Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y. - In the ShoBox telecast opener on Friday night, Australia’s Clay Waterman (11-0, 8 KOs) overcame a slow first-round start in his United States debut, effectively using his body punches in a unanimous decision victory over Kenmon Evans (10-1-1, 3 KOs). The scores were 77-75 and 78-74 twice all in favor of Waterman in the eight-round light heavyweight affair.

Evans used his size and reach advantage to connect on numerous jabs in that first round all scored to him, but it was all Waterman from then on as the International Boxing Hall of Famer Christy Martin-promoted Evans of New Smyrna Beach, Fla., couldn’t match the fitness and all-around ring generalship of Waterman.  

“It was my first time fighting in the U.S., so I was a little nervous, but I felt awesome,” Waterman said. “I loved the atmosphere. It was everything I hoped it would be and I loved it.”

Neither fighter had been past six rounds in their careers, and it was Waterman who got stronger as the bout went on while Evans tired as the fight progressed. An eight-time Golden Gloves Champion and 13-time state champion, Waterman landed 108 of 306 punches (35%) compared to 80 of 344 (23%) for Evans.

“Taller fighters always keep their left hands low, that didn’t surprise me,” Waterman said. “I was more surprised by how much holding he did when I tried to attack. I went in to use my jab and work everything off my jab and I did that, but I could have done a lot more. I’m looking forward to going back to work in the gym and getting better. I can’t wait to fight here again.”