In a stunningly one-sided affair, Danny “Baby Face Assassin” Roman scored an upset ninth-round TKO over previously unbeaten Adam Lopez in a WBA Super Bantamweight Title Eliminator Friday in the main event of ShoBox: The New Generation on SHOWTIME from Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel and Casino.
Lopez’s trainer, renowned Ronnie Shields, decided his boxer shouldn’t take any more punishment and asked the referee to stop the contest after nine completed rounds.
Roman (21-2-1, 8 KOs), who was ranked No. 4 in the WBA, won his 14th in a row in a career-best performance. He out-boxed and out-slugged the No. 3-rated Lopez (16-1-1, 8 KOs), of San Antonio, Texas, from the outset. Roman seized command in the fourth round with two knockdowns, first with a left hook and then, with a left uppercut.
Lopez, who was appearing on ShoBox for a fifth time, tried to fight back, but Roman’s skill and harder pinpoint-punching led to the scheduled 12-round fight being stopped between rounds nine and 10.
Win the victory, Roman is now in position to challenge WBA 122-pound World Champion Nehomar Cermeno.
“The main event was a shocker,” said ShoBox expert analyst Steve Farhood. “We didn’t know much about Danny Roman. And he sure earned that title fight against Nehomar Cermeno. It’s a bittersweet for us, for Lopez. We know him well. He’s fought five times on ShoBox but now doesn’t look like he is going to get that title fight since this is the second opportunity he had and he took a real beating. It’s going to take a while for him to come back.”
In the final three rounds, Roman out-landed Lopez 107-27, and 84-20 in power punches. In the final session, Roman landed more punches (43) than Lopez threw. It was a merciless beating followed by a merciful stoppage. Roman landed 54 percent of his power shots, including 67 percent in the final round.
“Adam Lopez is a great and tough fighter,” said Roman. “He came prepared, but I came out with the victory.
“I started hurting him with uppercuts. I dropped him twice the fourth. I felt I was going to stop him there, but the bell saved him.
“My plan was to break him down little by little, and I felt that was starting to take effect as he was losing his steam in the third round, but he kept on going.
“I knew he would have one last stand, but I knew I would stop him. Even if they didn’t stop it in the corner, I knew I would get him out of there.
“Now, I am going to go back to the gym. I have to start working on the basics again and begin to prepare for my title shot. I’m very excited.”
Lopez, who left the ring promptly after the stoppage, was not happy with his performance.
“He was the better man tonight,” he said as he sat with his head down in the locker room. “I kept trying to catch him with uppercuts and I got caught every time. I was trying to get on the inside, but it was hard.
“I thought I was clawing my way back into the fight, but my eye started hurting. It was the first uppercut that knocked me down in the fourth that got me right in the eye. It was hard to keep on going with my eye like that.
“When I got back to the corner after the ninth round, Ronnie told me he had seen enough and he stopped the fight.”
In the co-main event of the evening, undefeated super middleweight Ronald “Flatline” Ellis took a unanimous eight-round decision in a messy-grappler-type affair over Christopher “Ice Cold” Brooker by the scores of 79-73 twice and 77-75.
“Ellis-Brooker was an ugly fight,’’ Farhood said. “Brooker didn’t really have any answers. Ellis won clearly but he didn’t shine, mostly because of his opponent’s style.”
Ellis (14-0-1, 10 KOs), of Lynn, Mass., established the tone of the fight with an explosive first round in which he went 27-of-90 overall—both high totals for the fight—to Brooker’s 8-of-45. Ellis won the body shots battle (64 to 31) and landed sharper combinations during the rare moments the fighters were at distance.
In the final three rounds, Ellis continued applying pressure with accuracy.
“I am back and I want some more,” said Ellis. “That was a good fight. I fought smarter today than in my last ShoBox appearance. I’m not going to lie, he was tough and came at me very hard, but I maneuvered. I am very happy with my performance.
“He was big and strong and was holding a lot, but my boxing skills took over in the fight. He was trying to get on my nerves, but I knew that my skills would get me the win.”
Brooker (11-3, 5 KOs), who was very unhappy with the judges’ scorecards said, “I don’t know what these judges are looking at. I had the better ring generalship, aggressiveness and I brought all the pressure.
“I feel that because he was undefeated, the judges must have put him on a pedestal. Even though I have a couple losses, look who I have fought and defeated. I am an elite-level fighter as well, and I should get that same respect. That’s why SHOWTIME has me on.
“At the end of the day, I just fight. It is up to fans who watch, they are the real judges for me.”
In the telecast opener, undefeated super lightweight Kenneth “Bossman” Sims Jr. handed Emmanuel “Renegade” Robles the second loss of his career in a closer than the scorecards reflected eight-round unanimous decision. It was scored 79-72 twice and 78-73.
“Kenneth Sims Jr. is the typical ShoBox prospect,’’ Farhood said. “He showed a lot of good skills. He fought a different fight than the one we expected. He was more aggressive than we thought he’d be. With his amateur background and now the exposure on TV, I think he is a potential star.”
Sims (11-0, 3 KOs), of Chicago, Ill., who went past the sixth round for the first time in his career, began the fight with an overwhelming high-volume attack highlighted by vicious body shots.
Robles (15-2-1, 5 KOs), of San Diego, Calif., however, picked up the pace and took advantage of Sims slowing his pace in rounds four through six. Robles upped his work rate and out-landed Sims 78-66 overall. Referee Bengy Estives took a point way from Sims in round six for dropping his mouthpiece.
Sims gritted his teeth and caught his second wind in the seventh and eighth by out-landing Robles 49-34 overall and 46-24 power to grab a wider-than-expected decision.
“I didn’t have my best performance, but I still got the win,” Sims said. “I was trying too hard for a knockout, and that’s not me. He was a durable opponent, but my performance had nothing to do with that.
“I want to talk to my team about my next fight. My speed and feet were the difference in the fight, but I did not use them as much as I should.”
Robles, who was disappointed with the verdict, acknowledged Sims’ speed.
“He was moving a lot and I couldn’t neutralize that,’’ Robles said. “He was slicker than I thought he was going to be. I was putting on a lot of pressure and wanted to work the body, but he was slick and able to withstand what I was doing.
“I just have to get back to training and get better. You’ll see more of me. I will be back.”
Friday’s three-fight telecast will re-air Monday, January 23 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME EXTREME and will be available on SHOWTIME ON DEMAND beginning January 21.
Barry Tompkins called the ShoBox action from ringside with Farhood and former world champion Raul Marquez serving as expert analysts. The executive producer was Gordon Hall with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.