By Cliff Rold
Taken ten rounds for the first time in his career, 21-year old Middleweight Antoine Douglas (14-0-1, 9 KO) of Burke, Virginia, overcame some tough moments late to salvage a draw in his toughest test to date against 26-year old Michael Soro (23-1-1, 13 KO) of Villeurbanne, Rhône, France. Soro, who started slow, came up just short of extending a five fight win streak since a decision loss in a 2012 WBO title shot at 154 lbs.
Douglas came in at 155 ½ while Soro weighed 157. The referee was Benjy Esteves Jr.
What looked like a fairly standard prospect development fight through the first half became something else in the second. Soro slowly got into the fight and created high drama when he hurt Douglas in round eight. Douglas didn’t fall but he was clearly hurt and stayed hurt in round nine. Soro, throwing in crisp and educated combination, was working Douglas down the middle and around the guard.
The young man, showing character and guts, kept afoot and fought back hard in round ten, showing some recuperative ability to go with the speed and athleticism highlighted in the early going. It wasn’t enough to win, but it was enough not to lose.
In the end, a fight in two halves ended up split down the middle. One judge came in at 96-94 for Soro but the other two arrived at 95-95 scores. It was a reasonable.
21-year old Super Middleweight prospect Jerry Odom (12-0, 11 KO), 167, of Bowie, Maryland, overcame a cut and stern technical test to score a seventh round stoppage of 29-year old Cuban Vilier Quinonez (8-1, 5 KO), 167, of Miami, Florida. It was the longest fight of Odom’s career to date with eight first round knockouts to his credit so far.
After a brisk first three rounds that favored Quinonez, business picked up in the fourth. Odom dropped Quinonez with a big right hand near the ropes and followed up with a punishing attack after Quinonez beat the count. Quinonez battled back in the final minute of the round, digging to the body and stunning Odom for a moment with a left to the head.
Quinonez continued to rally back from the knockdown in the fifth, peppering Odom while Odom pawed at the blood from a cut induced by a headbutt earlier in the fight. An Odom right rocked Quinonez in the sixth but Odom couldn’t put his man down again. With two rounds to go, Odom looked like he needed a bomb to turn the tide.
He found it in round seven, an Odom right hand turning Quinonez’s legs to jelly. Odom pursued and dropped his man with a left, referee Charlie Fitch halting the fight at 2:25 of the seventh as Odom slunk to the floor in tears after realizing a desperate victory.
29-year old Welterweight Cecil McCalla (19-0, 6 KO), 147, of Randallstown, Maryland, went eight rounds for the first time and earned a unanimous decision 24-year old Oscar Godoy (13-3, 6 KO), 146, of Watsonville, California. Try though he might, Godoy could do little against the superior speed of McCalla. The final scores rewarded McCalla with two shutout nods at 80-72 while a third card gave Godoy a single round at 79-73. The referee was Dick Pakozdi.
In the opener, 26-year old Lightweight Tony Luis (18-2, 7 KO), 135, of Cornwall, Ontario, Canada, bounced back from a loss to undefeated Ivan Redkach in his last start with a sound unanimous decision over eight rounds, giving 25-year old Wanzell Ellison (11-1-1, 5 KO), 133, of Newark, New Jersey, his first professional loss. There were no knockdowns in the contest but it was Luis with the sharper, more eye catching offense throughout. Ellison rallied over the second half of the bout but it was too little, too late. The scores came in at 77-75, 79-73, and 78-74, all for Luis.
The referee was Benjy Esteves Jr.
The card was broadcast in the US on Showtime as its 200th edition of the “ShoBox” series, promoted by GH3 Promotions and Greg Cohen Promotions.
Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene and a member of the Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org