Thomas Oosthuizen made the most of his United States television debut on ShoBox: The New Generation by producing a crowd-pleasing unanimous decision victory over Marcus “Too Much” Johnson. The 10-round super middleweight bout was scored 98-91 on all three scorecards. In the SHOWTIME® co-feature, unbeaten super bantamweight prospect Luis Orlando Del Valle scored a hard-fought, 10-round unanimous decision over Christopher Martin by the tallies of 100-89, 98-91 and 97-92. In the evening’s opening bout, Jose “The Sniper” Pedraza won a unanimous decision over the relentless Gil Garcia by the scores of 79-72 and 80-71 two times in an eight-round super featherweight bout from Buffalo Run Casino inMiami, Okla.
After losing the first fight of his career in his last ShoBox appearance, Johnson (21-2, 15 KOs), of Houston, came out bullish and determined to outperform the IBO super middleweight titlist Oosthuizen. Jumping out from his corner at the opening bell, Johnson bolted directly at his six-foot-four opponent and attacked him with a barrage of head and body blows. Oosthuizen (19-0-1, 13 KOs) of Gauteng, South Africa, absorbed some early punishment but maintained his composure.
Despite his height advantage of more than five inches, the tall South African did not always keep his distance, choosing to fight off the ropes during many portions of the contest. As the bout entered the fourth and fifth rounds, the 26-year-old Johnson slowed and Oosthuizen upped his work rate. A busy southpaw, Oosthuizen threw most of his punches in bunches including repeated left-right, left-right combos to the ribs.
In the eighth, Oosthuizen pressured Johnson into the blue corner and forced the Texan to take a knee after landing a right hook to the body. Johnson beat the count and the two battled it out for the final rounds before the scores revealed that Oosthuizen claimed the latest victory in his budding career.
“I never underestimated Johnson,” said the 24-year-old Oosthuizen. “I expected him to come out fast but I knew it would be sink or swim. I think he was surprised when I surpassed his big punches at the beginning. I could tell he was beginning to tire by the third or fourth round because I could hear how heavily he was breathing.”
In the co-feature, Del Valle (16-0, 11 KOs), of Bayamon, P.R., continued his pursuit of contender status with a win over his toughest opponent to date. The Puerto Rico native won the early rounds before Martin began to work his strong jab in the fourth to make it a closer fight. Both natural counter punchers, the boxers got busier as the fight advanced.
In the seventh, Martin (23-2-3, 6 KOs), of Chula Vista, Calif., was having a strong round and switched to southpaw stance only to get caught by a left hook that dropped him to the floor. When he rose to his feet, Dell Valle pressed forward but Martin regained his composure and survived the round.
Del Valle and Martin engaged in many rousing exchanges over the last three rounds that created swelling above the right eye of both 25-year-old fighters – as well as excitement in the venue through the final bell.
To open the evening, Pedraza (8-0, 6 KOs) and Garcia (5-3-1, 1 KO) put on an entertaining display of boxing. The highly touted prospect out of Caguas, Puerto Rico, Pedraza amassed “a frightening connect percentage,” said SHOWTIME expert analyst Steve Farhood, landing 60 percent (281 of 471) of his shots. In the fifth round, Pedraza badly staggered Houston’s Garcia with several shots to the head. Referee Vic Drakulich ruled it a knockdown but video replay revealed that Garcia did not touch the canvas and was not held up by the ropes. By late in the sixth round, Pedraza had opened a cut over Garcia’s left eye.
Unfazed by the near knockdown or cut, Garcia pushed forward. Though Pedraza proved to be the quicker and more polished boxer, Garcia won the crowd with his no-quit, unyielding fight style. Garcia gave Pedraza a tough test through his resilience and body attack but it was not enough to win the fight.