(Photo credit: Tom Casino, Showtime)
HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Don King Promotions assembled only the second outdoor boxing ground at Hallandale Beach’s Gulf Stream Park for Friday’s edition of ShoBox “The New Generation.” And, in a symbol of the bad luck that befell the card, it rained on the gathered crowd.
The original scheduled main event featured much-discussed junior middleweight Omar Henry, but earlier this week, Henry was forced to withdraw from his scheduled match due to gallstones, elevating one of Don King’s brightest prospects, lightweight Cuban Angelo “La Cobra” Santana (14-0, 11 KOs) into the main event limelight.
But it wasn’t all a downpour of bad luck, as Santana shined quite brightly indeed. Santana, a two-time Cuban national champion, destroyed Johnny Garcia (13-1, 8 KOs) in extraordinary fashion.
In the 1st round, Santana jabbed from the outside, landing his most significant punch, a counter left, with his back against the ropes. To start the 2nd Santana floored Garcia with a straight left; Garcia was on shaky legs but managed to make it out of the round.
The 3rd round saw Santana land his left hand at will, and even though Garcia was wide open, Santana showed his patience. By the start of the 4th, Garcia’s left eye was badly swollen and blood began to stream down from his right eye.
Santana hurt Garcia again to start the 5th, and then caught him in the corner with a series of punches, sending Garcia to the canvas. Seconds later Satana closed the show in impressive manner. A brutal straight right hook/left combo knocked Garcia down, and knocked him out cold. A count was not even administered, and the referee waved off the fight 1:41 of the 5th round.
After the fight, Santana said, “I was waiting for him to gain confidence because he was taller. Once he did, I was able to unload my left.”
“I proved I am ready to take a step up,” he said.
Gordon Hall, who runs ShoBox for Showtime, figures bigger things are ahead for Santana. “Santana is a future star,” he declared.
On the televised undercard, junior middleweight American-born Cuban and local fan favorite Joey “Twinkle Fingers” Hernandez (23-1-1, 13 KOs), defeated James “Shotgun” Winchester (15-6, 5 KOs) by UD. Hernandez is coming off a 4th rounnd stoppage of Brandon Baue, and this marks his eighth straight victory since being stopped by Ed Paredes back in 2010 on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights.
In the 1st round Winchester did a good job of keeping Hernandez off him with his jab. He landed two significant body punches that backed Hernandez up. But in the 2nd, southpaw Joey Hernadez came out and pressed the action, and found a home for his straight left hand. The action moved to the middle of the ring, and Hernandez landed a left that backed Winchester up. Seconds later “Twinkle Fingers” followed that with a left hook that rocked Winchester just before the end of the round.
In the 3rd, Hernandez was deducted a point for hitting on the break. After the point deduction, Hernandez laid back and become the counterpuncher, but that quickly changed once he realized there wasn’t much to counter off.
A series of left hands sent Winchester down in the 4th, and in the 5th it looked as if he might go down again when he hurt Winchester in the corner, landing a straight left-right hook combo. “Shotgun” continued to throw punches, even though most were push-punches and silly jabs.
In the 7th, a series of left hooks wobbled Winchester, but he showed his toughness throwing back as both men exchanged punches to end the round.
In the 8th it looked like Hernandez was going to close the show, a straight left sent Winchester flopping around the ring, but “Shotgun” continued to return fire and once again made it out of the round. “Twinkle Fingers” landed his best punches of the night in the 9th. A body shot, and later a straight left, but Winchester would not go away.
In the 10th Hernandez danced around for the first minute, before finally sitting down on his punches. Winchester came reeling back to finish the 10th, but it was not enough. Two judges had the fight 97-92, and 97-91 for Joey “Twinkle Fingers” Hernandez.
After the fight, Winchester said, “I think I won the fight, he kept hitting me behind the head, but you know what, it’s cool, this crowd now respects me.”
On the off-TV undercard, promising young prospect junior welterweight Amir “Young Master” Iman (6-0, 5 KOs) dismantled Tony “Sugar Boy” Walker (5-2-1, 3 KOs) in two rounds. Iman used the 1st round to feel out his opponent and towards the end of the round, Iman found his range and started to land his straight right behind his jab. In the 2nd round another straight right caused a cut above Walker’s eye, as blood began to flow down Walker’s face, Iman turned his attack to the body, mixing in a series of right and left hooks. Iman went back upstairs and landed a double left hook that sent Walker to the canvas. Walker was able to rise to his feet, but it was evident he was badly hurt. Iman landed a series of straight rights causing the referee to jump in and stop the fight at 2.59 of the 2nd round.
Heavyweight Oleg Platov (30-1, 24 KOs) made it clear from the opening bell he was seeking a knockout. Platov landed a few wild right hooks seconds into the 1st round, immediately backing up his opponent, Harold Sconiers (18-26-2, 11 KOs). But after a strong start, Platov backed off for the remainder of the 1st round.
That all changed a minute into the 2nd round when Sconiers landed a right hook causing blood to gush down the left side of Platov’s face. The blood seemed to rejuvenate Platov as he walked Sconiers down and landed a monstrous left hook causing referee Frank Santore Jr. to call a halt to the bout at 1:47 of the 2nd round.
Undefeated heavyweight prospect Trevor “American Dream” Bryan (5-0, 4 KOs) annihilated Hassan Lee (4-3) stopping him in the 3rd round of a scheduled four-rounder. Bryan floored Lee once in the 1st round and after a lackluster 2nd round, Bryan pinned Lee against the ropes and landed three vicious straight right hands, the last of which nearly knocked Lee’s head into press row. The fight was waved off at 2:45 of the 3rd round.