By Tom Donelson, BASN boxing writer
Updated: December 5, 2011
IOWA CITY, IOWA—(BASN)–Shobox featured a night of prospects ready to make the move to contender. The first bout featured the 19-1 Chris Avalos fighting the undefeated Jhonatan Romero. Romero began the fight fighting outside as he moved away from the aggressive Avalos. Romero showed quick hands over the first two minutes as he nailed Avalos with quick combinations but over the last minute, Avalos trapped Romero on the rope and ripped body shots. Less than ten seconds left, Avalos unleashed a four punch combination that forced Romero down for an eight count. This round showed what the rest of the fight will be as both men alternated between Avalos trapping Romero on the rope or Romero forcing action into the middle of ring plus countering with accurate punches.
Chris Avalos vs Jhonatan Romero
Romero survived the end of the first round and showed some boxing skills as he managed to keep Avalos off him but the third round saw the repeat of the last minute of the first round as Avalos managed to trapped Romero on the rope.
During the middle of the fourth round, both fighters went toe to toe where Avalos wanted his opponent to be but Romero found way to land some good shots off the rope. Romero found his right uppercut worked in the aggressive Avalos but Avalos connected on some solid body shots.
Throughout the sixth and seventh round, both fighters started to fight in the pits as Avalos pushed his opponent to the rope. The advantage went to Avalos since his punching power was more pronounced.
At the beginning of the eighth round, Avalos pushed Romero over the first minute of the round but as the round progressed, he slowed down and Romero managed to land some tough punches. Over the second half of the ninth saw Romero catch Avalos with upper cuts and he followed those with left hooks as the right upper cut lifted Avalos head right into the Romero left.
In the tenth round, Avalos began the round by trying to trap Romero on the rope to clinch the fight. Avalos pursued his opponent but Romero managed to counter Avalos with his right hand uppercuts which were his best punches all night. Romero won the last two rounds by landing clean punches and while Avalos could easily have been declared the winner but Romero won the split decision in an all action fight. What cost Avalos was his lack of defense as he blocked too many punches with his head.
In the main event Anthony Dirrell fought Renan St. Juste, with the winner getting a title shot. The best punch of the opening round was a Dirrell’s right hand which sent Saint Juste reeling into the rope. Saint Juste managed to land his straight left from his southpaw stance but the Dirrell right hand was the more effective punch.
In the fourth round, Dirrell and St. Juste accidentally head butted each other. Dirrell came after Saint Juste by landing a right hand that forced Saint Juste to hold but Saint Juste fell to the ground as Dirrell moved away. Saint Juste came back up but his left shoulder popped out and he couldn’t move his arm. That gave Dirrell a victory and put himself on the championship trail. Anthony Dirrell is now joining his brother Andre as part of the top ten contenders in the deep Super Middleweight division.