Monday, December 05, 2022  |


Rodriguez, Pryor, Johnson win on ShoBox


Fans got a glimpse of one or two potential future players in the super middleweight division on Showtime's ShoBox: The Next Generation broadcast from Fargo, N.D., on Friday.

Undefeated New England-area prospect Edwin Rodriguez scored the most significant victory of his two-year career by stopping James McGirt Jr. in the ninth round of their 10-round main event.

Rodriguez (17-0, 13 knockouts), of Worcester, Mass., out-worked the more experienced son of former two-division titleholder Buddy McGirt (who worked his son's corner) and landed the heavier blows throughout the fast-paced bout. McGirt (22-3-1, 11 KOs), of Vero Beach, Fla., landed the cleaner punches in the early rounds but was gradually overwhelmed by the switch-hitting Rodriguez's aggression, pressure and volume punching.

McGirt, who remained game but was clearly worn out, could do little more than cover up along the ropes in rounds seven, eight and nine.

Referee Mark Nelson waved the bout off at 1:57 of the ninth round.

In the co-featured bout of the DiBella Entertainment-promoted card, Aaron Pryor Jr., son of the hall-of-fame enshrined former junior welterweight champ, scored a mild upset by out-pointing Dyah Davis, the son of 1976 Olympic gold medalist Howard Davis Jr., over eight mainly one-sided rounds.

Pryor (15-2, 11 KOs), who won by scores of 79-73 (twice) and 78-74, gained a measure of revenge for his father, who was eliminated from making the '76 U.S. Olympic squad by Davis' father.

Davis (18-2, 9 KOs), of Boca Raton, Fla., simply could not deal with the height and reach of the 6-foot-4 Cincinnati native, and wound up eating an inordinate amount of straight right hands throughout the bout to the dismay of his father who sat ringside.

Despite a very late start to the sport, Pryor, a former college basketball player, displayed good-though-basic form and listened well to his corner, headed up by James Ali Bashir and Aaron Pryor Sr.

In the opening bout of the broadcast, Houston's Marcus Johnson looked sharp dismantling game-but-limited Kevin Engle over three painfully one-sided rounds.

Johnson (20-0, 15 KOs), a former amateur standout, couldn't miss Engle (18-4, 15 KOs) with any of his power shots or counter-punches. In the third round, Johnson dropped the St. Louis resident with a right hand and then forced a standing eight count with a body shot. Referee Nelson wisely waved the bout off at the conclusion of the round.