Three promising and undefeated Detroit prospects shined during ShoBox: The New Generation’s 250th episode Friday night with Russia native Vladimir Shishkin leading the way with a solid unanimous decision win in the main event Friday night from WinnaVegas Casino in Sloan, Iowa.
With Tyson Fury’s trainer Sugarhill Steward from the famed Kronk Gym in Detroit working his corner, the 28-year-old fast-rising Shishkin (10-0, 6 KOs) won for the second consecutive time on ShoBox in a battle of unbeaten fighters as he dominated Ulises Sierra (15-1-2, 9 KOs) of San Diego, Calif. The 10-round super middleweight bout was scored in favor of Shishkin 100-90 and 99-91 twice.
Also posting victories were Steward’s students Shohjahon Ergashev, who registered a first-round knockout, and Detroit native Ja’Rico O’Quinn who won unanimously in a dominating eight-round bantamweight bout.
“Ergashev was spectacular but you almost feel like you wish you got to see more,” said Hall of Famer and ShoBox analyst Steve Farhood. “He’s the furthest advanced of the three and Ja’Rico O’Quinn sold himself tonight and was very aggressive, maybe too aggressive.”
Shishkin said afterwards that he fought with an injured left bicep and left elbow. “It was a much tougher fight than I thought it would be because I fought with one hand for most of the fight,” he said. “I was surprised he could take my punches, but I couldn’t move his hand out of the way with the left to hit him with the right. That affected me a lot because I use that a lot.”
He added: “I want Canelo (Alvarez). I want (David) Benavidez. I want the champions next. I am ready for the next level. With Sugarhill in my corner I am ready for anyone. Even with one hand.”
Steward is the nephew of the legendary trainer Emanuel Steward. “I thought all the Detroit guys did great,” Sugarhill Steward said. “They all got good experience on television. That’s a factor that some fighters don’t take in to consideration. When they get on television, they don’t know how to handle it. You have to be used to being on a stage like this and I’m happy with the way they all performed. All the guys from Detroit stepped up on television to further their careers. I’m very happy all-around.”
Sierra didn’t have an answer for Shishkin’s body shots as Shishkin connected on 65 body shots to 28 for Sierra. “He was sharp and he was strong,” said Sierra, who became the 189th boxer to lose his undefeated record on ShoBox in the 19 years of the series. “But I was also hurt with a sprained hand a month before this fight and haven’t hit the bags since then.”
In the co-featured bout, hard-hitting super lightweight Shohjahon Ergashev (18-0, 16 KOs) showed off his powerful left hand as the southpaw from Uzbekistan also trained by Steward knocked out Adrian Estrella (29-5, 24 KOs). The fight ended at just 92 seconds into the first round with a devastating body shot as Estrella was unable to survive the entire 10-count.
“I just saw the window to the body, so I threw the shot,” said Ergashev, who is ranked in the top-15 in three of the four major sanctioning bodies. “I wasn’t planning to knock him out in the first round. I wanted to get some rounds in. The guy is durable and experienced, so I thought I would, but when I saw that opening, I had to take it.
“I knew it was over the second it landed though. I knew he would not get up from that. No one could. That was a message to the super lightweight division. It’s Shoh Time! No matter where I fight, it is always Shoh Time.”
After Ergashev landed the knockout blow, Estrella of Fort Worth, Texas, went down writhing in pain from the left uppercut to the liver and unable to continue.
“I started moving and tried using my jab, but he was very quick with that punch,” Estrella said. “He just punched me very hard in the stomach and I was paralyzed on the canvas. I tried to stand up, but I couldn’t hear the referee counting. I couldn’t hear anything, and I couldn’t move. It was a hell of a shot.”
In the telecast opener, former No. 1-ranked U.S. amateur at bantamweight, Ja’Rico O’Quinn (14-0-1, 8 KOs) was impressive in his ShoBox debut as he outclassed a game Oscar Vasquez (15-3-1, 3 KOs) in a unanimous decision 79-73 three times at 118 pounds.
The WBO No. 10-ranked junior bantamweight O’Quinn worked the body effectively throughout the eight-round fight connecting on 83 body shots to 40 for Vasquez of Reno, Nev. O’Quinn outworked Vasquez with an average of 88 punches per round to Vasquez’s 59.2.
“I give this performance a six, to be honest,” said O’Quinn. “I want to fight bigger and taller people, that’s what I’m used to. I’m not taking anything away from Oscar. No matter what I will always come out on top. Even when things can get ugly, I know how to win beautiful.”
Farhood called the bout a “highly competitive, one-sided fight.”
Added O’Quinn: “I went into this fight knowing Oscar Vasquez was a tough guy. I knew he would be coming forward to make it ugly, so my game plan was to box him but if I had to, stand there and trade with him. I knew I’d be stronger than him and be able to take his punch. It was hard to land my shots with him leaning on me. I couldn’t turn him like I wanted and cut off angles, but we came, we conquered and I got the win.”
O’Quinn, who overcame a slow start losing the first round, ended round seven emphatically with a series of punches that rattled Vasquez, who stayed on his feet and didn’t give up. “I think I did amazing,” said Vasquez, a 32-year-old crane operator. “It was a very close fight. I thought I was winning the first five rounds. He hurt me once in the seventh round and that took a lot out of me. He was a better fighter tonight.”