Saturday evening at the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Indiana, an intriguing crop of up and coming prospects are featured in a series of four and six-round bouts, followed by an eight-round main event between super middleweights Mike Jimenez and Rollin Williams.
Organized by Hitz Boxing Entertainment, the card should deliver some fireworks from an entertainment standpoint, despite possibly lacking on the competitive scale. Several of the fights appear to be gross mismatches on paper, so fans in attendance could be in for a belated Thanksgiving treat in the form of a few highlight-reel knockouts.
Mike Jimenez (15-0, 10 KO) vs. Rollin Williams (23-19-2, 8 KO)
The headlining eight-rounder pits the 27-year-old Jimenez against emergency fill-in Williams, a 48-year-old journeyman who is stepping in on short notice to replace Ghanaian Sena Agbeko (15-1, 15 KO), who withdrew from the fight earlier this week. Jimenez is an orthodox fighter who inflicts most of his damage with the decent power in his right hand. His jab could use some improvement to help setup the right hand, but he’s still very effective by cutting off the ring and mixing in right hooks and uppercuts to the body and upstairs.
Incredibly, Williams took a twenty-year hiatus from the ring from 1994-2013 before finally returning to the sport earlier this year in his late 40s. Although his record leaves a lot to be desired, he is perhaps much better than it suggests, having been in the ring with the likes of Roy Jones Jr. and numerous other decorated pros. Williams deserves immense respect for accepting such a difficult challenge on less than one week’s notice, and although he has five knockout losses on his record, he has not been stopped in his last thirteen fights so he has a legitimate chance to make it the distance.
Prediction: Jimenez by decision
Nick Asberry (6-0, 3 KO) vs. Grover Young (9-14-1, 6 KO)
This four-round fight between two young heavyweights could be stopped early or could go the distance. Young, a 25-year-old cruiserweight turned heavyweight, has only been knocked out once since jumping up a weight class, so his chin is probably average at worst.
Asberry, 23, will try to make a strong impression in front of his hometown fans and also prove that he’s an American heavyweight prospect worth keeping an eye on. But with only four rounds to do so, a knockout may elude him. Either way, expect Asberry to frustrate Young with his superior size, skills and athleticism.
Prediction: Asberry by decision
Frank Scalise (9-1, 9 KO) vs. TBA
Scalise, much like Rollin Williams, spent more than a decade away from boxing before returning in 2012. His gaudy 90% knockout percentage is a bit inflated due to the fact that he’s never fought an opponent with a winning record; however, his power is real, and he’ll have little trouble adding a 10th knockout to his résumé against whatever fill-in cab driver is gutsy enough to fight him on short notice.
Scalise was set to face fellow lightweight Rasool Shakoor (3-13-1, 1 KO) in a six-round scrap, but Shakoor pulled out. The good news is that whoever fills in for Shakoor in this adjusted four-round bout can certainly be no worse. Scalise will flash his power for the fans on Saturday, but at age 36 he needs to take a huge step up in class soon if he has dreams of becoming a fringe contender.
Prediction: Scalise by stoppage
Jose Arambula (7-0, 3 KO) vs. Antoine Knight (3-12, 1 KO)
Put it this way: Arambula won’t be losing any sleep on Friday night over Knight’s 7% knockout percentage. Knight is biting off way more than he can chew in this four-round lightweight fight on the undercard.
Arambula is a 22-year-old American prospect who lacks a lot of professional experience but should have more than enough pop to end this one early. He’s young enough that – much like Nick Asberry – his handlers can bring him along slowly without having to throw him in against elite competition until he’s good and ready.
Prediction: Arambula by stoppage
Also on the card:
Genaro Mendez (8-2-1, 5 KO) vs. DeMarcus Rogers (4-2-1, 1 KO)
Fidel Navarrete (6-0-2, 3 KO) vs. TBA
Joey Hefferle (3-0, 3 KO) vs. Fred Bowen (3-1-1, 0 KO)
Will Coix (4-0, 4 KO) vs. Antoine Elerson (2-8, 2 KO)
Ricardo Chavez (4-1, 3 KO) vs. Calbert Lewis (0-3)
Sam Horowitz (1-0, 1 KO) vs. Eli Smith (1-6-1, 1 KO)
Ramiro Carrillo (5-0, 3 KO) vs. Greg Coverson Jr. (3-11-3, 2 KO)
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