Adam Lopez vs Daniel Roman, Ellis vs Brooker & Sims Jr. vs Robles
BY KID HERSH
From Bally's Event Center in Atlantic City New Jersey came ShoBox The New Generation on Inauguration Day in America.
First up was Kenneth Sims Jr (10-0, 3KO's) vs Emmanuel Robles (15-1-1, 5KO's). The referee was Benjy Esteves. The first round was very fast as Robles came out swinging for the fences right away. Sims returned the favor but was the fighter that settled down the quickest and got into rhythm. Sims was switching between orthodox and southpaw beautifully and nailing Robles with straights. Robles looked lost midway through the round, looking even unsure if he should be an orthodox or southpaw fighter. Sims looked like a verifiable veteran - likely because of his very extensive amateur career of about 250 fights. Sims stunned Robles with a couple shots but you can tell that he does not carry great power because Robles was able to recoup and Sims never jumped on his man really - he just continued boxing him although I should note that he was hitting him with the hardest shots that he could. The fast pace continued and Robles managed to gain some momentum back by hitting Sims with overhand lefts that he could not seem to get away from. Sims still looked calm but was not getting off his punches first which is what gave him great success in the first round. The fight turned into a grueling inside one in the third round as both men lost their mouthpieces from trading power shots. Robles looked like he was the worse for wear as the mid rounds came which is likely due to the great body work that Sims slipped in in the early rounds while Robles was head hunting. In the fifth round Sims went back to boxing on the outside and firing 1-2s and had far more success more along the lines of the first round when he had his best round of the fight. His problem is that he does not seem very disciplined because he is leaving his hands far too low and while Robles is not taking advantage of it yet it is a serious flaw. Well, as I just said, Sims low hands cost him in the sixth round when Robles caught him with powerful left hands that buckled Sims legs and a right hook knocked his mouthpiece out. Sims made it through the round but it looked like he was in some real trouble while Robles had by far his best round of the fight and put the fight that was seeming to be all for Sims up for grabs as a knockout seems possible. Sims was able to mitigate the impending disaster of a stoppage after winning the first half of the fight by getting on his wheels for the seventh round. He seems gassed, but legs told a story of great conditioning at the same time. maybe the big lights got to him as his corner was alluding to by saying to "ignore the cameras" and not let them get to him. Sims put it all together in the eighth and final round, catching a second wind and dominating the round with his athleticism and conditioning as he seemed to suddenly put it all together once again. Very interesting to see when this happens because it is a prospect learning how to deal with pressure and the big lights on a new stage. Not saying its water under the bridge that should be completely forgotten as Sims avoided a near disaster but it is no doubt something he wants to chalk up as a learning experience and move on. The cards came in a wide UD for Sims but it was a closer fight than paper will say due to his severe falter in the fifth to seventh rounds. The announcers were puzzled why the judges did not have a point dseduction for a mouthpiece coming out but I don't recall Esteves deducting a point...at any point.
Next up was Ronald Ellis (13-0-1, 10KO's) vs Christopher Brooker (11-2, 5KO's). The referee was David Fields. There was a delay because apparently they could not get the microphone to raise out of the ring. In the first round it was all Ellis as Brooker looked gun shy and did not get any sort of offense mounted at all whatsoever. Brooker is focusing on defense but he is getting hit while offering no offense so Ellis is walking all over him. In the second round Ellis continued the easy fight by banging away to the body and walking down Brooker. Brooker still looked terrible to my eyes - he was very awkward, stiff, and off balance. In the third round Brooker suddenly changed gears and came forward as more of the pressure fighter that he is. Ding ding ding we got a winner - he actually had some success using his style of fighting, who would have thought! Whoever had him "boxing" to start the fight needs to realize that his thirteen amateur fights combined with his style mean that he is never going to be a counterpuncher or "boxer" - he is only going to have success in a fan friendly, aggressive style that has won him a few upsets in the past. In any case though, the milds stints of success did not carry over into the fourth round for Brooker as he got backed up and hit with more power punches. The fight got pretty ugly but Brooker is a tough dude and not going anywhere and is just awkward enough to not get hit flush and he also is not fighting an all out war like in the past. I guess that was the point of his reformed style but he is losing the fight and I would argue should continue being a fan friendly fighter like in the past otherwise he will not get good paydays and prime time appearances anymore. He was lobbing punches and holding, or just straight holding/clinching, to make it through the rounds. he was never in serious trouble of getting taken out but no doubt after the early deficit and getting steamrolled by Ellis at close range he knew he had to adjust and adapt or he would get stopped. Not a great win for Ellis because he could not tee off on a man that at this level you should be able to. But, just like Brooker, Ellis has a lack of amateur experience to overcome.
Main event time featuring Adam Lopez (16-0-1, 8KO's) vs Daniel Roman (20-2-1, 7KO's). Referee was Harvey Dock. In the first round Roman was picking his punches beautifully and causing Lopez a bit of frustration as Lopez was off to a slow start that continued into the second round. in the second Roman was showing that his quick hands and full arsenal with a variety of punches was confusing Lopez and causing his offense to be blunted. Both fighters were showing very good defense and picking off plenty of punches but it was still Lopez that was having the most difficulty landing his punches. In the fourth round Roman caught Lopez with a left hook that dropped him hard fairly early in the round. he rose but was bleeding from the nose and on wobbly legs. He got put down yet again from another left hand and it looked like the fight was going to be over but he toughed it out with his back on the ropes and taking punishment, bobbing and weaving to not sustain more punishment while also covering up well. Roman is not a finisher by any means but it was fairly amazing that Lopez made it through the round due to being in seriously bad shape for the majority of it. Lopez did not looked great, by any means, in the fifth round but he did make a bit of a comeback as he had stable legs by the end of the round and was actually landing some punches instead of surviving by throwing. Roman went back to dominating in the sixth round with his aggressive but yet technical straight forward style. His sharp, straight punches and tight defense are continuing to take their toll on Lopez. If Roman had power he would really be a force to be reckoned with but he is still a very good fighter and fun one to watch at that. Lopez was getting a serious look in the corner after the eighth round and I thought it was funny that the doctor asked for one question who the president is - which is tricky because it was Barack Obama this morning but Donald Trump now. Lopez answered "Donald Trump now" and was allowed to continue with Ronnie Shields saying that he was going to give him one more round. Lopez took a beating in the ninth and so the fight was stopped by Shields immediately at the end of it. Huge statement win here for Roman who is going to (hopefully) face world title holder Nehomar Cermeno, as this was a WBA title eliminator for the chance to meet him.