DETROIT, Mich. (Nov. 19, 2004) – Troy Rowland got off the canvas to take a unanimous 10-round decision, scored 97-92 (twice) and 96-93, over Epifanio Mendoza Friday on “ShoBox: The New Generation.” In the welterweight co-feature from the Michigan State Fairgrounds in Detroit, Mich., Shamone Alvarez easily defeated Mohammed Kayongo with a first-round knockout.
SHOWTIME televised the Millenium Events Inc doubleheader at 11 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast). The telecast represented the 53nd in the popular “ShoBox” series, which debuted on SHOWTIME in July 2001.
Rowland (21-1, five KOs), of Grand Rapids, Mich., was dropped in the seventh round, but quickly got back to his feet to take control of the rest of the fight. He won over boxing fans in his home state by winning three consecutive Golden Gloves Open Division Titles from 1998 – 2000. A heavily decorated amateur, Rowland twice won the Sportsmanship Award (‘98 and ‘99) and the Most Outstanding Open Boxer Award (‘99 and ‘00) at the Michigan Golden Gloves. Rowland turned pro at age 24 on July 21, 2000, with a four-round decision over Kevin Butts in Mount Pleasant, Mich.
After suffering a setback in his fifth pro outing, Rowland has won 16 consecutive fights, including a fifth-round TKO over Earl Jackson on Sept. 28, 2002, in Grand Rapids, Mich. for the Midwest Boxing Federation middleweight crown. Despite being knocked to the canvas for the first time in his professional career, Rowland recovered to punish his opponent so greatly that his corner threw in the towel in the fifth round.
Mendoza (20-3-1, 19 KOs) of Valledupar, Columbia, connected with an overhand right to the top of Rowland’s head to knock him down. Mendoza landed the heavier shots throughout the bout. He is a knockout artist who leaves his opponents in pain. The crowd-pleaser made his professional debut six days after his 24th birthday with a third-round knockout over Waldo Torres on Nov. 28, 1999 in Valledupar.
Mendoza won his first 16 fights by knockout, each within three rounds. Following a 0-2-1 stretch, the hard-hitting Columbian has tallied four straight victories, including a 12-round decision over Dumont Welliver on Sept. 25, 2004 in Detroit. With the win, Mendoza claimed the World Boxing Council (WBC) Latin American middleweight title.
Alvarez (9-0, seven KOs), of Atlantic City, N.J., came out firing from the opening bell. At the 2:30 mark in the first round, he connected with a jab and then a cross to the chin to send Kayongo face first into the mat to win the fight. Alvarez is fast becoming known as a dangerous fighter in the welterweight division. The sparring partner of “ShoBox” favorite, Mike Arnaoutis, made his pro debut a successful one by recording a first-round knockout over Steve Evans in Reading, Pa. Alvarez has notched five opening-round KOs in just eight contests.
Kayongo (11-1-1, eight KOs), of Kampala, Uganda, was a late addition to the card and found himself overmatched from the beginning.
He fought to a thrilling eight-round majority draw against Jose Antonio Ojeda July 15, 2004, in his SHOWTIME debut on “ShoBox: The New Generation” from Santa Ynez, Calif. The Ugandan started quickly and rocked Ojeda with a left hook in the second round. However, fighting an opponent from nearby Santa Maria, Calif., proved too difficult to overcome as Ojeda finished strongly, counterpunched effectively and had the unbeaten Kayongo backing up the last few rounds. One judge scored it 77-75 for Ojeda, while the other two had it 76-apiece.
Who will win? Wladimir Klitschko or Tyson Fury?