Photos: Spence Jr. Dominates Cruz. Wade Decisions Brinson on Shobox.

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LAS VEGAS (June 27, 2014) – Undefeated Errol Spence, Jr. didn’t lose a round and may have made the transition from prospect to contender in a dominating unanimous decision victory (100-90 three times) over the durable Ronald Cruz in the main event of ShoBox: The New Generation on SHOWTIME ® from The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

Spence (13-0, 10 KOs) was remarkably efficient with his power punches, landing 282 shots compared to Cruz’s 65 at a rate of 58 percent. Looking like a potential future world champion, the 2012 U.S. Olympian was technically sound and sharp with his punches, picking apart the courageous Cruz (20-4, 15 KOs) as he went past the eighth round for the first time in his career. Conditioning certainly wasn’t an issue for the 24-year-old, who threw more punches in the 10 th and final round (114) than he did in any other round in the fight.

“After this fight, I learned that I can go the full 10 rounds and sustain my energy for all the rounds,” Spence said. “I blocked, banged, threw the punches, stayed composed, and stuck to the game plan. I came into this fight in great condition and I can attribute that to a great training camp.

“I honestly thought I was going to knock him out in the sixth or seventh, but he’s tough and he came to fight. I’ve seen his fights before and he always comes in with a lot of pride.”

Fighting a southpaw for the first time, it was impressive the outmatched Cruz made it to the final bell with the amount of punishment he was taking. He suffered a cut over his left eye due to accidental headbutt in the second round and another cut over the right eye from a punch in the seventh.

“I don’t know what went wrong in there. It was hard to see out of that eye from the cut and he kept landing that straight left. I didn’t want them to stop the fight because I still thought I had a chance.”

ShoBox color commentator Steve Farhood couldn’t think of anything bad to say about Spence following the impressive performance.

“For the entire fight, we had nothing but glowing praise for Spence to the point where I felt compelled to think of a negative and I was stumped,” Farhood said. “He’s good technically, he’s mature, and when you throw 114 punches the first time you’ve ever seen the 10 th round nobody can question his condition either. Spence will be a contender soon and he’s a star in the making.”

In the opening bout of the telecast, undefeated middleweight prospect Dominic Wade kept his perfect record intact with a unanimous decision victory over previously once-beaten Nick Brinson, scored 96-94, 97-93 twice.

Wade (16-0,11 KOs), who went past six rounds for the first time in his career, was relaxed and controlled the pace from the opening bell. His speed and efficiency was the difference, as he kept Brinson (16-2-2, 6 KOs) at a distance and consistently landed power shots and combos with ease. Wade slowed a bit in the later round as he entered previously uncharted waters, but he fought carefully, kept his distance and didn’t allow Brinson to disrupt his game plan.

“I am happy with the way that I fought tonight,” said Wade, who looked tired but unscathed. “I felt good and strong in the ring. I have been training to go the distance and I wasn’t looking for a knockout.

“Brinson has an awkward style but I executed my routine and plan and it worked out in my favor. I kept my left hand low because I was worried about him coming up on top of me. Overall, I am proud of my performance.”

After losing his first 10-round fight and coming back from the second-longest layoff of his career (8 months), Brinson was disappointed by the result.

“I started a little slow tonight,” Brinson said. “He clearly won the first three rounds, but I felt like I came on strong in the middle rounds, especially with the body shots.

“I was the aggressor towards the end of the fight. I felt like maybe it was a draw, but the judges’ didn’t see it that way. I gave it my all and sometimes it just doesn’t fall in your favor.”

While not overly impressed with his performance, Farhood thought it was a valuable learning experience for Wade.

“It was a big step up for Wade and I thought that he responded reasonably well,” Farhood said. “He shined in the first half of the fight, decelerated a bit in the second half, but going the 10-round distance for the first time is a huge step for someone who had fought as few rounds as he had.”

In a non-televised bout, undefeated light heavyweight and 2012 U.S. Olympian Marcus Browne (11-0, 8 KOs) scored a first-round TKO against Donta Woods (8-3, 7 KOs) in a fight that lasted just 91 seconds. Browne was originally scheduled to oppose Yusaf Mack (31-7, 17 KOs) on the ShoBox telecast but the fight had to be canceled after Mack failed a pre-fight blood test.

Highlights of Browne’s fight against Woods were shown between rounds of the co-feature fight as Browne was interviewed by Farhood.

“We worked hard in this camp and it paid dividends,” Browne said. “I’m starting to get comfortable and starting to get in groove. I’m young in the sport of boxing and I’m here to stay for a long time.”

Erislandy Lara, who faces Canelo Alvarez on SHOWTIME PPV ® on Saturday, July 12, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, was interviewed before the main event to talk about the biggest fight of his career and the influence that social media had on making the showdown a reality.

“I’ve never been in a big fight like this, but thank God I’m able to control myself and deal with the cameras and the press and everything that comes with it,” Lara said. “I used social media to challenge him. I knew the fans and the press would respond to that and that’s how I got the fight.

“Supposedly they say he’s the best at 154 pounds, but I think I’m the best. I think it’s a good thing that the best are fighting the best.”

