Antoine Douglas and Michel Soro fought to a majority draw (96-94 Soro, 95-95 twice) in a bout that was a tale of two halves in the main event of Friday’s ShoBox: The New Generation card from Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, New York.
The undefeated Douglas (14-0-1, 9 KOs) dominated the first half of the fight, controlling the action with a plethora of jabs against the vastly experienced former world title challenger. A rip in Soro’s gloves caused a halt in the bout midway through the fourth, but it was more of the same once the bout restarted with Douglas controlling the action.
Soro (23-1-1, 13 KOs) had a solid sixth that gave him a bit more confidence, but as he took more risks it allowed Douglas to land his power shots. A right hand followed by an onslaught of punches from Soro had Douglas dazed in the seventh, but the Frenchman stepped off the gas and allowed Douglas to escape the round. Douglas was still struggling as he entered the ninth for the first time in his career and stayed in survival mode for the remainder of the fight.
“I feel bad,” Douglas said. “After the first couple of rounds I wasn’t feeling myself. I would like to fight him again. I had to respond and find myself in the eighth round, but I made it through to the end.”
Experience was certainly the difference for Soro, who had gone 12 rounds three times and 10 rounds twice but was fighting in the U.S. for the first time in his career.
“In the first rounds I was stressed because I wasn’t at home,” Soro said. “I relaxed in the fourth and fifth rounds and I was never hurt. I know experience was the difference down the stretch. I need to be more precise and accelerate what I was doing in the eighth. This is not my real weight and I am better than that.”
Jerry Odom overcame the first cut of his career and knocked out previously undefeated prospect Vilier Quinonez in the seventh round (2:25) of a matchup of undefeated super middleweights.
Odom (12-0, 11 KOs) leaned in and fought from close quarters to start the bout and a heabutt opened a deep gash over the left eye of his opponent. Quinonez (8-1, 5 KOs) rallied back and had Odom tired and backing up in the ring, but a big right hand set up by repeated shots to the body in the fourth sent Quinonez to the canvas.
Quinonez again worked his way back into the fight and landed a powerful shot that opened a deep gash over Odom’s left eye – the first cut of his professional career. But the blood seemed to rejuvenate Odom, who came out blazing in the seventh and staggered Quinonez against the ropes. Sensing he was about to score his 11th KO in just 12 fights, Odom continued the onslaught and referee Charlie Fitch stopped the bout as the Cuban was falling into the ropes.
“I said I was going to come out and do whatever I had to do to win,” Odom said. “I got cut and I kept fighting. Blood doesn’t discourage me or make me back down; I just keep pushing no matter what. I could have stopped him a couple of times but I paced myself like a true champion.
Welterweight prospect Cecil McCalla kept his perfect record intact with a dominating eight-round unanimous victory (79-73, 80-72 twice) over previously twice-beaten Oscar Godoy.