The Super Lightweight bout between undefeated Sonny Fredrickson and undefeated Shohjahon Ergashev was scheduled for eight rounds. “Scheduled” being the key word in that sentence.
The actual fight lasted only slightly longer than the introductions.
Standing 6’1” at only 141 lbs. and sporting a big tuft of curly hair, Fredrickson’s dimensions resembled a Q-tip.
Southpaw Ergashev (virtually the same weight) topped out at 5’10” and gave up 5” in reach.
It was clear from the start that Ergashev had a deeper skill set. He was lighter and faster on his feet, and he sat down on his punches.
Fredrickson possesses a long jab, but didn’t use it effectively to take advantage of his reach. He threw looping rights and sweeping lefts that were easily blocked or avoided altogether.
Shields proved to be too fast, too strong, and too skilled…
By the end of the 2nd Ergashev had begun to clown and showboat.
In Round 3 Fredrickson got tagged with several straight lefts that took all the starch out of his legs.
He wobbled and staggered back to the ropes. Ergashev followed.
The attack was relentless…but very sloppy.
Ergashev hammered away until the referee could see birdies flying in tight circles around Fredrickson’s mop-top, and called a halt to the contest.
Good call, ref.
With the TKO victory, Shohjahon Ergashev improves his campaign to 12-0, with all 12 wins coming by way of knockout.
Next was a highly entertaining fight in the Super Bantamweight division.
Jesse Hernandez laced them up against Ernesto Garza (9-3, 5 KO’s).
Both of these southpaws came in a half-pound over the 122-pound limit; Hernandez enjoyed a 4” height and reach advantage.
Despite that disparity in wingspan these two were pretty evenly matched; and they mixed it up from the start.
Garza was busier and set the pace. Hernandez got scuffed up a bit in the opening frame, and had some swelling around his right eye.
Hernandez kept his lead hand in too close, which allowed Garza to fight inside without paying a price.
At the end of Round 2 Garza caught Hernandez right on the button with a short left that sent Jesse to the seat of his satins.
Hernandez landed an unintentional low blow in the 4th that brought things to a halt for a few moments while Garza…gathered his thoughts. They continued without further fouls.
Going into the championship rounds of this very close fight, I had Garza ahead by two points.
He was still setting the tempo and throwing at a much higher volume. Hernandez seemed to be landing with more authority.
The bout went the distance, and at the end of ten rounds the two fighters had landed the exact same number of punches. So it was no surprise that there was a split decision.
Two judges saw it in favor of Hernandez; and the SD victory brought his record to 11-wins against 1-loss and 1-no decision, with 7 knockouts.
In the main event of the evening Claressa Shields (5-0, 2 KO’s) successfully defended her unified women’s Super Middleweight title in a runaway routing of Tori Nelson (17-1-3, 2 KO’s).
At 22-years-old, relative new-comer Shields is the only woman to have headlined the main event of a premium cable broadcast.
Shields won a middleweight title in just her second pro outing, and then quickly moved up in weight to collect three Super Middleweight belts.
Nelson, 41, has held a plethora of titles during her career and came to this bout with an unblemished, undefeated record.
But Shields proved to be too fast, too strong, and too skilled for the veteran…and pitched a shutout.
Winning every round on all three scorecards, Claressa Shields was awarded a unanimous decision victory.
Shields stated she will move down to Middleweight for a fight in April.
God Bless and don’t showboat.
Mark Felicetti has been known to “clown.” Reach him at email@example.com.