The July 20 ShoBox: The Next Generation card had it all: a close, exciting fight, a dominant knockout performance and arguably some of the worst judging in boxing.
The co-main event bout, Thomas Mattice vs. Zhora Hamazaryan ended in a highly controversial split decision win for Mattice, despite Mattice getting knocked down in the fight and Hamazaryan outlanding Mattice. Mattice won on two of the three judges’ scorecards with scores of 76-75 while the one judge that had it for Hamazaryan scored it 77-74.
The fight started off relatively close with the first round conceivably going to either fighter, but Hamazaryan quickly got the momentum with a big right hand in the second round to knock Mattice down. Hamazaryan continued to land vicious power shots to Mattice, who hung in there and even rallied a bit in the eighth round, but Mattice’s moments to shine were few and far in between.
Once it was announced that the fight ended in a split decision, the crowd at the WinnaVegas Casino and Resort in Sloan, Iowa let out a collective groan before erupting into boos when Mattice was announced as the winner. This was Hamazaryan’s first pro loss as Mattice now improves to 13-0 in his career.
The main event bout saw rising welterweight prospect Jaron Ennis win the vacant WBC USNBC title with a third round knockout win over Armando Alvarez. Ennis knocked down Alvarez four times en route to the win. The opening fight of the telecast between Kenneth Sims Jr. and Montana Love ended in a split draw.