MEMPHIS — While tonight’s ShoBox card – headlined by Ivan Redkach taking on Tony Luis – is being staged in a dark corner of a ballroom in the mammoth, sterile Memphis Convention Center, a number of prospects on the untelevised undercard shined and began to create their respective cases for relevance on a grander stage.
The evening’s pugilistic festivities began with a featherweight scrap between undefeated prospect Kiun Evans (6-0) and Jesus Lule (6-7). Evans possessed a laughable athletic advantage over his opponent, but seemed content to let Lule dictate the pace and outhustle him for much of the first half of the bout.
In the 3rd, Evans’ gameplan manifested itself as he floored Lule with a booming counter left hook. Evans ultimately dispatched Lule for good with another, spectacular left hand in the 4th to score the kayo and improve to 7-0.
In all, I loved what I saw from Evans. He works the body extremely well and showed timing and patience beyond his years. I would expect his team to take a patient approach with his development, but I feel like the talent is there for Evans to become a solid contender down the road.
Next up was former uber-prospect Luis Orlando Del Valle (18-1) battling journeyman Ira Terry (26-11). Del Valle’s rise through the junior featherweight division was derailed by a surprisingly lopsided decision against Vic Darchinyan in September 2012. Since then, his camp seems intent on re-building the fighter slowly, only fighting twice in 2013 and now against the durable Terry.
Unfortunately, after a feeling out round in the 1st (that I gave to Del Valle, for what that’s worth) the fight was stopped in the 2nd and ruled a no contest after an accidental clash of heads resulted in a gruesome cut above Terry’s left eye.
Del Valle had spent time with acclaimed trainer Nacho Beristan last year, who almost certainly has helped him re-discover his best. It’s a shame that display was cut short tonight, but it will be interesting to see if there are bigger fights in store for “Orlandito” in 2014.
Undefeated Bowie, Md. super middleweight “The King’s Son” Jerry Odom (7-0, seven 1st round KOs) then battled Demetrius Walker (6-2-1).
Odom, the 2012 National Golden Gloves champion at 178 lbs., showed thumping power and had Walker against the ropes for what seemed like the entire fight. Mixing in uppercuts with a relentless body attack, Odom floored his opponent in each of the first three rounds before Walker’s corner mercifully stopped the fight.
Even after facing such low-quality opposition to start his career, it’s easy to see Odom’s upside. He fights tall, but has an impressive repertoire inside. Like Evans, I think there is plenty of raw talent to succeed, but only time will tell whether or not Odom can put it all together and succeed at an elite level. He just wasn’t challenged enough tonight to be able to tell.
Welterweight prizefighters DeMarcus Rogers (3-1) and James Gooding (1-4) rounded out the untelevised portion of tonight’s undercard with an amazingly uneventful fight that fittingly resulted in a majority draw.