Thursday, August 11, 2022  |



Brunson to be tested on ShoBox


Junior middleweights Tyrone Brunson (left) and Carson Jones (right) have to be separated during their heated staredown following Thursday's weigh-in for their Showtime-televised main event from Santa Ynez, Calif., on Friday. Photo / Tom Casino-SHOWTIME

Fight fans love punchers.

KO artists get extra attention, and prospects who score consecutive knockouts get extra hype, which is why many will tune into Friday’s edition of ShoBox: The Next Generation on Showtime to get their first look at Tyrone Brunson.

Brunson (21-0-1, 20 knockouts), a 24-year-old junior middleweight prospect, grabbed internet headlines and made a name for himself among hardcore fans by breaking lightweight titleholder Edwin Valero’s record of consecutive first-round knockouts.

However, the Philadelphia native, will be sorely tested by Carson Jones, a busy and battle-tested 23-year-old boxer from Oklahoma City, Okla.

Although Brunson, who weighed 154¼ pounds at Thursday's weigh-in, is a year older than Jones he is far less experienced because the 19 consecutive opening-round stoppages he scored to beat Valero’s record severely hampered his pro development. The many hapless opponents Brunson easily breezed through while on the Michigan club show circuit and in New Zealand didn’t help him grow much either.

Jones, who tipped the scales at 154¾, is aware of the poor opposition Brunson has faced and he let his more-ballyhooed opponent know it at the weigh-in the day before their scheduled 10-round bout, which takes place at the Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, Calif.

“I just needed him to hear that I’m not impressed by his fake, fraud 19-0 world record he holds for first-round knockouts,” Jones said after Thursday's weigh-in. “His team was all about getting that record but by doing that it hurt him because he doesn’t know what it’s like to go into a real fight against a professional.”

Jones (23-7-1, 14 KOs) doesn’t have the sparkling record or eye-popping KO percentage that Brunson has but he’s been in with real fighters, including fringe contenders Alfonso Gomez, Freddy Hernandez and Jesus Soto-Karass, and he’s fought the 10-round distance five times (including a 10th-round stoppage of Michi Munoz in a scheduled 12-round bout in May).

Jones is also one of the more active fighters in the game. He only fought once in 2007 (a 10-round decision loss to Garcia), but he more than made up for lost time by fighting six times in 2008. Jones has been even busier this year as the Brunson fight will be his ninth bout of 2009. He’s 6-1 (with one No-Decision bout) so far, and the lone loss was a competitive 10-round thriller with Soto-Karass in February.

The experience and momentum Jones has coming into Friday’s bout have led more than a few boxing writers to pick him to beat Brunson in a slight upset.

If Brunson, who struggled to a six-round draw against journeyman Antonio Sorriano in his 20th pro bout last August, is indeed exposed by Jones it wouldn’t be the first time an undefeated puncher had his bubble burst on a ShoBox telecast.

ShoBox, which is dedicated to boxing’s up-and-comers, is a proving ground for prospects and more than a few KO artists have fallen short, losing for the first time on Showtime’s 8¾-year-old program.

Jaidon Codrington, a heavily hyped super middleweight with a 9-0 (9) record at the time, was brutally flattened by Allan Green in an 18-second annihilation in November of 2005 that is still being posted and commented on

Another super middleweight, Russian brawler Victor Oganov, 26-0 (26) at the time, was taken into deep water by fringe contender Fulgencio Zuniga and stopped in the ninth round of their bout that took place in September of 2007.

More recently, Mexican slugger Leonilo Miranda, 30-0 (28) at the time, was knocked out by a single punch from crafty Orlando Cruz in the fifth round of their bout in January; and just last Saturday lightweight puncher John Molina, 18-0 (14), was taken school by veteran contender Martin Honorio in a 10-round bout.

Codrington and Oganov did not recover from their first losses and never lived up to their hype. The jury is still out on Molina and Miranda, who dropped a 10-round decision to a journeyman in his last fight.

Brunson knows that “the jury” will be watching him very closely Friday night and he says fans should not be surprised if he boxes his way to victory.

“I know my opponent doesn’t respect me and the record,” Brunson said. “But he will see all that doesn’t matter and I’m the better fighter.

“I’m just going to go in there and box, have fun and do what I do. I just want to show everyone that Tryone Brunson is no one-hit wonder and no rigged up fighter.”

Brunson was never that thrilled with the pursuit of Valero’s record that was orchestrated by his management, knowing that it stunted his development. Now that he has the record he says he can concentrate on honing his skills in the gym and working his craft in fights that last more than one round.

Brunson followed up his draw with Sorriano with an eight-round unanimous decision over hardnosed journeyman Marcos Primera in October, which lends some credence to his argument that he’s more than just a built-up puncher.

If he can beat Jones he will prove it to the boxing world.