Sechew Powell, Chris Smith to step way up on Jan. 21


Sechew Powell, Chris Smith to step way up on Jan. 21

Press release: Blue-collar boxer Christopher “The Mechanic” Smith will attempt to dismantle David Estrada in an International Boxing Federation (IBF) elimination bout for the No. 2 ranking Friday, Jan. 21, on the SHOWTIME boxing series, “ShoBox: The New Generation.”  In the 10-round co-feature, unbeaten junior middleweight contender Sechew “Iron Horse” Powell will make his second SHOWTIME and “ShoBox” appearances as he takes on Aslanbek Kodzoev.

SHOWTIME will televise the DiBella Entertainment doubleheader from the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Conn., at 11 p.m. ET/PT (tape delayed on west coast). The telecast represents the 55th in the popular “ShoBox” series, which debuted on SHOWTIME in July 2001. 

Smith (19-0-1, 12 KOs), originally of Mandeville, Jamaica, received his nickname “The Mechanic” because he takes people apart in the ring.  The high-energy fighter made his professional debut nine days after his 23rd birthday on Feb. 24, 1998, and scored an opening-round TKO over Leon Rouse in Ledyard, Conn.  The unbeaten and well traveled boxer has fought in 10 different states in just 20 bouts.

The native Jamaican, now residing in Queens, N.Y., utilized a crushing body attack to score a ninth-round TKO over Marlon Haynes on Sept. 12, 2002, to win the interim North American Boxing Association (NABA) welterweight title. 

In his initial title defense, Smith controlled the early going before eventually tallying a 10th-round TKO over veteran Sam Garr on Feb. 14, 2003, in Louisville, Ky.  After Smith rocked his opponent with a lead right hand to the jaw in the 10th, Garr retreated.  Moments later, Smith nailed the veteran with a long right cross that landed square on Garr's jaw. Garr's legs wobbled as he bent forward and then slid down the ropes coming to rest on one knee.

The former New York Golden Gloves Champion has successfully defended his NABA title three additional times.  Following a non-title victory over Grover Wiley in May 2003, the hard-hitting Jamaican erupted for an eighth-round TKO over Frankie Sanchez on Aug. 23, 2003, in Biloxi, Miss. 

In his next title defense nine months later, Smith engaged in a wild slugfest with Luis Hernandez on June 4, 2004, in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. 

Smith floored Hernandez in the second, ninth and 12th rounds before a ringside doctor waved the fight off with 29 seconds remaining. The final knockdown sent Hernandez to the canvas, and his momentum carried him under the bottom rope and out of the ring. The exhausted fighter landed on the scorer's table and climbed back into the ring. 

Most recently, Smith stopped his sixth opponent in seven outings when he recorded a 10th-round TKO over Dillon Carew on Oct. 14, 2004, in New York.   

“I am an action fighter,” Smith says.  “I give fans what they want to see.  If that means throwing 100 punches a round, then that is what I will do.”

Estrada (17-1, 8 KOs), of Chicago, compiled a 50-10 amateur record, while winning several local Chicago-area titles and the 1998 Texas State Golden Gloves. After making his mark in the amateur ranks, Estrada made his pro debut and registered a four-round decision over Tyrone Handy on Oct. 28, 1999.

In his second SHOWTIME and “ShoBox” appearance, Estrada dealt previously undefeated Nurhan Suleymanoglu his first defeat and captured the vacant United States Boxing Association (USBA) welterweight crown with an impressive 12-round unanimous decision by the scores 120-108 and 117-111 twice July 15, 2004, in Santa Ynez, Calif.

Estrada’s, only loss came in his “ShoBox’’ debut when he dropped a 10-round decision to undefeated Ishe Smith on July 31, 2003, in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.  Estrada is trained by the world-renowned Angelo Dundee.  When he is not punching for pay, Estrada teaches individual and group boxing classes as an instructor at the South Florida Boxing Gym.

Powell (14-0, 9 KOs), of Brooklyn, N.Y., got floored and was nearly knocked out in the fifth round of his SHOWTIME and “ShoBox” debuts on June 17, 2004, in Laughlin, Nev., but managed to survive the round and triumph by the scores 76-75 twice and 75-76 after the eighth.

In Powell’s last outing, Sept. 30, 2004, in New York, N.Y., he scored a unanimous decision over George Armenta, outboxing his aggressive opponent.  Powell fought most of the fight backing up and fighting off the ropes.  He was a very effective counter puncher against the orthodox Armenta.

At Brooklyn’s Prospect High School, Powell excelled in both basketball and swimming while capturing three “Under 19’’ national titles, the Junior World Championship in Russia, the Everlast U.S. Championship, and both the New York and the National Golden Gloves.  During a nine-year amateur career, Powell compiled a 147-9 record, but suffered a heartbreaking disqualification loss in the 2000 Olympic Trials.

In his pro debut, Powell registered a second-round TKO over Aundalen Sloan on Aug. 17, 2002, in Atlantic City, N.J.  Powell dominated by utilizing a stiff jab and quick, hard combinations.  After a hard left hand sent Sloan stumbling to the ropes later in the first round, Powell dazzled the crowd with an eight-punch combination. Late in the second, he continued the onslaught by landing a six-punch combination that staggered Sloan. Moments later, the referee halted the bout.

Kodzoev (14-1-1, 9 KOs), of Ingushetia, Russia, captured the Russian middleweight title with a 12-round decision over Sergey Tatevosyan on Feb. 16, 2002, in Novosibirsk, Russia.  In his next outing, the once-beaten Russian captured the World Boxing Council (WBC) International 160-pound crown with a 12-round decision over Jerry Elliot on April 27, 2002, in Riesa, Germany.  Kodzoev sent Elliot to the canvas in rounds three, four and six.

Currently riding a six-fight winning streak, Kodzoev was on the canvas in the third, fifth and sixth rounds during a bout against Julio de la Cruz on Philadelphia. However, two of the knockdowns were aided in part by Kodzoev slipping on the beer logo at the center of the ring.  The resilient Russian went on to tally a ninth-round TKO to win the affair.

Kodzoev’s parents and girlfriend, Dardina, still remain in Russia.  Kodzoev, who turned 24 on Dec. 15, took up residence in south Philadelphia in 2001 for the purpose of advancing his boxing career.  After Kodzoev fights, he often hops on a plane and returns to Russia for months at a time.  With his personal and professional life often at odds, Kodzoev is still attempting to find a way to get his family to America.

Nick Charles will call the action from ringside, with Steve Farhood serving as expert analyst.  The executive producer of the telecast is Gordon Hall, with Richard Gaughan producing.