockdown at the end of the fifth, only to have referee Gary Rosato wave it off as a slip. The sixth saw neither man give quarter as the end of the round had both teeing off on the other. Garza seemed stunned and backing to the ropes, but was it a ploy to lure Hernandez into another counter? Possibly, as Garza fired back on the pursuing Hernandez at the bell. The seventh saw Hernandez set down on his punches with great success, but when he rested for even a moment, Garza seized the opportunity to fire back, to the fans delight. More of the same in the eighth. This was truly a battle of machismo. Hernandez saw fit to switch from lefty to righty in an effort to gain some advantage over the tough-as-nails Garza. The two warred to the end of this terrific, entertaining bout. As expected, the verdict was split. Tom Schreck had it 95-93 Garza. Don Ackerman saw it for Hernandez at 95-94. Wynn Kintz favored Hernandez by 97-93 for the split victory. Hernandez is now 11-1, 7 KOs, while Garza loses tough at 9-3, 5 KOs. Rematch anyone?