By Chris Robinson
Last Friday night was both wild and memorable for budding lightweight prospect-turned-contender Sharif ‘The Lion’ Bogere. Fighting in his adopted hometown of Las Vegas, the Ugandan-born Bogere would finish off previously-unbeaten Francisco Contreras in the third round of a bout that left a few people perplexed.
The battle of unbeatens took place at the Texas Station Hotel and Casino for the world to see on the popular ShoBox: The New Generation series and the action didn’t disappoint. From the outset a stalking Bogere would press the Dominican-born Contreras, who used his mobility and superior range to give the 23-year old fits.
Contreras had success countering his aggressive foe in the first round and Bogere admits that it was a trying three minutes.
“Oh yeah, the first round he made it a little difficult, ya know?,” Bogere stated during our talk on Saturday night. “It was a little difficult for me to get inside. But by the second round I started to figure him out and closed the ring.”
The action was awkward but brisk enough to keep one on the edge of their seat but in an instant the heated chess match was over as Bogere closed the show two minutes into the third round with back to back right hands that left Contreras helpless and on the canvas, where he was counted out by referee Jay Nady. While the replays showed that the second punch looked to be a rabbit punch, or at least on the side of Contreras’s head, Bogere claims that the action was too heated for him to remember exactly how things played out.
“Actually, I remember throwing different connections but I don’t know what one caught him. I just saw him going down,” said Bogere.
A moment of glory for Bogere was slightly soured when it became evident that Contreras was in serious trouble, with his body lying motionless after the knockdown, and he was eventually taken away from the ring on a stretcher. To really know Bogere, you will find that he is far from a vindictive person and he admits he had some concern.
“Oh yeah, I was hoping he would get better, that nothing serious would happen to him,” he continued.
Further investigation as to the health of Contreras has been inconclusive but life must move on for Bogere. Now 21-0 with 13 knockouts and the owner of his first minor title, the NABO championship, Bogere isn’t looking to waste any time and isn’t impressed by any of the champions at 135 pounds.
“Right now, honestly, there is no one. Right now, we have to sit down, me and my team, Golden Boy, and see what’s next. I think I’m ready for anybody now."
[Reader's note: Anyone interested in images from the Bogere-Contreras bout can visit Sharif Bogere stops Contreras in a wild one ]
Chris Robinson is based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. He can be reached at Trimond@aol.com