ShoBox: Regis Prograis vs Julius Indongo, Ivan Baranchyk vs Petr Petrov, and Junior Fa vs Craig Lewis
BY KID HERSH
ShoBox from Deadwood, South Dakota.
First up was Junior Fa (13-0, 8KO's) vs Craig Lewis (14-1-1, 8KO's). The referee was Mark Nelson. In the first round Fa was controlling the distance on Lewis, who was looking to be the quicker man and use his legs. In the second round Fa was walking Lewis into overhand rights that were slowly taking a toll. Lewis had his hands far too low to be defensively responsible. Fa was wearing his man down - as evidenced in the fourth round when he came out and landed a very fast and heavy 1-2 combination that drove Lewis backwards and noticeably hurt for the first time in the fight. Lewis was able to stave off Fa for the entire round, but he was tired and fading quickly. Fa was too tired to take advantage of the upper hand he had in the fight and so it was Lewis that started coming forward late in the fight and in the seventh round with about thirty seconds left in the round he landed a beauty of an overhand right that hurt and backed up Fa. It was a slow fight but it was an interesting turn of events as Lewis was really testing Fa now and showing us that Fa does not have the proper conditioning he needs to reach the top level. Fa would win a majority decision in a fight that he definitely won but one where we saw some flaws that he will have to work on.
Ivan Baranchyk (17-0, 10KO's) vs Petr Petrov (38-5-2, 19KO's). The referee was Mark Nelson. The Beast scored a knockdown off the very first punch thrown in the fight; a jab. Petrov was not hurt so much as off balance, so he got up and looked fine but was getting tagged wit excellent power punches by Baranchyk. Baranchyk had his typical looping, heavy shots, but they were accurate and he was containing himself thus far in the fight from completely blowing his load like we have seen in the past. He was very aggressively composed instead of wildly aggressive. Early in the second round Baranchyk scored another knockdown when he backed Petrov into the ropes with a hard right hand and flurried to put him on the canvas. He rose but Baranchyk was in total control - he was very sharp and accurate, even with his jab which we have not seen too much in the past because The Beast typically likes to focus on power punching only. He continued dominating and scored what looked like another knockdown off a body shot a minute into the third round but referee Mark Nelson did not rule it one. Petrov was in trouble numerous times in the third round but he did not go down again, instead showing that he is a veteran in great shape by recouping rather quickly after his legs were buckling from the heavy hands of The Beast. It was a small wonder that he not just managed to stay up but that Petrov was not taking a single step backwards. Petrov showed that sturdy winner, veteran mentality, as he pressed forward steadily in the fourth round and was scoring more blows than he has previously - perhaps changing the tide of the fight. He was getting into close range on Baranchyk and landing uppercuts on the youngster while seeing what was coming from Baranchyk far better than he was earlier in the fight. In the fifth round Baranchyk seemed to catch a bit of a new wind, even if he was missing, such as when he played to the crowd and said "ooo" when he whiffed a right hand to the body. Both fighters were vying for control and ring generalship with Baranchyk landing the heavier blows but he was giving ground and planting to land them occasionally while Petrov was steadily applying the pressure and putting on a good offense that was ramping up since the fourth round and landing more and more. In the final minute of the sixth round Baranchyk landed a beauty of a right hand to the chin that took Petrovs legs away and sent him to the canvas. Once again he rose, ever the veteran, to make it through the round but perhaps the damage was mounting and the fight was getting a bit out of reach considering he has suffered three knockdowns. It is one of those odd fights where its realistically closer than the ten point deficit he has going. Baranchyk was answering the audience - which I found hilarious as he turned and talked to them in the seventh round - but he really had a stiff test in front of him as Petrov continued walking forward through Baranchyk's heavy hands landing flush. In the eighth round referee Nelson stopped the fight when Petrov was hurt and backing up into the ropes again. Petrov had no qualms about the stoppage despite it seemingly like a rather lackluster spot to end a great performance and a fun to watch fight. Petrov was so far down on the cards that he needed a stoppage to win and it would appear that that was no longer going to happen. This was the best version of Baranchyk that we have to seen to date with his new trainer Pedro Diaz. He was calmer, composed, and pacing himself for a full 12 round fight. Still lunging at times, but far less than in the past. It was a move in the right direction to get The Beast to the top level.
Regis "Rougarou" Prograis (20-0, 17KO's) vs Julius Indongo (22-1, 11KO's). The referee was Ian John-Lewis. Prograis did not do much in the first round but not much was plenty enough to hurt the awkward and off balance Indongo. Once again, just like in the Craword fight, Indongo doesn't even look like a professional boxer as he moves about the ring awkwardly and off balance while trying to use his reach but often telegraphing his shots and not timing them at all. Prograis scored a knockdown at the very end of the first round off a jab that simply put the already hurt Indongo off balance and down. In the second round Prograis had a punching bag in front of him and slammed away at it; knocking Indongo down three more times until the referee waved the fight off. This was a statement win indeed for Rougarou. But, one must point out, that it would appear Indongo does not belong in a boxing ring at this level, at all.