Undefeated super middleweight prospects Ronald Ellis and Junior Younan fought to a split draw in the main event of ShoBox: The New Generation Friday on SHOWTIME from WinnaVegas Casino Resort in Sloan, Iowa.
While Ellis was the ShoBox veteran with the stronger resume, Younan entered the fight as a highly touted prospect who had never been tested. He faced his first test on Friday in what was the first scheduled 10-round bout for both fighters.
The fight was fought in flurries, with Younan scoring from the outside and Ellis the aggressor. Except for the eighth round where Brooklyn’s Younan displayed his best work, Ellis seemed to push the action and win the second half of the fight. Ellis had a slight edge in power punch percentage and total punches, but Younan was slightly more accurate. The fighters were even with 96 total connects entering the 10th round, but Ellis (14-0-2, 10 KOs) won the 10th on all three judges’ scorecards by out-landing Younan 21-9.
The 10-round fight was scored 96-94 Ellis, 96-94 Younan, and 95-95.
“I thought I pulled it out. I closed the show at the end,” said Ellis, of Lynn, Mass. “I was pressuring him and the fans know I won. In the eighth, he landed a couple of shots but he wasted his energy. As you saw, he didn’t do anything the rest of that round, and after that round he had nothing left.
“He was running from the start, so I knew I could land shots on him anytime. My only regret is I wish that I got him out of there. It’s all knockouts from here on out. I would definitely fight him again, but I’ll do whatever my promoter lines up for me.”
After the fight, an emotional Younan (13-0-1, 9 KOs) pleaded his case for a rematch.
“I thought I won the fight, I thought [Ellis] won maybe three rounds,” Younan said. “My best round was the eighth round – I had him in the corner and I really thought they were going to end the fight then. I was surprised they didn’t stop the fight.
“I can improve a little bit, I feel I can finish stronger. I’ve only had one eight-round fight before this so this was a big step up for me. I’m growing and learning every fight.
“I’m heartbroken right now. I wanted to win that fight. I want him in a rematch. I know I would win. I know what to do and what not to do.”
Undefeated lightweight Thomas Mattice rallied from behind to score a seventh round TKO of ShoBox veteran Rolando Chinea in the telecast’s co-feature.
Chinea pushed the action as expected from the opening bell, throwing 90 punches in the first round to set a blistering pace for the scheduled eight-round fight. Chinea, who entered having beaten three previously undefeated fighters in his last four bouts, cut the ring off and pressed forward, keeping Mattice largely against the ropes. Mattice did his best work in the center of the ring, but the undefeated Cleveland native was unable to keep the fight from being contested against the ropes.
Down 59-55 entering the seventh, Mattice (11-0, 9 KOs) caught Chinea with a huge right to the chin and, sensing Chinea was hurt, unloaded with a series of combos to the head. With Chinea seemingly out on his feet and falling sideways to the canvas, referee Adam Pollack stepped in to stop the fight at 1:31 of the seventh.
“It was a rough fight,” Mattice said. “I felt like I was behind and my corner told me I needed a knockout. He buzzed me a few times. I caught him in the seventh and he wobbled. At first I was trying for one shot, then I remembered to start using the one-two. Then I landed a body shot, then a hook, and we got what we came here for, which was a knockout.”
Chinea (15-2-1, 6 KOs) was active, throwing an impressive 678 punches over seven-and-a-half rounds, compared to 414 for Mattice. But while he was aggressive and effective on the inside, his neglect of defense is what ultimately hurt him.
“I think I did well pressuring him and sticking to my game plane,” Chinea said. “I just got carried away and got caught with the right shot and, unfortunately, it ended the way it ended.
“I’m a little disappointed it ended the way it did, but that’s boxing and a lot of things can happen in the sport and that’s just the way it went.”
In the opening bout of the three-fight telecast, super lightweight prospect Montana Love kept his unblemished record intact with a majority decision over Sam Teah, scored 78-74, 78-74, 76-76.
The southpaw Love (9-0, 4 KOs) pressed the action from the start, utilizing superior speed and polished footwork to dictate the pace. Cleveland’s Love, who took the fight on just four days’ notice, was seemingly talking trash during rounds, telling Teah what was coming next. But even with the advance warning, Teah was unable to get inside or land anything of consequence. Teah (12-2-1, 5 KOs) seemed to come alive in the sixth but it was too little, too late for the Philadelphia fighter.
“I just kept boxing and pushing him back,” Love said. “I hurt three of my knuckles in my left hand in about the third round. I’m not sure if they’re fractured or not, but if I hadn’t hurt them I would have ended that fight early.
“I felt strong. I just came from a great camp with Robert Easter, which I think helped in this fight tonight. Sparring with Robert and Adrien [Broner], I’ve learned a lot from those guys.
“I give my overall performance a B or a C+. I think I could have done a lot more.”
Teah made no excuses about facing a last-minute opponent.
“He was a crafty southpaw. I knew he was slick, but he was quicker than I expected,” Teah said. “I would ball up to try to come inside and he was sharp with his right hook. Fighting guys on short-notice is the way I expect it. That’s the sport. I was preparing for a southpaw and I got a southpaw. No excuses.”
The event was promoted by GH3 Promotions in association with Roc Nation Sports, Victory Promotions and Ringside Ticket.