By Keith Idec
Kenneth Sims Jr.’s return from his first defeat and subsequent elbow surgery didn’t turn out as he had hoped.
Chicago’s Sims and Cleveland’s Montana Love battled to a draw in an eight-round junior welterweight fight Friday night. One judge scored their back-and-forth fight for Sims, 77-75, another had it 77-75 for Love and the third judge scored the action even (76-76).
The competitive battle between Love (11-0-1, 5 KOs) and Sims (12-1-1, 4 KOs) was the first of three bouts Showtime televised as part of a “ShoBox: The New Generation” tripleheader from WinnaVegas Casino Resort in Sloan, Iowa.
Sims fought for the first time since losing an eight-round majority decision to Rolando Chinea (15-2-1, 6 KOs) last July 14 in Miami, Oklahoma. He had elbow surgery in October, which kept him from training for several months.
Love and Sims landed body and head shots throughout an eighth round in which both boxers were very active. Just like the previous seven rounds, though, neither fighter could land a shot that noticeably hurt his opponent.
Sims drilled Love with a straight right hand about 1:15 into the seventh round. Love hit Sims with a right hook with about 10 seconds to go in the seventh.
Love and Sims took turns in the sixth round bullying each other into the ropes. Love controlled the first half of that round, but Sims came back to have a strong second half.
Love landed a right-left combination that knocked out Sims’ mouthpiece with just under 40 seconds remaining in the fifth round. Sims connected with a straight right about 20 seconds before Love landed that combination.
Love and Sims fought from close distances throughout the fourth round. Each fighter landed to the head and body in that competitive round.
Sims opened the second round boxing out of a southpaw stance and landed a punches that left Love holding early in those three minutes.
Love started the fight strong by landing his straight right hand early in the first round. Sims connected with a right uppercut about 35 seconds into the fight that slowed down Love and Sims mostly controlled that round.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.