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Pedraza Wears Out Farmer, TKO in 8th

Ringside by Brian Grammer
Photos byBob Barton

2008 Puerto Rican Olympian, Jose Pedraza (11-0, 8 KOs), methodically wore down his tough opponent, Tevin Farmer (7-4-1, 1 KO), over 8 rounds Friday night, to capure a TKO victory.

St. Charles, MO's Ameristar Casino Resort and Spa was the home to Showtime's acclaimed boxing series ShoBox – The New Generation. The event, hosted by DiBella Entertainment and Rumble Time Promotions, in association with Gary Shaw Productions and Universal Promotions, was entertaining throughout its nine-fight card.

Farmer started the contest busy, touching the 2008 Puerto Rican Olympian at every opportunity. Clean left hands came from the journeyman, keeping Pedraza at a safe distance. Pedraza was patient, picking off most of the shots and returning fire only when the time was right.

The second round began with an energized Pedraza coming out of the corner, pressing Farmer to the edges of the ring with powerful hooks and sweeping right crosses. Farmer was able to counter on several occasions, but the busier Pedraza kept his opponent at bay.

Pedraza quickly came out of the corner again for round three, overwhelming Farmer with crosses and hooks that never seemed to stop coming, completely dominating the round.

The non-stop action continued into the fourth, as early in the round, Pedraza was able to blast Farmer's mouthpiece into the crowd and then followed it with a ripping left hand, snapping his opponent's head back violently.

Farmer came out for the fifth energized, taking the action to the Olympian, landing several body shots. But, as the round commenced, Farmer tired, slipping to the canvas on two occasions and taking several shots to both his body and head from Pedraza's blazing hands. Late in the round, Pedraza chased down his prey and fired a wicked left hand to Farmer's chin, shaking him to his boots.

Pederaza took the early part of round six off, letting Farmer throw his hands, with little coming in return. As the round progressed, Pedraza closed the distance between the fighters and let both of his hands go, pushing Farmer's back against the ropes.

Pedraza pushed the fight in the seventh, feeling that he had Farmer in trouble. Uppercuts and right hooks flowed from Pedraza's fists, pounding the fight out of his opponent. As the round came to a close, Pedraza used his strength to force Farmer into a corner, pounding away at his opponent as the bell tolled.

A head butt early in the final round sent Farmer to the canvas, and as the fighters returned to action, Pedraza turned on the jets, finally getting Farmer to submit to his will. Referee Celestino Ruiz stopped the contest at :47.

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Russ stops Cepeda

The co-main event was short as Lamar Russ (11-0, 7 KO's) defeated Jonathan Cepeda (12-1, 11 KO's) by TKO at 1:45 of round 1.

In what was shaping up to be one of the more entertaining bouts of the evening, Russ and Cepeda barely had time to break a sweat as this contest came to a quick and controversial ending.
Lamar came out popping his jab and was able to control the early part of the round. Suddenly, Russ landed a thunderous left uppercut and then sent Cepeda to the canvas with a chopping right hand that seemed to land on the back of his head. Cepeda seemed as if he was able to continue but after Referee Mike England took a second look he decided to stop the contest.

Replays of the punch seemed to confirm that the punch may have been illegal and England's stoppage to be premature, however, recently retired referee, now turned broadcast analyst, Joe Cortez, commented after the contest that, "Mike England made the right decision in stopping the contest."

On the untelevised portion of the undercard, former undisputed middleweight champion of the world, Jermain Taylor (31-4-1, 19 KOs) continued his climb back into world title contention with a brutal 2nd round knockout of Michi Munoz (23-7, 16 KOs). Taylor dominated this contest from the opening bell, dropping Munoz with an overhand right hand midway through the first. The former champion picked up where he left off early in the 2nd, landing a 1-2 combination to Munoz' chin that left him on the mat for several minutes while doctors tended to him.

The soft-spoken Taylor said of the knockout that he "caught him right at the end of a punch". He continued by saying that "2013 will be the year I return to being a world champion" and that "going back to work with (trainer) Pat Burns was the decision I have ever made." Time of the KO was 1:05.

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Williams TKOs Griffin

Former WBC Continental America's lightweight champion, Dannie Williams (21-2, 18 KOs) faced a tough competitor in Rynell Griffin (6-11-2, 2 KOs) earning a hard fought 7th round TKO victory. Williams, who got up from 2 flash knockdowns in the contest, dropped Griffin three times in the sixth and twice more in the seventh to earn the stoppage victory. Working behind a vicious body attack, Williams busted up Griffin, sending him to the canvas via body blow four times in the contest. At 1:03 of the seventh, following another Griffin knockdown from a brutal body shot, referee Celestino Ruiz stepped in and stopped the barrage, giving Williams a hard earned TKO victory.

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Hamer hammers Alexander

In the opening bout of the evening, heavyweight prospect Tor Hamer (19-1, 12 KOs) dominated journeyman Dominic Alexander (23-15-1, 11 KOs), sending him to the canvas twice in the opening round and then applying constant pressure in the second to force a stoppage at 1:02 of the second round. In round 1, Hamer, who recently won the famed Prizefighter competition in England, landed a series of rights sending Alexander to the canvas. Later in the round Hamer landed a several crisp combinations to knock his opponent to the canvas again. As round 2 started, Hamer pressured Alexander and after 15 unanswered punches, the referee had no choice but to stop the bout at 1:02.

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Kelley stops Rapa

Zac Kelley (1-1, 1 KO) stopped previously unbeaten middleweight Chris Rapa (6-1, 4 KOs) in the first round of their scheduled 4 round contest. The fighters met in center ring and started firing at the opening bell, with Rapa taking more of the punishment. A counter left hand from Kelley started the damage and after a bad clash of heads, Rapa was bloodied and unsteady on his feet. Another left hand caught Rapa clean on the chin and after an onslaught from Kelley, Rapa slipped to a knee just as referee Mike England waved the bout to an end. Time of the TKO was 1:53.

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Reeder, Jackson draw

Nick Reeder (3-0-1 2 KO's) and Keith Jackson (1-0-2, 1 KO) got the crowd going with a wildly entertaining 4 round heavyweight bout that ended in a draw. Early in round 1 it seemed as if this would be an early night for Jackson as he rocked Reeder with several hard straight right hands. But Reeder was able to create some distance toward the end of the round with landing a stiff jab and moving around the ring. In the second, Reeder came out and landed a stiff left rocking Jackson back but his able to regroup and land several hard uppercuts while Reeder came in with his head down. The last two rounds the fighters once again traded punches and the momentum switched back and forth with each punch but neither fighter went down.

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Ponce decisions Thompson

Local St. Louis favorite, heavyweight Jose Ponce (4-0, 3 KOs) scored a 4th round knockdown on the way to a unanimous decision victory against Quintell Thompson (0-1). Ponce found a home for the straight left hand throughout the contest, eventually felling Thompson in the 4th after pounding him with three consecutive left hands. The judges all saw the contest the same, 39-35, with Ponce getting his hand raised in victory.

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Engle decisions Miller

In a six round light heavyweight tilt, Kevin Engle (20-6 16 KOs) defeated Shannon Miller (25-49-8, 18 KOs) by unanimous decision on cards of 60-54, 60-54, and 59-55. For most of the bout, Engle was able to control the ring and tempo as he worked Miller's body. Miller started the bout with some impressive work in round one, landing his jab consistently, but Engle took over late with some body thunderous body shots. As the bout closed Engle was able to show some impressive work by landing his jab and hard inside right hands.

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