ATLANTIC CITY (Feb. 20, 2016) – Adam “Mantequilla” Lopez (15-0, 7 KOs), of San Antonio, Texas, remained unbeaten and took another step toward becoming a full-fledged contender by winning a hard-fought unanimous 10-round decision over previously undefeated Mario “Yayo” Muñoz (16-1-1, 10 KOs), of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, in Friday’s main event on ShoBox: The New Generation live on SHOWTIME from the Adrian Phillips Ballroom in Historic Boardwalk Hall.
“Lopez punched harder and controlled the tempo,” ShoBox expert analyst Steve Farhood said. “He overcame the problem with his right eye and now he’s 3-0 with three undefeated fighters on ShoBox, so he’s indeed a prospect to watch.”
The highly regarded Lopez, making his third ShoBox appearance and main event debut, survived a nasty cut over his right eye to win by the scores of 98-92 twice and 97-93. There were no knockdowns.
“This was my toughest fight as a pro and I think I proved a lot,’’ said Lopez, who entered the ring as the WBA No. 8 contender at 122 pounds. “I showed I could fight through a lot of adversity. The cut in my eye was definitely a factor for my performance in a couple of rounds, but I put the pedal to the medal and got through it. I landed the more telling shots.
“This is the kind of fight I can learn from. Fighting through the cut and all the head butts, and still persevering. These are the kinds of fights that make fighters better. You don’t learn a thing by blowing guys out.
“Muñoz was a good fighter and landed some tight shots on me, but I was definitely the better fighter and there was no question I would get the decision. I thought I might stop him in the eighth or ninth, but it didn’t happen.’’
There was little known about Muñoz going into Friday, but the mystery man from Mexico who was making his United States debut and first start outside of Mexico performed well and showed solid skills and ability.
“I’m very disappointed in the decision,’’ Muñoz said. “I’m a better fighter than he is. I landed more combinations. My face is unmarked, look at his. He hurt me more from his low blows and head butts than he did with his punches. I’d love to fight him again.’’
With the defeat, Muñoz became the 142nd boxer on ShoBox to suffer his first defeat. Two fights earlier, Lavisas “Red Williams (8-1-1, 3 KOs), of Rochester, N.Y., became the 141st ShoBox boxer to suffer his initial setback when he lost by seventh round TKO to O’Shaquie “Ice Water” Foster (10-1, 7 KOs), of Orange, Texas.
Foster, a former amateur standout, rebounded from a poor outing in his ShoBox debut to register a seventh-round TKO over Williams. Foster dropped the outclassed southpaw four times. After the final knockdown in the seventh, the fight was stopped at 52 seconds into the round.
In the co-feature of a ShoBox quadrupleheader, undefeated super middleweight Ronald “Flatline” Ellis (12-0-1, 10 KOs), of Lynn, Mass., and Washington D.C.’s Jerry “The King’s Son” Odom (13-2-1, 12 KOs) fought to a hard-fought eight-round majority draw. A close, competitive contest throughout was scored 78-74 for Ellis and 76-76 apiece.
In the opening fight of the telecast, John “Madman” Magda (11-0-1, 7 KOs), of Rutherford, N.Y., and Philadelphia’s Christopher “Ice Cold” Brooker (7-1-1, 5 KOs) fought to a disputed eight-round split draw in a super middleweight matchup that most felt Brooker won. At the finish, one judge had it for Magda (77-74), one had it for Brooker (78-74) and one had it even at 76-all.
“I thought that was a terrible decision,’’ Farhood said. “The judges were all over the place. I think Brooker did enough to win. He was the more aggressive fighter and landed the bigger punches. I was very surprised by the result that it was a draw.”
Ellis, a five-year-pro who hurt his right hand at the end of the third, was pleased with his overall performance, not so much the result.
“I think I did a good job tonight,’’ said Ellis, the older brother of welterweight prospect Rashidi Ellis who’d won four straight by knockout, including a second-round TKO over Jas Phipps in his last start last Aug. 29. “I started strong and I showed that I belong here, in a nationally televised show. I’m happy with what I did.
“I showed tonight that I can counter a busy fighter. I can take a punch. I can also be a boxer-puncher. Odom tried to do his thing at the beginning, but he just couldn’t do it with me. I followed my trainer’s advice. I punched, I stood back. I used my left hook. I think I really hurt him a couple times.
“I won that fight. I’m sure. At first, I banged with him and then I showed my boxing. It was easy in there, I won that fight. He never hurt me. I’ll be back. You will be seeing a lot of me in the future.”
Odom, a top amateur and 2012 National Golden Gloves Champion at 178 pounds who was looking to turn it around after losing two of his last three, was content with the decision although he felt he’d won his first fight in seven months.
