FARGO, N.D. (Nov. 6, 2010) – On the eve of the win-or-go-home Group Stage 3 matchup between 168-pounders Allan Green and Glen Johnson in the Super Six World Boxing Classic on SHOWTIME®, offensive-minded Edwin “La Bomba Rodriguez TKOed James McGirt Jr. in hopes to send a message and become the division’s top prospect. In the co-feature bouts at Scheels Arena in Fargo, N.D., Aaron Pryor Jr. won a unanimous decision over Dyah Davis and Marcus “Too Much Johnson dominated Kevin Engel en route to a third-round TKO.
Despite taking a sizable step up in opposition, Rodriguez’ (17-0, 13 KOs) ascent to stardom wasn’t slowed and neither were his hands in his first ShoBox main event. The fan-friendly, give-and-take puncher from Worcester, Mass, by way of the Dominican Republic, delivered a trademark action-packed performance. McGirt (22-3-1, 1 NC, 11 KOs) from Vero Beach, Fla., defended well in the early rounds but was unable to establish a sustained offensive attack. By rounds seven and eight, Rodriguez began teeing off on his tired opponent. Referee Mark Nelson called the fight a TKO in ninth round after McGirt’s lack of punches transformed him into a 168-pound heavy bag. Rodriguez is winning, winning impressively and now winning impressively over name opponents – three things that prospects need to do to become contenders.
Some 34 years after Aaron Pryor lost his spot on the U.S. Olympic team to Howard Davis, his son Aaron Pryor Jr. (15-2, 11 KOs), of Cincinnati, avenged the loss by defeating Davis’ son, Dyah. The lanky, 6-foot-4 Pryor with an 80-inch reach established his long jab to keep away the shorter Davis (18-2, 9 KOs) of Boca Raton, Fla. Bloodying Davis with a straight right in the sixth, Pryor maintained control through most of the eight scheduled rounds. Pryor won a unanimous decision with scores of 78-74 and 79-73 two times.
Determined to dazzle the feisty Fargo fight fans and the national television audience at home, Johnson (20-0, 15 KOs), of Houston, Texas, brutalized Engel (18-4, 1 ND, 15 KOs) for three rounds before referee Mark Nelson stopped the bout and awarded Johnson a technical knockout. Though Engel showed tremendous heart by refusing to quit after a third-round knockdown, the St. Louis native was outmatched from the first bell. Johnson’s hand speed, accuracy and destructive left hook to the body proved “too much for Engel.
After the telecast, SHOWTIME analyst Steve Farhood opined, “Edwin Rodriguez is the No. 1 American super middleweight prospect with Marcus Johnson at No. 2. Rodriguez beat Engel first (on April 30 on ShoBox) and his win over McGirt is a better name on his resume than anyone on Johnson’s resume.
Tonight’s telecast will re-air on Thursday, Nov. 11 at 11 p.m. ET/PT on SHO2. In tomorrow’s telecast, Green takes on Johnson at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas to decide which man secures the last spot in the tournament’s Semi-finals on SHOWTIME Championship Boxing (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast). In the main event, budding superstar Juan Manuel Lopez defends his WBO Featherweight belt and unbeaten record against Mexican legend Rafael Marquez.
The event was promoted by DiBella Entertainment.
Curt Menefee called the ShoBox action from ringside with Steve Farhood serving as expert analyst. Gordon Hall is the executive producer of ShoBox with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.