Photo: Tom Casino/SHOWTIME
MIAMI, Okla. – It may not have been an artistic success, but comebacking former light heavyweight world champion Antonio Tarver accomplished what he set out to do Friday in the main event on ShoBox: The New Generation on SHOWTIME®:
The “Magic Man’’ won his debut as a heavyweight. Making his first start in 17 months, Tarver (28-6, 19 KOs) of Tampa, Fla., clearly outclassed Dominican Nagy Aguilera (16-5, 11 KOs) of Newburgh, N.Y., winning a unanimous 10-round decision by the score of 98-92 three times. There were no knockdowns.
In the co-feature at Buffalo Run Casino, unbeaten Shawn Porter (17-0, 13 KOs) of Cleveland, Ohio, captured the vacant North American Boxing Federation (NABF) welterweight belt with an impressive, bloody ninth-round TKO over Hector Munoz (18-4-1, 11 KOs) of Albuquerque, N.M., in a match that some felt should have been stopped earlier.
Southpaw Tarver, who turns 42 on Nov. 21, was pleased with his performance even though he appeared to injure his left shoulder in the third or fourth round.
“I feel I looked great,’’ he said. “There was no ring rust. I didn’t get hit much. I didn’t get hurt. I’ll get the shoulder diagnosed, but it didn’t affect me. I wasn’t going to let it affect me. I did what I had to do and stuck to my game plan. I’m back and I’m here to stay. I’m a heavyweight now. The magic still lives.’’
Tarver’s goal, of course, is to become only the fourth 175-pound titleholder in history to become a heavyweight world champion. The others were Michael Spinks (1985), Michael Moorer (1992) and Roy Jones Jr. (2003).
“There is still work to do,’’ Tarver said. “Aguilera was a good trial horse for me. He surprised me because he stayed on his bicycle so much. But I’ll be back in the gym. I’ve got to power up. I thought I caught him with some good shots. No one (in the heavyweight division) is going to outbox me.’’
Tarver will return to SHOWTIME as an expert analyst for the next ShoBox telecast on Friday, Nov. 5.
A 2008 United States Olympic Games alternate, the promising Porter dominated the courageous, aggressive-minded Munoz from the outset. Making his fourth start on ShoBox in 10 months and first at 147 pounds, Porter, 22, won every round before Munoz’ cornermen finally halted the one-sided proceedings at 2:05.
“The fight went exactly as I expected,’’ said Porter, a poised, versatile boxer-puncher who throws power punches in bunches from all angles with both hands. “He came forward all the time and never stopped trying. I was surprised at how long they let the fight go on, but I knew I had to stay focused.’’
Munoz was bleeding profusely from cuts on the sides of his head (from unintentional headbutts) and his left eye.
“I wanted to draw him forward to get him close, but I never could,’’ Munoz said. “He is not a devastating puncher. He never hurt me or had me shook up. But the cuts were too much to overcome.’’
A doubleheader promoted by Gary Shaw Productions, LLC, in association with Tony Holden Productions, will re-air this week as follows:
Tuesday, Oct. 19, at 10 p.m. ET/PT SHO 2
Friday’s fights will be available ON DEMAND beginning Monday, Oct. 18.
Curt Menefee called the action from ringside with Steve Farhood serving as expert analyst. The executive producer of ShoBox is Gordon Hall with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.
SHOWTIME Sports Boxing Schedule: ShoBox returns Nov. 5 at 11 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast) with a tripleheader featuring super middleweights. Undefeated Edwin Rodriguez (16-0, 9 KOs) takes on James McGirt Jr. (22-1-1, 11 KOs) in the 10-round main event. In eight-rounders, Dyah Davis (18-1, 9 KOs) meets Aaron Pryor Jr. (14-2, 11 KOs) and Marcus Johnson (18-0, 14 KOs) collides with Kevin Engle (18-3, 15 KOs).
On Saturday, Nov. 6, undefeated World Boxing Organization (WBO) featherweight champion Juan Manuel “JuanMa” Lopez (29-0, 26 KOs) will defend against two-division world champ Rafael Marquez (39-5, 35 KOs) in the main event on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING (9 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) from MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas. In the opening fight of the telecast, Allan Green (29-2, 20 KOs) will face Glen “The Road Warrior’’ Johnson (50-14-2, 34 KOs) in a Group Stage 3 bout in the World Boxing Classic Super Six.
On Saturday, Nov. 27, Super Six World Boxing Classic fans will get a chance to see WBA champion and tournament-point leader Andre Ward headline live (9 p.m. ET/PT) when he defends against Sakio “The Scorpion” Bika (28-4-2, 19 KOs) in the second-half of a doubleheader. Prior to the Ward-Bika world title fight in Oakland, “King” Arthur Abraham (31-1, 25 KOs) will meet Carl “The Cobra” Froch 26-1, 20 KOs) in a pivotal Super Six Group Stage 3 bout for the vacant World Boxing Council (WBC) title. The Abraham-Froch scrap will air on same-day delay from the Hartwall Areena in Helsinki.
“BANTAMWEIGHT TOURNAMENT: WINNER TAKES ALL” begins Saturday, Dec. 11, live at 9 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast) at Irapuato, Mexico. In opening round matchups in the two-round, single-elimination tournament, undefeated International Boxing Federation (IBF) champion Yonnhy Perez (20-0-1, 14 KOs) defends against the boxer he dethroned, Joseph Agbeko (27-2, 22 KOs), and Vic Darchinyan (35-2-1, 27 KOs) faces rising star Abner Mares (20-0-1, 13 KOs).
On Saturday, Dec. 18, in Quebec, Canada City, legendary future Hall of Famer Bernard Hopkins (51-5-1, 32 KOs) will challenge defending champion and local favorite Jean Pascal (26-1, 16 KOs) for the WBC light heavyweight title live at 10 p.m. ET.
For information on SHOWTIME Sports Programming, including exclusive behind-the-scenes video and photo galleries, complete telecast information and more, please go the new SHOWTIME Sports website at http://www.sho.com/sports.