“I can’t be disappointed with the decision because I fought my heart out.’’ Odom said. “I know I hurt him. He hurt me a bit in the second, but I got back on my feet and I kept on going.
“I feel I pulled it out in the last rounds. I worked the body, I think I did some damage. Ellis looked hurt.
“I mean no disrespect, but I felt I definitely did enough to win, but the judges saw it differently.”
Said Farhood: “Ellis-Odom was a strange fight. At times it was a brawl, and at times it was a boxing match. At times, one fighter came forward and at times the other fighter came forward. I thought Odom did enough in the last couple of rounds to salvage a draw and it turns out that is what the judges scored, a draw. So, I think the judges got it right on that fight.”
Foster decked Williams in the second, third, fourth and seventh rounds. Three of the knockdowns appeared to result from a push, but Williams’ gloves touched the canvas each time so they went into the books as knockdowns.
“I think it was a great win for Foster, because he looked so bad when he fought on ShoBox last time outdoor in Las Vegas,’’ Farhood said. “And this kind he showed the kind of skills that enable him to be a good amateur. He showed the kind of skills that will make him a legitimate prospect as a pro. It was a very good win for him. He showed speed. He showed his movement, his boxing abilities and he scored four knockdowns, and you can’t ask for much better than that.”
“This is a huge relief for me,’’ Foster said. “I feel great. I think people saw a glimpse of the kind of fighter I can be tonight. That wasn’t me in my first ShoBox fight. I don’t know if I froze under the lights or if I lost because of the cold weather outside, but I wasn’t nearly as confident for that fight as I was tonight and it affected my performance.
“I had a tremendous training camp, my best camp ever, which played a big part in my confidence tonight. I thank God for the opportunity to fight on national television again and I’m already looking forward to the next time.’’
The previously undefeated Williams confessed he was unable to his rhythm. “For some reason, I just could not get loose. I had a cold, but I won’t take anything away from Foster. He knocked me down, but I actually thought he pushed me down most of those times.
“I learned something tonight. I can’t do what I did. I can’t wait on my opponent. I have to attack first. I’ll be will be back.”
There were no knockdowns in the Brooker-Magda battle. One judge scored it for southpaw and local favorite going in, Magda 77-74, one had it 78-74 for Brooker and one had it 76-76 even.
After a few rounds of solid back-and-forth exchanges, Brooker seemed to dominate in the eyes of everyone but the judges. The ShoBox announcers had Brooker a close but clear winner and the fans booed the decision. According to SHO STATS, Brooked outpunched and outlanded Magda by a significant margin. Brooker landed 152 of 481 punches (32 percent) while Magda connected on 78 f 268 (29 percent).
Brooker was visibly upset with the verdict.
“I don’t train eight hours a day, seven days a week to get this kind of decision. That was not a draw, I clearly won the fight,’’ he said. “I don’t want to take away from Magda. He’s strong fighter and he countered well, but I showed everybody that hard work beats talent any day.
“I won this fight. I was the aggressor. I threw some big punches. My right was key. In the beginning Magda was fast, but I placed my punches and I know I did enough to win the fight.’’
“I feel OK, but this was a tough fight,” said Magda. “He stayed on me and pressed forward, which we knew he would. But he was stronger than I thought. I’ll have to watch the tape again, but I thought I landed the more effective punches.’’
The ShoBox quadrupleheader will re-air this week as follows:
Monday, Feb. 22, 10:30 p.m. ET/PT SHOWTIME EXTREME®
Friday’s four-fight telecast will be available at SHOWTIME ON DEMAND beginning today, Saturday, Feb. 20.
Barry Tompkins called the ShoBox action from ringside with Farhood and former world champion Raul Marquez serving as expert analysts. The executive producer was Gordon Hall with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.
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About ShoBox: The New Generation
Since its inception in July 2001, the critically acclaimed SHOWTIME boxing series, ShoBox: The New Generation has featured young talent matched tough. The ShoBox philosophy is to televise exciting, crowd-pleasing and competitive matches while providing a proving ground for willing prospects determined to fight for a world title. Some of the growing list of the 65 fighters who have appeared on ShoBox and advanced to garner world titles includes: Andre Ward, Deontay Wilder, Erislandy Lara, Shawn Porter, Gary Russell Jr., Lamont Peterson, Guillermo Rigondeaux, Omar Figueroa, Nonito Donaire, Devon Alexander, Carl Froch, Robert Guerrero, Timothy Bradley, Jessie Vargas, Juan Manuel Lopez, Chad Dawson, Paulie Malignaggi, Ricky Hatton, Kelly Pavlik, Paul Williams and more.