ShoBox results: Jaron Ennis powers through Armando Alvarez
Jaron “Boots” Ennis sent Armando Alvarez to the canvas four times in the third round, to earn a knockout win on Friday night. The contest was the main event of a “ShoBox: The New Generation” card on Showtime, live from the WinnaVegas Casino in Sloan, Iowa.
A welterweight prospect out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Ennis, 21-0 (19), showcased himself well against an unbeaten opponent. Seconds into the fight, it was already clear that the 21-year-old’s hand speed was going to be a problem for Alvarez, 28, who fought out of Key West, Florida, and sported a slight height and reach advantage. Ennis was too sharp and mindful to get in the way of any of the desperate hooks Alvarez tried to land, and, by the second, was comfortable enough to showboat to the crowd.
Alvarez, 18-1 (12), started melting down, once Ennis began to exploit his body in the second round. A ripping left hook to the gut sent him to a knee, and Ennis proceeded to send him back to the canvas seconds later, with a left hook and uppercut combo to the head. Alvarez got up again, and tried his best to keep up, but found himself down again to cap off a hellish first two minutes of the third. In the final seconds of the round, Ennis saw an opening while Alvarez was yielding, and even a slight shot sent him to a knee before the bell could ring. Referee Adam Pollack proceeded to wave the bout off immediately.
In the ShoBox co-feature, everyone was left flabbergasted at the final result of a lightweight contest between unbeaten prospects. Officially Thomas Mattice received a split decision win over Zhora Hamazaryan, and everyone – including the Showtime broadcast crew – was left dumbfounded at the two scores of 76-75 that overruled the lone score of 77-74, in favor of the man the room thought won.
Hamazaryan, 9-1 (6), took control of the fight early in the second round, when a right hand off his jab connected perfectly on Mattice’s jaw, dropping him hard to the canvas for a knockdown. Mattice, 13-0 (10), was on shaky legs the rest of the round but managed to survive a stalking Armenian who was enthusiastic about his success all night. Hamazaryan took over the dictation of the fight with his pressing offense, and didn’t let Mattice find a comfortable range. Mattice showed signs of life in the fifth, thanks to an uppercut and counter right hand that stunned Hamazaryan, but with three rounds to go, there wasn’t much room for error. In the seventh, Mattice was stunned again by a counter right hand, and all hope of sneaking in a win through the last four rounds was presumably out of the question. Hamazryan continued to maintain his pace in the final round to cap off a very fun fight to watch until its awful ending.
In the opening bout of the Showtime telecast, junior welterweights Montana Love and Kenneth Sims Jr. had a hotly contested fight on the inside, over the course of eight rounds, resulting in a draw (77-75, 75-77, 76-76). Love, 11-0-1 (5), had to deal with a pressing opponent all night but his speed advantage and varied combinations helped him have his best moments in the middle rounds. Coming off his first loss last July, Sims, 12-1-1 (4), tired out over the course of those middle rounds but he found a second wind, late in the fight, to outwork his foe, and earn the crucial rounds.