Unbeaten middleweights Kendrick Ball Jr. and Divante Jones stole the show Friday on the preliminary card of CES Boxing, GH3 Promotions and Sampson Boxing’s ShoBox: The New Generation fight card at Foxwoods Resort Casino.
The two unbeaten sluggers fought to a majority draw following four see-saw rounds in which they exchanged blows and unloaded haymakers without much defense or posturing with the jab.
Ball (2-0-1), who just fought last Friday and recorded his second knockout win, faced his toughest test to date in the slick southpaw Wilson (5-0-1), who came out firing from the opening bell and pressed the action from start to finish. An effective counterpuncher, Ball fought effectively with his back against the ropes, at times catching Wilson clean and momentarily stalling his momentum.
Ball appeared to land the cleaner blows early, but tired a bit in the middle rounds as Wilson – who hadn’t fought in more than a year before Friday – continued to come forward and press the action. John McKaie scored it 39-37 in favor of Wilson while Don Ackerman and Peter Hary scored it 38-38.
The televised main card began at 10 p.m. ET on Showtime, featuring unbeaten Worcester, Mass., junior middleweight Khiary Gray (13-0, 10 KOs) in the first of four bouts.
Unbeaten New Haven, Conn., welterweight Jimmy Williams (12-0-1) kept his perfect record intact on the preliminary card with a 58-56, 58-56, 60-54 win over 37-fight veteran Antonio Fernandes of Brockton, Mass.
The preliminary card also featured the New England debuts of two 2016 U.S. Olympic alternates. Lightweight Brent Venegas III (1-0, 1 KO) of Elk Grove, Calif., made his professional debut with a second-round knockout win over Alexandria, Va., native Christian Foster. Foster earned the stoppage at the 1:37 mark, but not before Foster sent him to the canvas in the opening round. Venegas returned the favor with a knockdown just seconds later and finished Foster for good midway through the second.
New Brunswick, N.J., super flyweight Leroy Davila (2-0, 1 KO) fought an entertaining, four-round war against Edgar Cortes (2-3) of Vineland, N.J., earning a 39-36, 39-36, 40-35 unanimous decision win. The two exchanged blows in the center of the ring for the majority of the fight, but Davila landed the cleaner, more effective blows. Bill Morande and Ackerman scored it 39-36 while McKaie scored it 40-35.