Vladimir Shishkin wasn’t overly impressive Friday night, but the super middleweight prospect clearly defeated Ulises Sierra.
Shishkin completely controlled the second half of their 10-round, 168-pound bout and was the busier, better boxer on his way to winning a 10-round unanimous decision in Sloan, Iowa. Judges Mike Walsh (99-91), Steve Weisfeld (100-90) and Barry Wolff (99-91) all scored their “ShoBox: The New Generation” main event for the Russian-born, Detroit-based Shishkin (10-0, 6 KOs) by huge margins.
San Diego’s Sierra (15-1-2, 9 KOs) had won eight straight fights before boxing Shishkin at WinnaVegas Casino Resort.
Sierra was unbeaten entering this bout, but he had fought a very low level of opposition. Shishkin had 330 amateur fights, nearly 300 more than Sierra, who had 33 bouts before he turned pro.
Sierra has plenty of experience as a sparring partner against top opposition, though. He has sparred many rounds with Canelo Alvarez, Sergey Kovalev and Andre Ward, among others.
Sierra started strong Friday night, but he faded later in their fight and didn’t land many consequential punches during the second half of it. Showtime’s unofficial punch stats credited Shishkin with landing 249-of-687 overall punches, more than twice as many as Sierra (121-of-585).
Shiskhin’s jab jarred Sierra just before the halfway point of the 10th round. Sierra seemed exhausted by then, but Shishkin couldn’t put him away.
Referee Adam Pollack called for a break in the action 45 seconds into the ninth round and warned Sierra to keep his punches up. Shishkin was more accurate and active in that round and eventually landed some shots that made a tiring Sierra hold him.
A straight right hand by Shishkin split Sierra’s guard 1:25 into the eighth round.
Shishkin controlled the action in the seventh round, though neither fighter landed many flush punches in those three minutes. A jab by Shishkin snapped back Sierra’s head late in the seventh.
Sierra stopped throwing punches in the sixth round, which allowed Shishkin to get off on him with right hands.
A short, left hand by Sierra knocked Shishkin off balance about 50 seconds into the fifth round. Shishkin started landing his right hand in the second half of the fifth.
A right hand by Sierra backed Shishkin into the ropes about 1:15 into the fourth round. Sierra began gaining confidence in that round
Sierra continued to defend himself well in the third round, when Shishkin had trouble landing clean punches. Sierra wasn’t active in that round, though, and was admonished by his trainer after it ended for not letting his hands go.
Shishkin slipped in a right hand to Sierra’s body at the midway mark of the second round. Sierra caught Shishkin with a right hand that landed to the side of Shishkin’s head when there was 1:15 to go in the second round.
Sierra slipped and blocked many of Shishkin’s punches in the first round. Sierra also landed several jabs in those opening three minutes.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.