Showtime’s ShoBox series has been nothing short of boxing gold for the boxing hardcore. The program has continued to put out future world class fighters and superstars and great action fights This past Friday was certainly no exception, Showtime aired a card live from, 2300 Arena in Philadelphia that featured two of the best prospects in all of American boxing and they certainly delivered. The all-world lightweight prospect Devin Haney and walking talking human highlight reel Joshua Greer Jr a bantamweight prospect out of Chicago.
Haney, the self-promoting, blue-chip lightweight prospect took a massive step-up in competition in taking on Mason Menard a legit contender who possess tremendous one punch power and has been in the ring with elite level fighters. The previously untested mega-prospect delivered in spectacular fashion in dominating and stopping the rugged challenger. From the opening bell, he showed off excellent legs, dazzling athleticism, a lightning-quick jab, excellent head movement and thudding lead right hands and left hooks. From round one on it was evident that Haney was in a different class than Menard, something world champ Ray Beltran wasn’t able to do. Beltran was in a dogfight with Menard before stopping him. Haney was levels ahead. Scoring with power shots at will and making Menard miss, ducking all of his power shots and not allowing Menard to walk him down. Menard was trying to cut off the distance in the second round, but looked slow and plotting and had no answers for Haney, who by the middle rounds of the scheduled 10 rounder, really started to open up on his outmatched opponent. By the ninth things got ugly and the one-sided onslaught became more than Menard’s corner were willing to tolerate and stopped the fight after the ninth. The ring generalship and ring IQ that the undefeated teenager showed in running his record to 19-0 is unprecedented when combined with the mesmerizing speed and laser-like accuracy makes Haney, who speak of fighting for a world title in his next fight, a legitimate threat to anyone and everyone in the division. While a mega fight with Loma or Mikey may still be a ways off, however, it’s certainly not unreasonable to think he could give Ray Beltran, the WBO titleholder in the division all he can handle.
On the televised undercard, bantamweight prospect Joshua Greer Jr proved again to be boxings version of Dominique Wilkens, the human highlight reel. The man nicknamed “Don’t Blink” who is equally famous for bringing his “night-night” pillow to the ring as he is for his tremendous one-punch knockout power, in particular, a knockout over James Gordon Smith, in Smith’s hometown of Detroit. Smith was at that time a pretty highly regarded prospect until “don’t blink” put that to sleep. Greer has put together impressive victories over not only Smith but also has wins over Juan Gabriel Medina, and Yaqub Kareem. The 23-year-old Chicago prospect has run off 13 straight victories since losing a controversial decision in his fifth pro fight to Stephen Fulton back in 2015, coming into Friday’s fight against Glenn Dezurn. Dezurn was supposed to be a step-up and offer a legitimate challenge to Greer Jr who was moving up four pounds to super bantamweight and was fighting in a scheduled 10 rounder for the first time in his career. The hard-hitting lightning quick Greer proved that he could certainly carry his power up to 122. After a fairly close first round, Greer Jr dominated the fight with superior hand speed and punching power. Greer Jr who was moving up in weight showed no fear and was not going to be walked backward by the bigger man. Greer stood his ground and hurt Dezurn over and over again, first in the third round buckling Dezurn and then again in the fifth Greer was unleashing on his iron-chinned opponent causing Barry Hunter, Dezrun’s trainer to step up on the stairs at least twice and warn his man after the round that he was on the verge of stopping it. Things didn’t get much better for Dezuren after that and may have been too tough for his own good. In the eighth round Greer landed a solid right that landed perfectly on Dezurn’s chin that sent him down face first in highlight reel fashion. Dezurn somehow got up and inexplicably was allowed to continue like a dog on fear Greer raced across the ring and unloading on Dezurn forcing Referee Esteves, to wave it off. Greer was the winner of our Prospect of the Year in 2017, and he is 2-for2 thus for in 2018 making us look like geniuses. It is certainly clear that Greer Jr who said he plans to go back down to 118 has the natural talent and skills to take on anyone in the division and has the personality and style to make a lot of money in the sport. The WBSS has announced they will be holding a 118-pound tournament and have signed three or possibly four fighters but are in need of an American to sell tickets and create buzz domestically in the US. Greer has all the attributes needed and will certainly give anyone a run in the tournament.
On January 18th, 1973, a small concert venue/bar in New York City, called The Kansas City hosted a concert with two acts, Bob Marley opened up and Bruce Springsteen closed the show. The venue owners and the concert goers probably had no idea that they had bought tickets to see two future legends, two musical acts who would be considered all-time greats at what they did and first-ballot Hall of Famers into the Rock n Roll Hall of fame. It is certainly way too early to compare these two fighters to legendary hall of famers, but they have shown the talent, skill, and personality needed to be the stars of the next generation of American boxing. The capacity crowd of the 2300 arena in Philly, one of the worlds greatest fighting cities, may look back on this card decades from now, the same way the concert goes at The Kansas City looked at the Marley/Springsteen show and say I can’t believe we were privileged those two guys on the same card at the tiny venue”