ShoBox: Witherspoon, McGirt And Hearns Triumph

chazz witherspoonMANISTEE, Mich. (July 2, 2006) – Photos by Tom Casino / Showtime - The torch was passed Saturday from old generation to new when three sons of former world champions and a cousin of another fought on a historic special edition of “Shobox: The New Generation” on SHOWTIME. DiBella Entertainment promoted the notable event from the Little River Casino Resort in Manistee, Mich.. It aired at 10 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the west coast). “Shobox” will revert to its usual day and time slot when the popular boxing series returns Friday, July 28, at 11 p.m. ET/PT.

“The one thing you can say about all three of these boxers tonight -- Chazz Witherspoon, James McGirt Jr., and Ronald Hearns is that they showed flashes of excellent ability and those flashes let us know that you want to look at them for reasons other than their last names,” SHOWTIME announcer Al Bernstein said.

In the main event, Witherspoon (13-0, seven KO’s) recorded a hard-fought 10-round decision over Mike Alexander (11-1, eight KO’s). Alexander gave his best throughout and boxed well during the early rounds. Witherspoon picked up the pace in the sixth round and seemed to have his way in all the later sessions. At the finish, Witherspoon won by the scores of 100-90, 98-92 and 96-94..

“I didn’t see any video tape on Alexander so I had to make adjustments,’’ said Witherspoon, a second cousin of former world heavyweight champion Tim Witherspoon. “It took me four rounds to (figure him out). I need to warm up better. Once I get my motor running, I’m good.’’

McGirt vs PryorIn a middleweight bout between the sons of former world champions Buddy McGirt and Aaron Pryor, James Jr. (12-0, 1 NC, seven KO’s) won a unanimous eight-round decision over Stephan Pryor (10-2, seven KO’s). McGirt won the first eight-round fight of his career by the scores of 79-73 three times. Utilizing a four-inch height advantage and a two-fisted attack, McGirt fairly dominated Pryor, who attributed his lack of punching power to an aching shoulder.

"My legs started going a little bit so my dad told me not to move as much,’’ James Jr. said.

“When I first walked on the ring I realized it was soft,” Buddy McGirt said. “I knew it was his first eight-rounder and the ring was soft so we had to make adjustments. Our plan was to go to the body. When you have guys that are that big, you have to go downstairs.”

Going past four rounds for the first time, the son of legendary Thomas Hearns, Ronald Hearns (8-0, seven KO’s) overpowered Hector Hernandez (8-2-2, three KO’s) en route to winning by sixth-round TKO. The younger Hearns, whose style is reminiscent of his famous father, dropped Hernandez five times – once in the first, three times in the fifth and once in the sixth. The bout was stopped 12 seconds into the round.

“This is the type of fight I needed,” Ronald Hearns said. “I kept going strong every round. I showed everybody that I could go the distance. I had to go to the body on him because he’s a tough Mexican.”

ronald hearnsA scheduled televised bout between Jorge Paez Jr. and Armand Horn was cancelled Friday.
Nick Charles called Saturday’s action from ringside, with Steve Farhood serving as expert analyst. SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING expert analyst Al Bernstein joined the ‘ShoBox’ announce team as roving reporter for this special edition. The executive producer of the telecast was Gordon Hall, with Richard Gaughan producing.

The telecast represented the 79th in the popular “ShoBox” series, which debuted on SHOWTIME in July 2001. “ShoBox” features up-and-coming prospects determined to make a mark and eventually fight for a chance at a world title. A number of fighters who have appeared on the series have gone on to become world champions, including Jeff Lacy, Ricky Hatton, Juan Diaz, Leonard Dorin, Joan Guzman and Scott Harrison.

SHOWTIME comes right back next Saturday, July 8, with a world championship doubleheader at 10 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the west coast).

In the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING main event, Roman "Made in Hell" Karmazin (34-1-1, 1 ND, 21 KOs) will defend his International Boxing Federation (IBF) 154-pound title against former undisputed world welterweight champion Cory "The Next Generation" Spinks (34-3, 11 KOs) in Spinks' hometown of St. Louis, Mo. In the second half of an excellent twin bill promoted by Don King Productions, Steve "USS" Cunningham (19-0, 10 KOs) and Guillermo "El Felino" Jones (33-3-2, 26 KOs) will square off for the vacant IBF

For information on “ShoBox: The New Generation” and SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecasts, including complete fighter bios, records, related stories and more, please go the SHOWTIME website at

Article posted on 02.07.2006

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