By Joseph Herron: If we learned anything tonight at the Fantasy Springs Resort & Casino in Indio, California, Gary Russell Jr. (21-0, 13 KOs) is one bad dude and will more than likely become a world champion at either 126 or 130 pounds in 2013.
The talented Mr. Russell capped off a very special Olympic edition of “ShoBox: The Next Generation”, which featured the pro debut of five members of the 2012 American Olympic squad of the London Summer Games.
In an obvious “KO of the Year” candidate, the Featherweight sensation destroyed the valiant but outclassed Roberto Castaneda (20-3-1, 15 KOs) in just three rounds with a perfectly timed right hook to the jaw of the scheduled ten round main event of the evening.
The 2008 Olympian took his time breaking down his man, while dominating the action with sharp, crisp punches. Gary showed his class by frustrating Castaneda with speed and precision. He threw lightning fast combinations which scored to the body and head, and ultimately set up the finishing blow that landed in the third and final round.
Almost midway through the round, the hard punching Mr. Russell landed two sharp left hooks to the body of Castaneda that set up the perfectly placed right hook to the jaw. Gary’s outclassed opponent never knew what hit him. The referee in charge never bothered counting and called a halt to the contest at the 1:25 mark of round number three.
Gary Russell Jr. landed 56 of 148 punches thrown (38%) and Roberto Castaneda landed only 19 of 130 shots thrown (15%).
Light Heavyweights – Marcus Brown (1-0, 1 KO) TKO 3 Codale Ford (2-1, 2 KOs)
In an action filled contest that showed both fighters swinging madly for the fences, Light Heavyweight Olympian Marcus Brown put away his chosen opponent, Codale Ford, in three rounds. Marcus floored the previously undefeated fighter with a vicious left hook to the body that immediately sent him down to one knee at the 2:20 mark of the third stanza.
Although Ford was up at the referee’s eight count, the hard punching Olympian wasted no time in jumping all over his outgunned opponent. The third man in charge properly called a halt to the bout with 1:56 left in the round after an unanswered barrage of punches by the American hopeful landed to the body and head of Codale Ford.
Heavyweights – Dominic Breazeale (1-0, 1 KO) TKO 1 Curtis Tate (4-4, 4 KOs)
6’7” Super Heavyweight Olympian Dominic Breazeale knocked down fluffy, club fighter Curtis Tate twice en route to stopping the outgunned boxer at the 1:06 mark of the opening stanza. The Anaheim, California based hopeful worked behind his jab to set up the straight right hand which rocked his opponent to the canvas two times before veteran referee Pat Russell called a halt to the bout.
Breazeale landed 9 of 21 total punches (43%) and Tate landed 3 of 13 total punches (23%).
Bantamweights – Rau’shee Warren (1-0, O KOs) UD 4 Luis Rivera (1-3, 0 KOs)
25 year old, three-time Olympian Rau’shee Warren (1-0, 0 KOs) gave a Luis Rivera (1-3, 0 KOs) of Puerto Rico boxing lesson in his pro debut by landing the cleaner, more effective shots during the one-sided, four round contest. The Cincinnati, Ohio native outclassed his opponent with faster hands, better technique, and superb ring generalship.
But the amateur stand-out did receive a technical knock-down in the fourth and final round by swinging for the fences and falling out of position while Rivera touched his shoulder. The third man in charge counted the slip as an official knock-down and the overmatched Puerto Rican received a two point round in the final stanza on two of the judges’ scorecards.
The three judges 40-36, 38-37, and 38-37…all in favor of th4e perennial amateur standout, Rau’shee Warren. The US favorite landed 92 of 224 total punches thrown (41%) to Rivera’s 19 of 144 total punches thrown (13%).
Middleweights – Errol Spence Jr. (1-0, 1 KO) TKO 3 Jonathan Garcia (3-4, 1 KO)
Highly touted Texas prospect Errol Spence knocked out the game but eventually gone Jonathan Garcia in three rounds of action. The DFW resident rocked the Oklahoma based fighter with four straight uppercuts that sent him swooning to the canvas floor with 47 seconds remaining in the third round. Garcia beat the count, but Spence immediately pounced on his wobbled adversary, causing the third man in the ring to stop the bout with 20 seconds remaining in the stanza.
Errol Spence landed 117of 229 punches thrown (51%) and Jonathan Garcia landed 30 of 192 punches thrown (16%).
Super Middleweights – Terell Gausha (1-0, 1 KO) TKO 2 Dustin Caplinger (2-4, 1 KO)
168 pound hopeful Terell Gausha dropped Dustin Caplinger with an overhand right with 37 seconds remaining in the opening round. Although the outgunned fighter beat the ref’s count, it was obvious to all at ringside that the 940th ranked Super Middleweight in the world was headed for the exit door.
Gausha put Caplinger back down on the canvas with a short, compact right hand at the two minute mark of the second round. The exhausted 32 year old fighter fell to the canvas once again at the 1:10 mark of the same stanza, and the referee ultimately called a halt to the bout at the 1:04 point.
Terell Gausha landed 41 of 95 punches thrown (43%) and Dustin Caplinger landed 10 of 65 punches thrown (15%).