Undefeated 20-year-old super lightweight prospect Brandun Lee continued the impressive start to his career by scoring a third-round TKO over 33-year-old challenger Camilo Prieto in the ShoBox: The New Generation main event Friday night from Hinckley Grand Casino in Hinckley, Minn.
The knockout artist Lee, who had stopped 16 of his first 18 professional opponents, eased into Friday’s main event, seeking to take his time and add more rounds to his resume. But after just two rounds, Lee (19-0, 17 KOs) stunned the mobile but overly defensive Prieto (15-3, 10 KOs) with a combination. Lee sensed he had injured his opponent and turned on the jets, scoring the TKO after unleashing a multi-punch barrage against the defenseless and against-the-ropes Prieto.
In a night where the four bouts were contested solely in front of the fighters’ friends and family, referee Mark Nelson intervened to stop the main event at the 2:34 mark of round number three. The numbers reflected the lopsidedness of the fight as Lee led 53-9 in overall punches landed, 17-8 in jabs connected and 36-1 on power shots. Lee landed more power shots in the fight (36) than Prieto attempted (34).
“I don’t think this was any kind of learning experience for Lee,” said SHOWTIME’s Hall of Fame analyst Steve Farhood. “He needs tougher, more accomplished opponents who can at least give him rounds, if not a competitive fight.”
“I shouldn’t have gone three rounds with that guy,” said Lee, who was fighting on ShoBox for the second time. “I should have gotten him out of there in 40 seconds or a minute tops. But the guy had a game plan and his coach is a former world champion [Glen Johnson] who knew I hadn’t ever been past the fourth round. He was just trying to tire me out. No one wants to watch two guys looking at each other. My defense was a nine out of 10 tonight. But overall I give myself a C-minus. I want to take it to the next level and I’m just super grateful to SHOWTIME and ShoBox for giving me these opportunities.”
In the co-featured bout, an all-action affair between undefeated prospect Brian Norman, Jr. (17-0, 14 KOs) and Flavio Rodriguez (9-2-1, 7 KOs) was cut short after an accidental headbutt caused a deep vertical laceration on the forehead of Rodriguez. At the advice of the ringside physician, referee Gary Miezwa stopped the fight at 57 seconds of round number seven. The fight went to the judges’ scorecards with the technical unanimous decision going in Norman’s favor, 69-64 and 68-65 twice.
Norman broke open a competitive fight by out-landing Rodriguez 79-35 overall and 73-20 in power punches in rounds five through seven, a reflection of Norman’s superior activity (72.4 punches per round to Rodriguez’s 54.4), accuracy (33%-29% overall, 44%-32% power) and body punching (67-50 in connects).
The 19-year-old Norman, who turned pro at the age of 17 and is trained by his father and former pro fighter Brian Norman Sr., showed the skills that give him the reputation of a highly-regarded prospect, but still left the fight feeling unsatisfied.
“That headbutt was right before the knockout,” said Norman. “I’m pretty sure everybody saw it. That boy was dead but I give him respect. I believe that seventh round was the knockout round, either by TKO or knockout. I had him dead the round before and drained all the energy out of him.”
“I know I won more rounds than that,” said the 29-year-old Rodriguez, who also feels a knockout was imminent, but in his favor. “I definitely know I won more rounds. I was hitting him with power shots and if we didn’t have that accidental headbutt I felt I could have gotten him out of there.”
In the second fight of the four-fight telecast, undefeated lightweight prospect Alejandro “Pork Chop” Guerrero (12-0, 9 KOs) won a closely-contested slugfest via majority decision over Jose Angulo (12-2, 5 KOs). The judges scored the fight 76-76, 79-73 and 78-74.
In the highly entertaining fight that pitted the aggressive Guerrero against the counter-punching Angulo, two of the judges were seemingly impressed more by Guerrero’s aggression and slightly better power punching (he led 109-104 in power punch connects) than by Angulo’s activity (89.3 punches per round to Guerrero’s 68.9), mobility and diverse combination punching.
With both men going past six rounds for the first time in their careers, it was Guerrero who was able to finish with more energy. He hurt Angulo with a strong right hand in the sixth round and nearly closed the show late in the eighth and final round, but the Ecuadorian who was making his U.S. debut was able to stay on his feet.
“That was probably the toughest fight I’ve had,” said the 22-year-old Guerrero. “I’ve fought at 140 before so his punch power wasn’t too much. Just his heart; you can tell when a fighter has heart and they just want to sit there and bang it out. I didn’t think it was an even fight. I was landing the better shots and I was the better man out there. I gave myself a seven. I can do way better. I just need more conditioning. Whoever’s next, I’ll take on the best in my weight division.”
In a battle of unbeaten featherweights making their ShoBox debuts in the telecast opener, Armenian Olympian Aram Avagyan (10-0-1, 4 KOs) overcame knockdowns in both the first and second rounds to earn a hard-fought majority decision over Dominican Republic’s Dagoberto Aguero (15-1, 10 KOs). The judges scored the bout 75-75, 76-74 and 77-74.
For the second consecutive fight, Avagyan, who is trained by SugarHill Steward at the famed Kronk Gym in Detroit, started slow and was knocked down in the first round. The 29-year-old also hit the canvas in round two when Aguero connected on a chopping overhand right. Starting in the third round, through an impressive body attack (98-42 in connects), better power accuracy (39%-35%) and his ability to induce a rugged inside fight, Avagyan was able to gradually empty the gas tank of Aguero, who had never been past six rounds.
A heavy right cross appeared to score a knockdown of Aguero in the seventh, but referee Gary Ritter ruled it a slip. Aguero led 55-24 in overall connects and 55-20 in power punches landed after two rounds, but Avagyan came on strong in rounds six through eight (83-44 overall, 80-48 power) to score the comeback victory. Aguero became the 192nd fighter to lose their undefeated record on ShoBox.
“After the second knockdown I just knew I needed to settle down and it would be okay,” said Avagyan. “I had to just come back strong and keep applying the pressure and I did that. The knockdowns were big on points so I knew it would be tough to come back. I thought the performance was just okay. I can show more, and I will in the future.”
Friday’s fights were promoted by Salita Promotions in association with D & D Boxing. The full telecast will replay on Monday, March 16 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME EXTREME and will be available on SHOWTIME ANYTIME® and SHOWTIME on DEMAND®.
Hall of Famer Barry Tompkins called the action from ringside with fellow Hall of Famer Steve Farhood and former world champion Raul Marquez serving as expert analysts. The executive producer is Gordon Hall with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.