By Jason Pribila at ringside in Bethlehem, USA: GH3 Promotions and King’s Promotions presented five bouts in support of the televised Special Edition of ShoBox that aired LIVE from the Sands Resort and Casino in Bethlehem, USA. A total of five fights made up the untelevised portion of the card, which was highlighted by three knockouts, a surprising Draw and a 10 round war.
Levgen Khytrov (13-0, 11 KO) and Kenneth McNeil (9-2, 6 KO) made a pitch that their middleweight battle should have been on the televised portion of the card. This was a bout in which the wide decision failed to tell the story of a back and forth battle featuring boxing, brawling, a knockdown, and plenty of blood.
Khytrov suffered a cut on the outside of his left eye in round three. Despite the adversity Khytrov boxed his way to a big lead midway thru the bout.
McNeil enjoyed his best moments in rounds six and seven. He seemed to take advantage of Khytrov’s impaired vision by landing right hooks on the damaged eye. He was also more effective when he was forced to counter off the ropes.
Khytrov steadied the ship in round eight and never looked back. He answered a low blow in round ten by scoring a knockdown when action resumed. The fighters traded as the final bell rang, but the late rally appeared to have robbed the decision of drama.
As expected, all three judges voted in favor of Khytrov: 99-90, and 97-92 (twice)
Philadelphia heavyweight Joey Dawejko (16-4-3, 9KO) and Ytalo Perea (6-2-2, 4KO) fought their way to a split-draw over eight rounds.
After three minutes, Perea had already forced Dawejko to an unfamiliar place. This was only the second time in his last seven fights that Dawejko failed to stop his opponent in the opening frame. Dawejko rolled out of his corner and landed a three punch combination, as he would throughout the night, Perea took the punches and then shrugged them off.
By the time Perea realized that he could win the bout, he had given up too many rounds on the card. He clearly won the final three rounds on my card, and was the fresher fighter at the opening bell.
This was a bout that was more about how each fighter entered the bout mentally. Dawejko wanted to stay busy while he was waiting for his name to be called for a bigger payday on a televised card. He expected to score a knockdown, and he did not seem to have a Plan B when it became clear that Perea did not come to lie down.
Perea clearly had the mindset of an opponent. However, his vast amateur experience allowed him to remain cool under fire. He was able to absorb his opponents power, but he failed to have the confidence to go on the offensive until Dawejko was reduced to throwing single punches.
The judges’ scorecards read: 78-74 Dawejko, 77-75 Perea, and 76-76 to result in a Split DRAW.
Amir Shabazz (3-0, 1KO) made quick work out of Hakeem Atkinson (2-2, 1KO) scoring a TKO at 2:01 of the opening round of their light heavyweight contest. Shabazz dropped an off-balance Atkinson midway through the opening round. Atkinson made it to his feet until a whip-like right hand dropped him for the second time. Again, Atkinson beat the count, but referee Benji Estevez had seen enough and stopped the bout.
Welteweight Anthony Miller (2-1, 3 KO) dropped Terrence Williams (4-1, 1 KO) at the end of the first round. Although Williams beat the count, he appeared to have suffered an injury that prevented him from answering the bell to start the second round.
In the opening bout of the evening Chordale Booker of Brooklyn, NY needed less than two rounds to ensure that his professional debut was a memorable one. Philadelphia’s Antonio Allen offered little resistance as the aggressive Booker dictated the action from the opening bell.
Midway through the second round, Booker pinned Allen against the ropes and meticulously pounded away at the head and body. The referee waved off the action at 1:56 of Round 2.
Jason Pribila is a full voting member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He could be reached for questions or comments at email@example.com or followed at twitter.com@PribsBoxing