Rob Brant vs Louis Rose, Jarrell Miller vs Akhror Muralimov & Samuel Clarkson vs Lavarn Harvell
BY KID HERSH
ShoBox from Phoenix Arizona. Prospect night! First up was Samuel Clarkson (16-3, 10ko's) vs Lavarn Harvell (15-1, 8ko's). The first round was pretty tense but the fighters were not opening up until the final minute. Then suddenly Clarkson dropped Harvell with a check hook in the last minute. Clarkson got up but got dropped again at the very end of the round by another right hand. He was wobbly but the bell saved him. Clarkson wasted no time in the second round in putting Harvell on the ropes with power shots and putting him out on his feet, finally knocking him over and out with a left hand. A very, very impressive performance (although I did not know who Harvell is) because Clarkson seems to have a resurgence in his career at this point, especially after this win plus the big stoppage win over Jerry Odom a few months ago.
Next up was Jarrell Miller (14-0-1, 12ko's) vs Akhror Muralimov (14-1, 11ko's) in a battle of heavyweights. Muralimov only has one loss and it's to the veteran and always capable journeyman Derrick Rossy. In the first round both men were lumbering around, rather large and squat guys these are! Muralimov was firing off shots from just out of range as Miller was walking towards him and not doing much until the end of the round when he started landing some shots as he lead the action instead of waited. In the second round Miller turned up the heat, pressuring harder and throwing more shots. Muralimov already looks tired to my eyes as he is taking unnecessary shots and not only dropping his hands but looking very slow to move. Well, less than a minute into the third round "Big Baby" dropped a right hand on Muralimov after measuring him up with the left hand. To me, it looked like Muralimov wanted a way out of the fight as he had the look in the second round like he couldn't handle the pressure coming at him. It reminded me of his last loss - the Rossy one - to a certain extent, where it also looked like he just didn't have a heart in the fight.
Next up was the main event with Rob Brant (17-0, 11ko's) vs Louis Rose (13-2-1, 5ko's). In the first round Rose was trying to use his length and was successful in keeping Brant at range but was not landing much of anything. The story of the first round was Brants right hand that he cracked home perfectly a few times, snapping Rose's head but not hurting him. In the second round Brant found his distance much better and controlled the action in the ring with his more accurate punching and solid jab to control where Rose was positioned. In the third and fourth rounds Brant further took over the fight, circling and moving laterally around Rose while stabbing him with jabs and right hands that had Rose befuddled. He also hurt Rose with a stiff land hand through the guard that Rose did not see coming with less than a minute left in the fourth round. The punch snapped Rose's head back and sent him into the ropes. He recovered quickly but it is a sign of just exactly who is in complete control of the fight. In the fifth round Rose came back and looked much better than in the previous rounds, throwing more punches and looking livelier. I still think Brant edged the round though despite taking more shots than previously because there were more shots thrown and he still showed a solid defense in blocking and parrying many of his opponents shots while also controlling a lot of the distance and tempo with his great jab. In the second half of the fight Rose knew that he was not going to win a boxing match so he pressured brant harder per his corners request and tried throwing a variety of shots while mixing it up to the body and the head. The problem was still that Brant has the much quicker feet and hands so the change in tactic was not working until the eighth round. In the eighth round Brant stood his ground to start the round and really sat down on his punches to start off, looking to do damage to Rose. he landed some really good shots but despite the head of Rose whipping violently at times he is just not affecting him with his shots. Rose then backed up Brant for over half of the remainder of the round and made Brant look uncomfortable, likely because he spent most of his energy in trying to hurt his man to start the round. Rose carried the momentum into the ninth round as he got busy again and connected with more of his shots on the fading Brant. Brant does not look like he is going to fall over from exhaustion or anything like that but he is noticeably slower in these late rounds that are new to him and his defense is easier to penetrate. The tenth round was a hot one with both men putting everything on the line from the start. Both were impressive but I think Brant edged the final round as he went to work for the entirety of it and pushed Rose on his back foot while going to work. The cards came in 96-94 X2 and 95-95 to give Brant the MD win. I thought he deserved it rather clear but I might be in the minority on this one seeing as how the Showtime crew thought it was a close pick 'em fight as well. Good showing for the St. Paul native though I think because Rose is a tough competitor that has fought some great opposition and had many upsets as a perennial spoiler. Brant handled him well I thought and will surely learn from this win.