It wasn’t a night where anything new was learned, but it was an entertaining bunch of fights anyways. In the main-event of the Showtime Extreme televised undercard of the May 18th Lucas Matthysse vs. Lamont Peterson fight, rising welterweight prospect Shawn Porter (21-0-1, 14 knockouts) took on fringe contender, Phil Lo Greco (25-1, 14 knockouts) in a catchweight contested at 150 lbs.
Going into the bout with Lo Greco, Porter found himself to be heavily favored on most oddsmakers books. Regardless of the expectation for him to overcome Lo Greco, there is no denying that were were massive amounts of pressure cast on Porter by both his team and the media. After a controversial draw with Julio Diaz, both Shawn and the other members of Team Porter have been eager to show that the lackluster performance was due more to a lack of focus rather than a lack of talent. With the manner in which Porter dominated Lo Greco from bell-to-bell he may have finally managed to prove just that.
At the sound of the opening bell, Porter’s gameplan for the remainder of the bout seemed pretty self-explanatory. Rather than be forced into the phone booth type fight that Lo Greco would excel, Porter chose to stay on the outside and pick the brawler apart. To put it simply, Porter ran an absolute clinic on Lo Greco, and he picked him apart with an array of stinging shots that left Lo Greco both knocked down and frustrated throughout the fight. With refusing to let off the gas, it was visible on Lo Greco’s face that the fight has slipped him by. This seemed to be especially obvious to the judges as their scorecards just managed to further illustrate what everyone had already watched. Shawn Porter was awarded a unanimous decision on scores of (99-89), (100-88), and (100-88). This victory doesn’t do much in the way of boosting Porter back up to legitimate contender status, but its enough to distract from the lingering memory that came with the uninspired draw against Diaz.
Earlier on the card, three bouts featured some of the more popular up-and-coming fighters in the sport today. In the co-main event of the night, a light heavyweight contest featuring Thomas Williams Jr. (14-0, 10 knockouts) and Otis Griffin (24-13, 10 knockouts) proved to be just as one-sided as many had anticipated in a match-up like this one. Aside from a close first round, Williams managed to take over the fight in a technical and calculated manner which made up for its entertainment value in overall effectiveness. As one-sided as it may have been, Griffith managed to stay in the fight the whole way through rather than just simply roll over. Williams Jr. walked away with the unanimous decision victory on scores of (80-72), (79-73), and (79-73). This wasn’t Williams’ best performance, but there’s no denying that it was another dominant victory against a fairly tested fighter.
Another early bout featured British Olympian and bronze medalist, Anthony Ogogo (2-0, 1 knockout) in his second pro fight. In these early fights no one is actually expecting anything near a competitive fight, but these bouts tend to go wonders as far as padding for a young fighters blooming knockout record. Against Edgar Perez (5-5, 3 knockouts), the knockouts never came but it proved to be a significant test nonetheless. From the opening bell, Ogogo took over early with a blend of aggression and technique. There was nothing too breath-taking in the way of offense, but Ogogo managed to stay active and mix things up against a fighter who offered little in the way of competition.
Much of the same could be said of the super flyweight bout between Haroon Khan (2-0, 1 knockout) and Vincente Medellin (0-6). In only his second pro fight, Haroon Khan had garnered a bit of attention mostly based off of the fact that he is cousin to former junior welterweight kingpin, Amir Khan. Regardless of why people were watching him, Khan made sure that everyone remembered which Khan he was by the end of the night. In a fight that managed to end about as soon as it had begun, Khan managed to knockout Medellin in the first round of their contest. It’s the dominant performance a young fighter needs, but at the point the focus shifts of how much better he’ll be than his cousin Amir, rather than if he would ever reach the heights his cousin had reached. No matter where he goes, Khan has proved to be a fighter worth keeping an eye on.