If we must be inflicted with a zombified verson of ShoBox that fellates the promotional stable of Floyd Mayweather, the least Showtime can give us is match-ups in the spirit of the series, i.e. prospects in tough tests. We got that in two of the three bouts on Friday, with one test too difficult and another just about right. The third, the headliner, didn't rate.
Super middleweight J'Leon Love dominated Vladine Biosse in the main event, cutting up and swelling his face en route to a 10th round technical knockout. Biosse was resilient, I'll give him that, but he was outclassed. With losses to Denis Grachev and Marcus Upshaw, Biosse was no real upgrade over Lajuan Simon, Love's comeback opponent after his narrow win over Gabriel Rosado was turned into a no contest thanks to a failed drug test. Love was faster and sharper from the start, and never really lost a round definitively. He did have to fight through a cut around his left eye that opened in the 4th, but then, Biosse had to deal with a worse cut around his right eye beginning in the 3rd. In the 10th, the referee picked no particular occasion to stop the bout, but the punishment he absorbed overall made the sentiment appropriate. Love hasn't yet reestablished himself as a fighter who will make waves, rather one who might.
Derek Edwards dashed Badou Jack upon the rocks like a newborn in some religious parable, in a result that came more or less out of nowhere. Edwards has played the role of legitimate threat before, but he hasn't flashed 1st round knockout power, and Jack had proven resilient enough against solid hitters like Marco Antonio Periban (majority draw or no). As Jack went to throw a jab, Edwards timed him perfectly and walked him into an overhand right from which Jack never recovered. Jack got up, but was in little shape to continue and the next real combo Edwards landed put him down again and this time the referee saw enough. The undefeated Jack had flashed the potential to become a contender at super middleweight,flawed though he was, and while 1st round knockouts can be flukey, this was deeply discouraging for Jack's chances to move from prospect to top-10 guy.
Junior middleweight prospect Chris Pearson had demonstrated the right stuff coming into Friday, only he had done it against mediocre competition. Lanardo Tyner? That dude is never a picnic. He was no stroll in the park for Pearson, either, who controlled most rounds with his boxing ability and height/reach, except Tyner came on late, dropping Pearson in the 6th and giving him 100 percent hell in the final two rounds, too. One judge gave it to Tyner, 76-75, which was too generous to Tyner; the other two judges gave it to Pearson, 78-73, which was better, although maybe it could've been one round closer. Pearson, one of the more acclaimed Mayweather prospects, got a test he needed and fought through the adversity. That's one of the things a prospect needs, and Pearson now has it. What he does in response to all that will tell the next tale for Pearson.