On what was a relatively quiet week of boxing. One spectacular card made huge noise and deserved to be celebrated. Showtime ShoBox’s 20th-anniversary broadcast featured three fights and six fighters five of whom were undefeated. Among the undefeated fighters was little-known Isaiah Steen of Cleveland, Ohio. Steen, stole the show put on a boxing clinic in outclassing “Hot Sauce” Kalvin Henderson, and was rewarded with the unanimous decision victory he earned. Steen, scored the biggest win of his brief but blossoming career, moved his professional record to a perfect 16-0 (12), makes himself relevant in a rather thin super middleweight division, and takes home our Fighter Of The Week award.
If sticking to the blueprint was a subject in school Isiah Steen would have scored an A+, he could have taught the class, he could have been the professor. He entered the ring with Hot Sauce Henderson as a prohibitive underdog in a fight that was supposed to be a coming-out party for Henderson. Steen had a single path to victory to stay on the outside, not engage with the hard-hitting Texan stay off the ropes, and use the stick. Steen did exactly that and executed it to perfection. Firing the jab treating the ropes as if they were “hot” or “on fire”. Henderson consistently tried to press the action but Steen would not engage. Henderson tried bringing the action all the away till the last minute of the final right when he landed a stiff uppercut that snapped the head of Steen. But the Buckeye again refused to trade with his heavy-fisted opponent, instead retreating and avoiding additional damage. Just to leave a statement with the judges Steen landed a stiff double jab with just seconds remaining to secure the victory and leave a statement. The scorecards were academic as Steen secured the upset in unanimous fashion by scores of 97-93 X2 and 96-94.
Steen trains with fellow sensational Ohio-based prospect and former Olympian Charles Conwell. Conwell is certainly the more touted and naturally more gifted prospect, as he is one of the brightest prospects in the entire sport was being fast-tracked for a world title fight. He may be joined on the fast track with Steen. The performance on ShoBox was so dominant and so impressive in such a big step-up fight, a fight he was supposed to lose, that it stands to reason that we see him again relatively soon again in another major step-up fight. Being tied to Lou Dibella gives Steen maximum options and doesn’t necessarily tie him down to one side of the promotional side of the street. A step-up fight against perhaps Gabe Rosado, or Ronald Ellis, or Roamer Alexis Angulo are all fights that the unbeaten Clevelander could realistically wi and should he win against any of those names he could move into the top 10 of the division and be thrust into world title discussions in the relatively near future