Showbox’s Bogere vs Contreras fight has all the glitz of a Vegas show

After watching the latest offering from Showtime’s Showbox: the New generation from the Texas Station Gambling Hall & Hotel in Las Vegas, I’m wondering if Showbox or Idi Amin might’ve had some input into the choreographing of last night’s ring entrance and subsequent fight sequences.


Question: How much of Sharif Bogere's purse goes towards these presentations? Photo: Golden Boy Promotions

In the main event, the diminutive but fierce, 23 year-old Sharif Bogere (20-0, 12 KOs) of Las Vegas by way of Uganda, faced the 29 year-old Francisco Contreras (16-0, 13 KOs) of Irvington, New Jersey by way of La Romana, Dominican Republic for Bogere’s NABO lightweight title.

With this outfit, you knew Sharif Bogere was going to come out roaring like a lion. Photo: Golden Boy Promotions

Bursting with pride in his native culture, Bogere made his ring entrance secured in a steel cage and wearing the head and skin of a lion he had purportedly killed as a youngster. The cage was carried by four gents dressed in Ughandan attire. Preceding the cage, was a scantily clad woman dressed provocatively in a lioness outfit. And yes, a fight did ensue.

Every punch that Sharif Bogere threw had a little extra behind it. Photo: Golden Boy Promotions

In the first two rounds, the fight may have looked a bit sloppy but you knew the fireworks were just seconds away. Bogere, struggling to get inside, often charged Contreras as if he were a quarterback that needed to be sacked. The strategy had merit because it rendered the Dominican less effective and often susceptible to Bogere’s inside blows.

It didn't look like much of a punch, but Francisco Contreras could not get up. Photo: Golden Boy Promotions

The fight came to a screeching halt at 2:01 of the third round. It was at that point Bogere had Contreras backing up. He landed a big overhand right to Contreras’ chin, then shoved him backwards with his shoulder. With his opponent against the ropes and turning away, Bogere then launched a second big overhand right. This one glanced off Contreras’ shoulder and onto the back of his head. At that point, Contreras collapsed face down and was apparently out cold.

Sharif Bogere is surrounded by his management team. Photo: Golden Boys Promotions

That second overhand right, the one that bounced off the shoulder then hit Contreras’ on the back of his head, was ruled legal by the Nevada State Athletic Commission due to the fact that Contreras had voluntarily turned his back. After the punch landed, Jay Nady, the bout’s referee, began his count as Contreras lay motionless on the canvas. After the count reached ten, Bogere was declared the winner.

For the boxer's safety, a stretcher was brought out to assist. Photo: Golden Boy Promotions

Unable to leave the ring on his own accord, the medics were called and Contreras was carried off on a stretcher. Bogere remains undefeated (21-0, 13 KOs) while Contreras falls to 16-1.

If you have a chance to watch this fight, notice how the Ughandan boxer has devised some new stratagems, maneuvers. His tackling, arm locks and such appear to be awkward but I’m wondering if these tactics are not planned.  Just as Abner Mares planned all those low blows on Joseph Agbeko.

Nowadays, boxers can be likened to a business. This business must follow the money, follow the trends. If a new undetectable drug comes along that makes a boxer better at his sport, the majority of boxers are going to try it out. If they can get away with one of these new illegal tactics, then they’re going to work hard at mastering it and disguising it as a slip.

Another trend on the rise, a trend I appreciate, is seeing more and more of the foreign fighters coming to the U.S. to train and then settle. Tomasz Adamek now lives in Jersey City, New Jersey. Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko live in Los Angeles. Sergio Martinez lives in Oxnard, CA. Juan Manuel Marquez moved to Anaheim, the home of Disneyland. Plus, many of the great MMA fighters are flocking to San Diego, e.g. the Nogueira brothers, Junior Dos Santos, Cris and Evangelista Cyborg, etc. etc.

On the Undercard, (l to r) Francisco Santana, the brawler, and Jermell Charlo, the boxer, put on quite a show. Photo: Cris Cozzone

On the Undercard, Jermell Charlo wins

In the evening’s co-feature Jermell Charlo (16-0) of Houston, Texas defeated Francisco Santana (12-3-1) of Santa Barbara, CA. It was a classic battle of the tall sharpshooter versus the shorter brawler with Charlo’s style winning out.

Even though Santana had Charlo in trouble twice, he rarely if ever matched the punch stats of the more elusive Charlo.

The judges’ scores: 79-73, 78-74, and 79-73 all favored Charlo, the boxer.

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