Bogere with controversial KO Over Contreras

By John G. Thompson: Controversy marked the end of the bout with Sharif “The Lion” Bogere (21-0, 13 KO’s) and Francisco Contreras (16-1, 13 KO’s) as Contreras left the arena on a stretcher and the ringside commentators debated whether it was a right to the jaw or a blow behind the head which put him down. In the undercard, Jermell Charlo (16-0, 7 KO’s) put on a fairly dominant performance against a determined Francisco “Chia” Santana (12-3-1, 6 KO’s) at the Texas Station Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada on ShoBox: The New Generation.

Bogere is originally from Uganda and now living and fighting out of Las Vegas, Nevada. Bogere lives up to his moniker “The Lion” as he wears a lion skin into the ring in one of the most over-the-top ring entrance ceremonies of any current fighter, not to mention one of the most homo-erotic (Bogere is carried to the ring, in a cage, while wearing the lion outfit, being carried buy four bare chested men). Bogere was captain of the Ugandan National Team and a five-time African Champion.

Contreras, originally from the Dominican Republic and now living in New Jersey, is much more low key and down to business. Contreras won his first eleven bouts all by knockout and boasts nine first round KO’s. If that number wasn’t impressive enough, you can tack on another three second round stoppages as well to get a picture of Contreras’s power. Contreras also boasts an impressive 358 amateur bouts.

Bogere started the match throwing lunging jabs against his taller opponent - Bogere is about 5’6” and Contreras 5’10”. Contreras moved away looking for and occasionally catching Bogere with a left hook, while maintaining his distance. Contreras continued to fight smart in the second round, making Bogere miss. Then Bogere stepped up the pressure throwing a multi-punch combination and eventually landing to the head. Later, as Contreras clenched, Bogere hit him with two lefts to the face and then when he let go Bogere followed up with a hard right to the head to steal the round.

Bogere’s speed and aggression changed the fight in the third as he caught Contreras with a right to the jaw with just over a minute left in the round. Bogere’s momentum plowed Contreras into the ropes and Contreras turned his head away from his opponent as Bogere threw a right upstairs. The punch first struck Contreras’s back/shoulder and then connected to the back of the head. Only Contreras could tell you if it was the right to the jaw or the right to the back of the head which put him down, but who knows if he can even remember. Contreras went down face first and did not stir during Referee Jay Nady’s ten-count, except that his hand held the back of his head. Medical personnel were brought in and Contreras was brought out via stretcher. Bogere won a fight, though not in the way he would have wanted, and I’m sure everyone is hoping for a safe recovery for Contreras.

The twenty-one year old Jermell Charlo of Houston, Texas happens to have a twin brother Jermall who is also a professional boxer. Jermell had an amateur record of 56-8, though he has not yet fought anyone with a lot of experience as a professional. Francisco Santana from Santa Barbara, CA only won one match in his last three. His last bout in May was a draw with an undefeated fighter. Santana fought several undefeated fighters actually, and was stopped once by one in 2009. He did not fight in 2010, but this is his third bout of 2011.

Santana applied constant pressure from the start, but Charlo boxed well throughout the evening, using his slight height advantage to the fullest in fighting tall. Santana threw a lot of punches in the first, many missing, and his punch output fell in the second, except when he could back Charlo to the ropes. Both men let their hands go in the final seconds of the second round, and this became a recurring theme throughout the bout. Charlo started connecting with a great uppercut in the third round, and dished out some great shots in the fourth, but Santana kept coming.

In the fifth round Charlo managed to get Santana on the ropes and threw a vicious combination but as they clenched Santana lifted Charlo up and dropped him as the referee tried to separate them. Halfway through the sixth round, Santana landed his best punch of the night – an overhand right as Charlo threw his left. Santana tried to hold on or duck out of the way as Santana threw every punch he could looking for the stoppage. Unfortunately for Santana his punches were wild and unfocused and while some connected to the head, the vast majority did little for his cause. In fact, Santana looked winded with one minute left in the round and Charlo started throwing back, moving well, clearly back in control.

Charlo boxed well in the seventh, jabbing, and Santana did not throw many punches. Between rounds Charlo’s corner man Ronnie Shields told him, “You need this round.” Clearly Shields wanted Charlo to end the fight on a high note and Charlo boxed well, sticking and moving, tying up when Santana got too close. I only gave Santana the sixth round and two of the judges seemed to agree scoring it 79-73. The other judge scored it 78-74, probably giving Santana the first round when he was most active.

Article posted on 08.10.2011

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