As ShoBox approaches its landmark 200 th telecast next month, former IBF light middleweight champion, Ishe Smith, who appeared on the series five times, was interviewed by Farhood and asked about the impact ShoBox has had on his career.

“This series means everything to my career,” Smith said. “I started in 2002 and it’s just been a blessing to main event ShoBox four times. I went 4-1 on the series and watching Errol Spence take on a tough fighter this early in his career reminds me of when I fought David Estrada when I only had 11 or 12 fights.”

Photos Credit: Esther Lin / SHOWTIME Tom Hogan / Golden Boy Promotions
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Ronald Cruz: “I Will Not Disappoint My People From Puerto Rico and Bethlehem vs Spence Jr.”

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Puerto Rican Welterweight Ronald Cruz ( 20-3, 15 KO’s ) from Bethlehem, PA has just arrived in Las Vegas, Nevada where this Friday, June 27, he will be facing the highly regarded 2012 U.S. Olympian, Errol Spence Jr. ( 12-0, 10 KO’s ) from Texas, in the co-featured bout scheduled for 10 rounds, which will air live on Showtime’s ‘ShoBox: The New Generation’ series , beginning at 9:30 p.m ET/PT (West Coast Time) at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

“Ronald is ready to impress the audience with his fan friendly style” said Cruz’s trainer Lemuel ‘Indio’ Rodriguez.

“We just heard a weird rumor that Ronald is supose to use 10-ounce gloves on fight night, which makes no sense but we are too focused on winning, and Ronald is ready to win any type of pillow fight that is put on the table” – Cruz’s trainer added.

“They called me for this fight at the right time because I was ready for any opportunity. Experience and strength are on my side” said Cruz “Many people think that I’m going to be outboxed by Spence, but for him to get a victory over me, he’s gonna have to kill me first” – Cruz added

In his last fight, Cruz lost to former world champion Kermit Cintron in a questionable unanimous decision (96-94 x3).

“In this sport you can’t let your guard down and let victories or defeats be a distraction, you have to stay focused. This Friday, I will have my first fight on Showtime and I will not disappoint my people from Puerto Rico and Bethlehem” – said Cruz

Cruz is promoted by Peltz Boxing Promotions.

In the main event, undefeated Dominic Wade ( 15-0, 11 KO’s ) will face Nick Brinson ( 16-1-2, 6 KO’s ) in a 10 round middleweight division bout.
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Nick Brinson Derrotó por Decisión Unánime a Jorge Meléndez

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Verona, NY – 7 DE JUNIO – El norteamericano Nick Brinson (15-1-2, 6Ko’s) derrotó por decisión unánime a Jorge Meléndez (26-3-1, 25Ko’s) para coronarse como nuevo campeón plata internacional del Consejo Mundial de Boxeo en un emocionante encuentro en el Turning Stone Resort Casino en Verona Nueva York. Nick Brinson comenzó utilizando su mejor boxeo para neutralizar el poder del “Destroyer” durante los primeros asaltos. Entrado el comienzo del cuarto asalto Brinson sorprendió a Meléndez con una combinación de izquierda y derecha el cual lastimó a Jorge enviándolo a la lona. Jorge se reincorporó rápidamente quién colocó un fuerte gancho de izquierda quien derribó malamente a Brinson al punto de nocaut. Ya para el quinto asalto un visiblemente lastimado Brinson pudo sobrevivir el ataque de Jorge y logró pasar el asalto. En el sexto asalto Brinson volvió a restablecer su ritmo de pelea colocando grandes golpes sobre Meléndez que lo llevó a obtener una victoria antes lo 3 jueces quienes vieron la pelea 99-90,98-91 y 96-92.

“Esta fué una gran pelea, sin duda alguna es el peleador más fuerte que he enfrentado. Me lastimó seriamente pero pude usar mis habilidades para dominarlo” comentó Nick Brinson. El equipo Meléndez levantó una crítica al arbitro del encuentro Charlie Fitch quien no debió hacer el conteo de protección ya que violentaba la regla número 7 de la comisión de boxeo de Nueva York que establece que el arbitro no puede realizar su conteo si el boxeador no ha tocado la lona “fué una gran pelea, pienso que debió haber terminado en el cuarto asalto. Quisiera una revancha y que sea en mi peso” comentó Jorge Meléndez.

El invicto pegador cagueño Jeffrey “Dinamita” Fontánez (12-0, 9Ko’s) tuvo en Alejandro “Soma” Rodríguez su mayor prueba obteniendo la victoria por decisión dividida. Jeffrey comenzó utilizando sus más finos desplazamientos para dominar al Soma Rodríguez durante los primeros asaltos. Como todo un clásico guerrero mejicano comenzó a presionar al cagueño quien no pudo capitalizar con su poder para detener a Rodríguez y éste lo sorprendió con una derecha corta que lo envió a la lona finalizando el septimo asalto. Los jueces John McKaie anotó 77-74 y Donald Trella tuvo puntuaciones de 78-73 a favor de Jeffrey Fontánez mientras que Don Ackerman la vió 76-75 a favor del mejicano Alejandro Rodríguez. “Fué una gran prueba para mí. Me siento bien pues nos llevamos la victoria. Alejandro Rodríguez vino en su mejor condición y fué un reto el cual pude pasar” comentó Jeffrey Fontánez.

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