Tacoma- At a time where fans of boxing are returning their attention to the heavyweight division, two of its top prospects were to be featured on Saturday night from the Emerald Queen Casino on Sho Box “The Next Generation”.
After a late cancellation for the co-main event, Jermaine Franklin found himself center stage and with the attention of the division.
A win over veteran Jerry Forrest would gain him a potential opportunity to face the champions hungry for quality opponents.
Heres how the consequential heavyweight card unfolded.
Jermaine Franklin 19-0 12KOs Split Decision Jerry Forrest 25-3, 19KOs
After a short feeling out process, customary to opponents that respect the power of the other, both fighters found themselves exchanging against the ropes with a barrage of flurries that brought the fans to their feet. Both Franklin and Forrest landed flush simultaneously, only being stopped by referee Bobby Howard to get a freshly ejected mouthpiece from Franklin and ultimately the bell.
The second round started much the same, both fighters seeming to patiently wait before they would unload in a variety of directions. The fight took on a post 4th of July firework show vibe. We saw those in attendance seeing the fighters seemingly silent before exploding to a collection of OOHs and AHHs from the fans wanting more.
Franklin seemed to establish more control, landing the lead jab effectively and being met by an aggressive if not slightly bruised Forrest. The Saginaw native Franklin showcased his defensive ability, laying on the ropes and clinching from mid-range before ultimately spinning his opponent to where he just was, re-establishing himself in control of generalship.
Despite not being able to land punches in succession, Forrest seemed to find points of comfort luring in his aggressor to the ropes and hooking to the waist. Still, with each round passing, the superior skill set of Jermaine led those ringside to feel he was beginning to build a lead on the cards.
In the 6th, Forrest was able to land 4 close proximity hooks to the temple, both fighters in a clinch but with Howard refusing to break them up. And as the 7th continued, so did some slight momentum for Jerry, landing 4 jabs that sent sweat out of the ring and into the seats. The seemingly superior skillset of Franklin seeming to drain as fatigue settled in.
In the championship rounds, both fighters tried to make statements from close range. Franklin was willing to duck low in order to raise high with the hook. Franklin, anticipating the impending wide shot, leaned against the ropes and often left to strike the back of the head. Both fighters landing a handful of punches but none had the weight to slow each other.
In the 10th, with both fighters understanding each round could be the swing in a seemingly close battle, Franklin and Forrest stood toe to toe, swapping jabs and crosses before finding themselves in a clinch. They were desperate to find the distance in order to empty what they had in the tank. With a crack of 10 seconds, both deciding to throw caution to the wind and give what they have in their last chance to impress the judges.
In the end, the favorite entering the fight gained a split decision, much to the chagrin of most of those in attendance.
97-93 Franklin 96-95 Forrest 97-93 Franklin
The opening fight of the night featured 2 undefeated Super Flyweight prospects looking to make a name in their new spot as the semi-main feature. The favorite, Giovanni Mioletti entering in an all-white “LaMotta esque” robe, full of confidence from the surprisingly heavy contingency of fans. Luis Porozo entered as the underdog.
The first rounds found a much sharper Mioletti applying pressure and moving forward through the often wide and wild hooks of Porozo. A solid exchange at the end of round 2 punctuated three minutes that saw multiple warnings for rabbit punches by both fighters.
As the fight settled in, wildly ineffective punches from Porozo were greeted by an equally unorthodox defense. Luis was being caught by straights after leaving his arms at his waist and his feet dancing away from his opponent.
This was the type of fight where if you were to ask the person to your left and right who was winning from round to round, the answer would be a hesitant one. Both fighters has moments where their skill set showed as much as their inexperience.
In the 5th, a collection of flush shots from an increasingly aggressive Mioletti temporarily slowed the nimble Porozo and winning him another round on the judges scorecards. Fans perhaps started to sense blood in the water.
As both fighters entered the second half of the fight, the once elusive Ecuadorian began to tire. Giovanni bounced in the center of the ring, landing a flurry of punches as Porozo retreated on ropes.
In the 8th a solid 4 punch combination built confidence in the Italian from Illinois. After a collection of unpenalized, clinching shots had Luis sans a mouthpiece, Mioletti stood in the corner sans his “LaMotta” themed robe and urged on the fans to make their voices heard.
The final rounds found frustration. For Giovanni, an inability to pin down his opponent long enough to put him away. For Luis, finding his legs able to have just enough speed to save him from laying on his back before the bell.
98-92 x2 and 97-3 UD for Mioletti
Otto Wallin 20-0 13KOs vs. BJ Flores 34-4-121KOs
The co-main event featuring the undefeated Swede Otto Wallin was announced as canceled shortly after the card had started. Washington State Department of Licensing let Salita Promotions know that BJ Flores was not cleared medically and that the fight was officially canceled. No information was available ringside regarding the status of B.J. Flores. This has to be a large sized disappointment for Wallin, who had his last fight end in the first round due to accidental head butt.