Hanshaw, Mendy Both Triumph

SANTA YNEZ, Calif. (Oct. 6, 2006) – The international field of eight has come down to France against the United States as fellow unbeatens Tony Hanshaw and Jean Paul Mendy advanced to the finals of the “ShoBox” super middleweight tournament with convincing victories Friday on SHOWTIME.

Hanshaw (21-0, 14 KOs), of Warren, Ohio, won the battle of former roommates by scoring a third-round TKO over LaFarrell Bunting (16-2-1, 16 KOs), of Las Vegas, Nev.. In a battle of undefeated fighters, Mendy (23-0, 12 KOs) opened the telecast from the Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, Calif., by pitching a near shutout, 10-round unanimous decision over Henry Buchanan (14-1, 11 KOs) of Capitol Heights, Md.

A tournament that offers two boxers the opportunity to appear on national television three times in only seven months will conclude Friday, Jan. 5, 2007, on SHOWTIME at 11 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the west coast). Hanshaw and Mendy will square off for the right to take home the International Boxing Organization (IBO) 168-pound title. Gary Shaw Productions, LLC, is promoting the event.

Favored by many insiders to win the tournament, Hanshaw backed Bunting into the ropes midway through the third round and landed a series of unanswered punches to the head before referee Raul Caiz, Jr., stopped matters at 1:58.

Going into the contest, Hanshaw had an inkling that it was going to be an early evening.

“My trainer, John Russell, and I had a feeling that the fight was not going to last long,” Hanshaw said. “I had to get in there and be aggressive from the outset. It was seek and destroy. This is my time. There is no turning back.”

“ShoBox” expert analyst Steve Farhood was impressed with Hanshaw’s performance.

“Hanshaw had to perform a different fight than he did in the first round against Esteban Camou in August,” Farhood said. “The boxer became the puncher and the puncher became the boxer. Hanshaw had to get in close and he made it work for him.”

Putting his two-and-one-half-inch height advantage to good use, Mendy won every round on two of the judges’ scorecards and lost only one round on the other to win convincingly. Two scored the bout 100-89, while the third judge saw it 99-90.

“I thought Buchanan would run a lot, but I made him come and fight me,” Mendy said.

Following repeated warnings from referee David Mendoza in previous rounds, Buchanan had a point deducted in the eighth for low blows. Also in the eighth round, Mendy stuck his tongue out and mocked his opponent. Afterward, Mendy explained that the action was payback for Buchanan’s first-round opponent, Lucas Green-Arias.

“Buchanan mocked Arias, so I thought I would do the same thing to him,” Mendy said. “He was talking a lot, but he could not hide behind it when we got in the ring. I am a champion. I do my talking with my fists in the ring.”

Farhood said Mendy’s unorthodox fighting style helps his performance.

“Mendy’s awkwardness cuts down on his power, but enhances his effectiveness,” Farhood said. “His southpaw stance presented a problem for Buchanan all night.”

SHOWTIME televised the Gary Shaw Productions, LLC, doubleheader at 11 p.m. ET/PT. The telecast represented the 82nd in the popular “ShoBox” series, which debuted on SHOWTIME in July 2001.

Nick Charles called Friday’s action from ringside, with Farhood serving as expert analyst. The executive producer of the telecast was Gordon Hall, with Richard Gaughan producing.

The critically-acclaimed series, “ShoBox: The New Generation,” debuted on SHOWTIME in July 2001 as a proving ground for up-and-coming fighters determined to eventually fight for a world title. A number of fighters who have appeared on the series have gone on to become world champions, including Ricky Hatton, Juan Diaz, Leonard Dorin, Joan Guzman, Scott Harrison and Jeff Lacy.

Article posted on 07.10.2006

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