Jermaine Franklin stays undefeated, Otto Wallin frustrated on US debut
In the co-featured bout to Claressa Shields v Christina Hammer, Jermaine Franklin (18-0, 13 KOs), widely regarded as the top American heavyweight prospect, kept his unbeaten record intact.
He scored a 10-round unanimous decision over former No. 1-ranked U.S. amateur Rydell Booker (25-2, 12 KOs). The judges scored the fight 99-91 and 98-91 twice.
The 25-year-old Franklin dictated the tempo throughout and was far more active and aggressive than his 38-year-old counterpart.
Booker had his moments, particularly in the early rounds when he landed several flush power shots. But the youthful Franklin pulled away in the second half of the fight as Booker tired.
Franklin targeted the body. Franklin averaged 54 punches per round to Booker’s 35 and led 146-94 in overall punches landed.
“I think I had a decent performance,” said the Saginaw, Mich. native. “There’s some stuff I could work on. I over-crowded myself a little bit and I was a little over-anxious.
“He had a lot more experience than me and used it to his advantage. He could see what I was doing.
“I learned to stay more patient because I had him hurt a few times. But once I got over-anxious, my whole game plan went out the window. I started messing up and making crazy mistakes I shouldn’t have.
“Now it’s back to the drawing board to work on my mistakes and come out bigger and badder next time.”
“I felt he out-hustled me, but it was a lot closer than how the judges scored it,” said Booker. “He was missing me a lot more than it looked. I slipped a lot of shots and hit him clean.
“I knew he would bring the pressure, but he needs a lot of work. He stays too centered with his head. He’s alright. What he has on his side is youth. I’d rate my performance about a seven.
“I had a training camp injury I was dealing with. I’m going to stay active and come back stronger than ever.”
In the telecast opener, undefeated top-five ranked heavyweight prospect Otto Wallin (20-0, 13 KOs, 1 ND) and Baltimore’s Nick Kisner (21-4-1, 6 KOs, 1 ND) had their 10-round bout cut short when the two heavyweights clashed heads in the opening round.
“Wallin suffered a gash on the side of his head while Kisner suffered a cut over his right eye, hindering his ability to see.
“At the advice of the ringside physician in between rounds one and two, referee Earl Brown stopped the fight, resulting in a no-decision.
At the time of the stoppage, Wallin led 14-3 in overall punches landed, 7-1 in jabs and 7-2 in power punches.
“To me, his cut didn’t look that bad,” said a disappointed Wallin, who was making his U.S. debut. “It’s a shame because I trained really hard for this fight and was looking to put on a show for fans in America. I just didn’t have time to get going.
“I’d like to get back in there soon and show what I can do. I’m going to take this as a learning experience.”
“I caught a headbutt and the referee came to me,” said Kisner. “He saw me swiping at my eye and said ‘can you see?’ I said, ‘soon as I get the blood out of my eye, sure.’
“I feel horrible after training so hard. I felt good in the first round. The judges probably gave him the first round, but I always take off the first round. I was feeling like I could get to him eventually. You saw me land my overhand right.”
Tonight’s live event was promoted by Salita Promotions.
An encore presentation of the tripleheader will air Monday at 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME EXTREME and will be available via the network’s On Demand platforms.
Hall of Famer Barry Tompkins called the action alongside fellow Hall of Fame analyst Steve Farhood and former world champion Raul Marquez. World-renowned ring announcer and Hall of Famer Jimmy Lennon Jr. rounded out the telecast. The Executive Producer of SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION was Gordon Hall with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.