SANTA YNEZ, CALIF. – Lateef “Power” Kayode and Chris “The Hitman” Avalos each recorded impressive 10-round unanimous decision victories while Art “Lionheart” Hovhannisyan pulled off an equally impressive knockout upset against previously unbeaten Archie Ray Marquez on an exciting night of fights on ShoBox: The New Generation on SHOWTIME®. Photos by Tom Casino/Showtime
The unbeaten cruiserweight Kayode (17-0, 14 KOs) proved too much for a game Matt “Too Smooth” Godfrey (20-3, 14 KOs) Friday night at the Chumash Resort Casino. Kayode controlled the entire fight and sent Godfrey to the canvas a total of three times, eventually winning by scores of 98-90, 97-90, 98-89.
With Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach in his corner, Kayode has officially “graduated” from ShoBox, according to ShoBox color commentator and boxing expert Steve Farhood. “Kayode is what he is,” Farhood said. “Boxers are always going to give him trouble, but he graduated tonight. And now he can aim for bigger things than ShoBox, which is a compliment.”
Kayode, of Hollywood, Calif., by way of Lagos, Nigeria, knocked Godfrey to the floor in rounds one, five and nine with a devastating display of body shots and power punches to the head of Godfrey. “I thought we would finish (Godfey) off earlier, but he took some good shots,” Roach said. “It’s OK we went the distance. (Kayode) needs rounds. Overall I thought it was a good performance.”
Added Kayode, who won for the fifth time at Chumash and the third time in a row: “We said we were going to cut off the ring and that’s what we did. People here know what I can do now. They’ve seen what I can do. Now it’s on to bigger things.”
In an all-action super bantamweight tilt, Avalos (19-1, 15 KOs) took down the previously-unbeaten Khabir Suleymanov (11-1, 5 KO’s) of Hollywood, Calif., by way of Chelybinsk, Russia. The three judges scored it 95-92, 96-91, and 97-90 while Farhood had it 98-91 for Avalos, of Lancaster, Calif., who fought an aggressive, come-forward fight scoring a knockdown in the first round and overcoming a point deduction in a wild third round for hitting Suleymanov when he was down.
“He came at me with exactly what I expected,” said Avalos, who bloodied Suleymanov’s nose. “But we stuck with our game plan and it worked. I hurt him with my straight right several times.”
What’s next for Avalos, who suffered his first loss on ShoBox last August? “Whoever wants it,” he said. “Whoever wants it.”
“He didn’t hurt me,” Suleymanov said afterward. “I feel fine.”
In a lightweight co-feature that opened the telecast, Hovhannisyan (14-0, 8 KOs) sent Marquez (11-1, 1 NC, 7 KOs) of Albuquerque, N.M., down in the first round just the like other winners on the night and again in rounds three and five. But it was a devastating left hook that sent Marquez to his first defeat at 1:03 of the sixth round.
“I was just very confident I would win this fight,” said Hovhannisyan, of Glendale, Calif. “He’s good and he has speed but I never thought I’d lose. He’s undefeated but so am I. I’m ready now for any fight. I’m ready for anyone.”
Added Farhood: “Hovhannisyan fought a very smart fight tonight. He sucked Marquez in and he drew him right into his web.”
Friday’s fights will be available On Demand beginning Monday, June 13 and ending Sunday, June 26.
Curt Meneffe called the ShoBox action from ringside with Farhood serving as expert analyst. Gordon Hall was the executive producer of ShoBox with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.