Santana Decisions Lopez, De Leon Stops McGirt Jr.
MIAMI (April 11, 2008) – One night before the light heavyweight world championship doubleheader in on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING, ShoBox: The New Generation showcased four legitimate prospects in two close and thrilling match-ups.
Article posted on 12.04.2008
In the main event, a determined Edgar Santana escaped with a close majority decision over fellow hard-hitting prospect Josesito Lopez in a 10-round junior welterweight bout scored 94-94, 95-93 twice.
In an excellent co-feature that pitted the sons of two former world champions against each other, Carlos De Leon, Jr., caught James McGirt, Jr., with a left hook, followed by a brutal left uppercut, earning him a TKO at 1:20 of the seventh round.
DiBella Entertainment and All Star Boxing, Inc. presented the doubleheader from the Miccosukee Casino in Miami, Fla.
Santana and Lopez started out slow, but turned up the heat in Miami with non-stop action from the fifth stanza until the final bell. In the eighth, Lopez (22-3, 1 ND, 13 KOs), of Riverside, Calif., surprised Santana with two brutal body shots that sent the New York native to the canvas twice.
Santana (24-2, 15 KOs) fought to save the match, and possibly his career, dominating the ninth and tenth round and hurting his opponent with numerous right and left hooks en route to the majority decision victory.
“He caught me with two good shots to the body,” said the 29-year-old Santana. “He didn’t hit the body all night, so I wasn’t expecting it. But I’m a true champion and I came back. That’s what it is all about.
“This guy is tough. They say you haven’t fought a tough fight until you face a real good Mexican. And for me, he was the one.”
Lopez acknowledged the majority decision and handled the loss with poise and class.
“It’s a close decision. It could have gone either way,” said the 23-year-old Lopez. “I caught him with two clean body shots, but he’s a tough guy and he pulled out of it.
“He is tough and we expected him to be tough. We prepared to fight a great athlete, and that’s what I faced in the ring.”
De Leon, (20-2-2, 13 KOs), the son of former four-time WBC cruiserweight world champion Carlos “Sugar” De Leon, proved that he had the power and speed to come out victorious in a close-fought battle over Santana, the son of former IBF junior welterweight and WBC welterweight world champion Buddy McGirt. The fight was non-stop give-and-take action, with both fighters landing powerful combinations that hurt their opponent.
De Leon, of Puerto Rico, came out swinging in seventh, landing a brutal shot that sent McGirt (18-1, 9 KOs) to the canvas, his mouthpiece into the audience and blood from his nose. The Bayshore, New York native was quick to get up, but it was evident that he was hurt. De Leon kept with the ambush and ended things with a quick left hook followed a devastating uppercut that sent McGirt down again.
“He hit me a few times, but it didn’t faze me,” the 28-year-old De Leon said. “I had it in my heart and in my fists. I was ready for war.
“It was hard to go inside because I am a lefty, but when I did, I got him good. It was a good fight. I am thankful that SHOWTIME gave me this opportunity. I want to go to the next level, and one day fight for a championship.”
McGirt, disappointed in his first career loss, knew exactly where the fight went wrong.
“I had him, but he came back and caught me with a good shot,” said the 25-year-old McGirt. “I give him a lot of credit. I had him where I wanted, but he got me good with that left hook.”
His father, no stranger to the fight game, was quick to agree.
“He hit him with a solid left hook and he got caught,” said the former world champion. “I told him to keep his hands up. He went forward to attack, but he got caught. All training camp I told him you have to keep your hands up.”
Popular play-by-play announcer Nick Charles and expert analyst/boxing historian Steve Farhood called the action from ringside. The executive producer of ShoBox is Gordon Hall with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.
Friday’s bouts will re-air this week as follows:
Saturday, April 12 at 3 a.m. ET/PT SHO TOO
Monday, April 14 at 11 p.m. ET/PT SHO EXTREME
Tuesday, April 15 at Midnight ET/PT SHO EXTREME
Thursday, April 17 at 10 p.m. ET/PT SHO TOO
Available On Demand starting Monday, April 14.
Also coming up on SHOWTIME….
SHOWTIME will thrill boxing fans with an explosive light heavyweight championship doubleheader when International Boxing Organization (IBO) 175-pound champion and former undisputed light heavyweight kingpin Antonio Tarver faces International Boxing Federation (IBF) world titleholder Clinton Woods at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Fla. Tonight, Saturday, April, 12 live on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING beginning at 9 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the west coast).
Before Tarver and Woods exchange leather, fans will enjoy the highly anticipated light heavyweight championship fight between World Boxing Council (WBC) titleholder Chad Dawson and former world champion Glen Johnson, making April 12 the most compelling and significant night for the division in years.
ShoBox returns Friday, May 2 at Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, Calif. In a match-up of top 168-pound prospects, the unbeaten Andre Dirrell (14-0, nine KOs), of Flint, Mich., will take on the once-beaten Anthony Hanshaw (21-1-1, 14 KOs), of Warren, Ohio, in a 10-round super middleweight bout.
Just one week later on Saturday, May 10 SHOWTIME will bring fight fans a special edition of ShoBox with the WBC super lightweight championship between Junior Witter and Timothy Bradley and a WBC super middleweight title eliminator pitting Carl Froch vs. Dennis Inkin.
Witter (36-1-2, 21 KOs), of Bradford, England, will attempt to make it three consecutive successful defenses when he takes on the undefeated and championship-ready Timothy Bradley (21-0, 11 KOs), of Palm Springs, Calif. The bouts will originate from Nottingham Arena in Nottingham, England.
In the co-feature, the undefeated Froch, the WBC No. 1 super middleweight contender, will battle Inkin, the No. 2 contender in a much-hyped, WBC 168-pound title eliminator. The winner potentially will secure a world title fight against reigning WBC 168-pound champion and future Hall of Famer Joe Calzaghe.
Froch (22-0, 18 KOs), of Nottingham, England, is a big-time boxer with tremendous punching ability. Five of his last six fights have ended via knockout. Inkin (32-0, 24 KOs), of Hamburg, Germany, has won three out of his last four outings by knockout.
The combined record of the four boxers is a remarkable 111-1-2 with 74 knockouts.
For more information on SHOWTIME Sports, including exclusive video, photos and news links on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING and EliteXC mixed martial arts telecasts, please go www.SHO.com/sports.
About ShoBox: The New Generation
Since its inception in July 2001, the critically acclaimed SHOWTIME boxing series, ShoBox: The New Generation has featured young talented fighters matched tough. The ShoBox philosophy is to televise crowd-pleasing and competitive fights while providing a proving ground for willing prospects determined to fight for a world title. The growing list of fighters who have appeared on ShoBox and advanced to garner world titles includes Leonard Dorin, Scott Harrison, Juan Diaz, Jeff Lacy, Ricky Hatton, Joan Guzman, Juan Urango, David Diaz, Robert Guerrero, Kelly Pavlik and Malignaggi.
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