Wade decisions Soliman on ShoBox

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In the main event of a “ShoBox” card on Showtime Friday night, Dominic Wade received a split decision win over Sam Soliman to stay undefeated but the result came with resounding decry from the crowd at the Little Creek Casino Resort in Shelton, Wash. Ringside judges Robert Byrd (95-94) and Robert Hoyle (97-92) scored the bout for Wade, while Max DeLuca (96-93) had it for Soliman.


Right off the bat, it was a classic Soliman fight. The animated 41-year old Australian veteran colorfully danced around the ring, lunged his left jab often with a smile and frustrated his opponent by being in his space constantly to eventually force a break. Soliman’s herky-jerky style doesn’t always produce an aesthetic boxing match but it’s effective nonetheless. However, to his dismay, it also brings along a tough fight to score.


Dissatisfied with Soliman’s leaping punches, all Wade could do early on was hold his opponent in frustration. He would try to throw out his jab but Soliman would almost always evade it with his constant jittering. Even as the shorter fighter, Soliman would also sneak in some right uppercuts. In the waning seconds of the fourth round, Soliman threw another leaping jab and Wade reacted with a check left hook. Off balance, Soliman was thrown to the canvas and referee Jack Reiss ruled it a knockdown.


Soliman’s corner didn’t seem worried about the phantom knockdown, encouraging Sam with the utmost confidence in a fight he was controlling. While it was a constant shoving match for most of the bout, Wade eventually found some ground in the sixth round but mostly by finding a way to thwart Soliman’s half-court heave of an offense. If there were any points for throwing your opponent to the ground, Wade would have earned them as he had done so at the end of that round. Reiss warned Wade about as the bell ending the round sounded but no point was taken away for the suplex.


Wade gathered his best momentum in the seventh coming off the wrestling tactic and a big right hand in that round certainly got the attention of the Aussie. There were a few moments in the later rounds where Soliman would stumble around the ring like a man with his hamstring sliced in half. Not surprising considering Soliman was coming off surgery to repair an ACL tear in his right knee seven months ago and the knee brace he sported in the ring was just another indication of that.


When he wasn’t catching his frolicking opponent as if he were his ice skating partner, Wade would continue to land his big right hand on occasion in the later rounds but couldn’t clearly hurt Soliman. He would even try to stick out his jab for Soliman to run into but it was very rarely successful. When the final bell sounded, both men raised their gloves, seemingly confident of their victorious performances but, in all likelihood, they were lasting gestures of uncertainty.


Soliman, 44-13 (18), made a very strong argument for victory but in a boxing conundrum, his awkward yet effective style made it a very tough fight to score. In a disputed defeat, he was all class and still smiles afterward. Wade, 18-0 (12), gets the biggest win of his career against a former world titleholder. Oddly enough, it was also probably the most frustrating fight of his career that involved little to no rhythm in the ring. Regardless, the 25-year-old out of Largo, Maryland, will certainly jump the middleweight rankings with the win.



Lubin hammers Bruce


Nineteen-year-old junior middleweight prospect Erickson “The Hammer” Lubin scored a first round knockout victory over Ayi Bruce in the ShoBox co-feature.


Fighting out of the southpaw stance, Lubin, Orlando, Fla., quickly used a strong jab to establish his game plan and it preceded a bevy of punches that were too quick for his Ghanaian opponent. A right hook to the body got the attention of Bruce two minutes into the fight and he was forced to take a knee to gather himself. As soon as time was back in, Lubin landed a big right hook to Bruce’s head and it seemed like he wanted to take a knee but instead crouched low to the ground. He eventually did after Lubin fired off a few more shots and while referee Ray Corona shouted out a count, Bruce shook his head no at the count of eight, putting an end to the fight.


Bruce, 23-10 (15), didn’t put up much of a fight and as lost seven of his last 10 bouts with his only three wins in that span coming in his home country of Ghana. Lubin, 11-0 (8), continues to show he has immense talent at his young age but his opponent on Friday night didn’t provide much more experience.



Rivas stops Pettaway


In the opening bout of the telecast, heavyweight prospect Oscar Rivas dropped Jason Pettaway three times in the first round en route to a technical knockout victory after referee Robert Byrd waved off the contest immediately after the last knockdown.


It didn’t take long for Rivas to send Pettaway to the canvas and a minute into the opening round, he folded his opponent with a body shot. Pettaway immediately got up on a knee after gathering himself up from his behind but Rivas threw an extra left hook while he was on the knee that was a clear foul. Byrd obliged and deducted two points after the intentional foul. Byrd also awarded Pettaway an extra five minutes to recover from the foul by but it didn’t matter. Once time was called back in, Rivas went back to work, trapped Pettaway in a corner and unloaded again this time snapping his head back with right hands. Pettaway, 17-3 (10), was down again seconds later and found himself there a final time after a perfect left jab, Byrd then waved his hands immediately with 35 seconds remaining in the first round. Rivas, 17-0 (12), was ferocious in United States debut and the Colombian who fights out of Canada certainly made it memorable.



You can reach Michael Baca II at michael.baca@ucnlive.com, follow him at twitter.com/wotbboxing and visit him at his blog, writeonthebutton.squarespace.com.




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