WELTERWEIGHT UPSTART JARON ENNIS DOMINATES DEMIAN DANIEL FERNANDEZ IN HIS SHOWTIME MAIN EVENT DEBUT
HEAVYWEIGHT PROSPECT JERMAINE FRANKLIN FINDS HIS FORM IN TWO-KNOCK DOWN UNANIMOUS DECISION WIN OVER PAVEL SOUR
Saturday night in Flint, Mich the collective focus shifted from history making to building towards the future. Unbeaten Philadelphia Welterweight phenom Jaron Ennis accepted his last-minute promotion to the main event of Showtime Boxing’s telecast originally scheduled for Claressa Shields versus Ivana Habazin, and took full advantage of the opportunity to show the world how his skills may play a role in shaking up the near future of the Welterweight division. Saginaw native Jermaine Franklin was passed over for the finale duties, but the undefeated Heavyweight used the unintentional snub to author an impressive offensive evening for himself.
Ennis (24-0, 22 KOs) roared out of the gate. His movement and pressure immediately addled Argentinian Demian Daniel Fernandez. Ennis’ shiftiness, quickness and feints cleared the way for the 22-year-old’s power, and Fernandez (12-2, 5 KOs) seemed to be on his way to a stoppage early in the fight’s first frame.
Fernandez weathered Ennis’ frenetic attack, mostly shelling up in the corners as the kid from the City of Brotherly Love unleashed punishing combinations to the head and to the body. After two one-sided rounds with rare positive moments for Fernandez, in the third Ennis fully abandoned his boxing to unload a punishing combination as the Argentine’s back was pinned into his own corner. Fernandez dropped to a knee, arose to his feet inside the 10-count, but motioned to referee Frank Garza that he would not continue to fight.
After quickly tapping gloves, understanding that the fight was officially over, Ennis made his way over to the neutral corner to climb the ropes and began moving his gloves around his waist as if he was putting on a world championship belt. Before long, this may not be just a dress rehearsal.
“It feels good to be back in the spotlight and get another win,” Ennis said. “I showed a little of my skills. I wanted to show more, but my dad said go get him and get him out of there, so that’s what I did.
“I’ve been ready for a big fight for a while. I want to go to the next level. I just have to keep putting on shows like this and keep doing my thing and hopefully my title shot will come sometime next year. The big names had better start running. I would even go down to 140 to get one of them.”
Following the disappointing loss, Fernandez was transported to a local hospital to be fully evaluated for a suspected orbital injury.
CLICK HERE FOR BITE DOWN BOXING’S EXCLUSIVE POST-FIGHT INTERVIEW WITH UNDEFEATED WELTERWEIGHT JARON ENNIS FOLLOWING HIS DOMINANT TKO3 VICTORY VS DEMIAN DANIEL FERNANDEZ IN FLINT, MICH.
In the opening bout of the revamped Showtime Boxing: Special Edition telecast, undefeated American Heavyweight prospect Jermaine Franklin scored a pair knockdowns and rode the surging energy of the hometown crowd to a 10-round unanimous decision over Pavel Sour. Franklin almost capitalized on an accurate night with his left hook to stop Sour after a knock down in the final round, but Sour endured the spirited final charge from the 25-year-old. The judges scored the fight 97-91, 98-91, and 98-90.
In previous Showtime outings, Franklin (20-0, 13 KOs) seemed unable to find his offensive rhythm, and put together a performance commensurate with his belief that he represents the future of U.S. Heavyweight boxing. Franklin forced the issue early on and established a pace and attack that culminated in a sixth round knock down that caused a standing crowd to erupt wildly with cheering ringside. Sour (11-2, 6 KOs) calmly regrouped in the face of the hometown crowd’s rising energy, then proved his durability as he maintained his will to compete the balance of the fight.
“I was trying to get the knockout, I wanted it real bad, but it feels great to get the W,” said Franklin, who was credited with connecting on 50 percent of his power shots. “I wasn’t looking for a knockdown the first time he went down. I was trying to be quick and catch him with a counter and I caught him. It surprised me that he went down because it wasn’t meant to be a power punch.”
“I didn’t think I finished him on the second knockdown. I wanted to, but I slowed down and got a little too relaxed instead. I should have stayed on him.”
“There are just some minor things I still need to work on, like fighting on the inside, grappling and knowing when to punch on the inside – minor things. Once I get that down, I’ll be doing well.”
Fighting in his U.S. debut, the 37-year-old Czech fought through adversity but failed to ever really assert himself for a meaningful stretch.
“I couldn’t free up my punches and I didn’t let my hands go,” Sour said. “I was too tight in there. I was never really hurt by Franklin’s punches. He is very strong, but I could handle it. I was trying to catch him with a strong right hand.”
CHECK OUT THE BDB INTERVIEW FOR HEAVYWEIGHT PROSPECT JERMAINE FRANKLIN’S BREAK DOWN OF HIS TWO-KNOCKDOWN UD WIN OVER PAVEL SOUR IN THE CO-MAIN EVENT OF THE FLINT, MICH SHOWTIME BOXING: A SPECIAL EDITION CARD.
The Ennis vs. Fernandez bout was upgraded to main event status after the highly anticipated Claressa Shields vs. Ivana Habazin fight was called off in the wake of an altercation during Friday’s official weigh-in. As a result of that incident Habazin’s trainer, James Ali Bashir, sustained injuries that required surgery at Detroit’s Henry Ford hospital.
The event was promoted by Salita Promotions.
An encore presentation of the doubleheader will air Monday at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Showtime Extreme and will be available via the network’s On Demand platforms.
Another local product, Detroit’s world-ranked 115-pounder Ja’Rico O’Quinn (13-0-1, 8 KOs) took a prominent step forward in his career by soundly defeating cross-town rival James Smith (13-3, 7 KOs). Smith was game and pressed forward all 10 rounds, but he was hurt by O’Quinn in several of the fight’s heated sequences, which factored into O’Quinn capturing his first title – the vacant WBO International Super Flyweight title.
All photos are by Stephanie Trapp/Showtime Boxing