By Rick Reeno
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas - Welterweight prospect Errol Spence (13-0, 10KOs) is viewed by many as a fighter who has the potential to be a force in the not so distant future. In a ShoBox televised headliner, Spence displayed the skills which are enforcing the high hopes that are being bestowed on him.
Spence punished veteran Ronald Cruz (20-4, 15KOs) with a variety of accurate punches and combinations to the head and body. During certain rounds it was target practice for Spence, who also showed off a solid defense and countered just about everything that Cruz tried to do.
In the second a cut opened up above the right eye of Cruz and it gradually got worse as the fight played out. Cruz's respectable chin was the only that allowed the fight to go the distance because he took a lot of an arsenal of punches to the head. All three judges saw it 100-90 after ten rounds of one-sided action.
Against his toughest opponent to date, middleweight prospect Dominic Wade (16-0, 11KOs) boxed his way to a ten round unanimous decision win over the very durable Nick Brinson (16-2-2, 6KOs). The scores were 96-94, 97-93, 97-93.
Wade took the edge in the early going, with Brinson - best known for his upset of Jorge Melendez - was competitive throughout the entire contest. Wade was more accurate with his punches. Brinson was not beyond erupting with some explosive combinations, but many of the shots were getting blocked. Brinson did well with his body shots in spots, yet he was never able to slow Wade's movement down. Wade was also working a very good jab all fight.
Top light heavyweight prospect Marcus Browne (11-0, 8KOs) blew away late replacement Donta Woods (8-3, 7KOs) in the first round. A shot right on the chin sent Woods crashing on his back. He barely was able to make it up and the referee waved things off.
Heavyweight prospect Gerald Washington (13-0, 10KOs) stopped Travis Walker (39-12-1, 31KOs) in the second round. After good first, Washington caught Walker in the corner with a series of hard shots. Walker crumbled down from the punches. Referee Russell Mora waved it off after Walker was having trouble getting up.
In what was a heavyweight contest, BJ Flores (30-1-1, 19KOs) won an eight round unanimous decision over Anthony Caputo Smith (15-3, 10KOs). All three judges had it 8-72. The next stop could be a world title shot against WBC cruiserweight king Krzysztof Wlodarczyk.
Cruiserweight prospect Steve Lovett (10-0, 8KOs) of Australia, trained by Ronnie Shields, stopped Dwayne Williams (5-3, 2KOs) in three rounds.
A battle of light heavyweights saw Tyrell Hendrix (11-4-2, 4KOs) shocked previously undefeated Dennis Hasson (16-1, 6KOs) with a fourth round stoppage. Hendrix dropped Hasson twice, with referee Kenny Bayless waving things off following the second knockdown.
Welterweight Ryan Karl (2-0, 2KOs), trained by Ronnie Shields, crushed Cory Muldrew (1-8) in the first round with a hard hook to the body tat saw Muldrew go down for the count.
Super middleweight John Magda (7-0, 6KOs) had some struggles but he dropped, and stopped, Taneal Goyco (6-7-1, 3KOs) in the fourth round of action.
Middleweight prospect Caleb Plant (2-0, 1KOs) dominated Mike Noriega (4-4, 4KOs) over four rounds for a unanimous decision. All three judges had it 40-36.
Junior welterweight prospect Ladarius "Memphis" Miller (3-0, 1KO) won a four round unanimous decision over Jacinto Quintana (2-3, 2KOs). All three judges had it 40-36. Miller was too fast and hands were took quick for the Quintana, who spent most of the fight trying to head hunt. Miller was also far more accurate, but none of his punches ever had Quintana in trouble.