DIERRY JEAN WINS IBF ELIMINATOR ON SHOBOX
Dierry Jean TKO4 Cleotis Pendarvis... Dierry Jean (25-0, 17 KOs), of Quebec overcame a bad cut on the side of his right eye to register two knockdowns en route to a fourth-round TKO of southpaw Cleotis “Mookie” Pendarvis (17-4-1, 6 KOs), of Long Beach, Calif. The junior welterweight bout, which served as the ShoBox main event from Buffalo Run Casino in Miami, Okla., was an IBF eliminator in the 140-pound division. Jean is now the mandatory contender for Lamont Peterson.
Jean, who was cut after an unintentional clash of heads in the third round, dropped Pendarvis the first time with an overhand right hand flush on the chin. Pendarvis gamely made it to his feet, but Jean continued to attack with both hands until the referee stepped in and stopped the bout at 2:16 of the fourth.
“It couldn’t have gone better for Jean because he scored a one-punch knockdown and with the severity of that cut he very well may have needed a knockout,’’ said ShoBox expert analyst Steve Farhood. “Dierry was a virtual unknown to American fight fans before this bout and now fight fans are responding with one word: Wow!”
Jean, making his second start in the United States, was ahead on two of the three scorecards after three rounds, 30-27 and 29-28, and losing on the other, 29-28. Blood was streaming down the right side of his face for much of the third round.
“The cut was bad,’’ said the 31-year-old Jean, who was born in Haiti but has lived in Canada since he was 10. “I couldn’t see anything. But my corner did a great job with it, and then I caught him with a perfect right hand. I was very surprised the referee let it go so long after the first knockdown but I knew I had to keep fighting and finish the job.
“I’m just so excited to finally be in a position to be getting a shot at the world title. I don’t care who it comes against. I feel I’m ready for anybody.
“Pendarvis was a good fighter and he surprised me a little bit with his counter-punching. But I thought I was winning all the rounds. So the fact he was ahead on one scorecard is surprising to me.’’
The loss snapped a six-fight winning streak for Pendarvis. “This is very disappointing,’’ he said, “but I just got caught with a great punch. I went into a shell after I got up and felt I was blocking most of his punches, but there are no excuses. I’ll be back.’’
John Thompson W10 Geovanni Rodriguez... In a battle of unbeaten middleweights in the co-feature, John “Apollo Kidd” Thompson (12-0, 4 KOs) of Newark, N.J., dropped left-hander Geovanni “Tarantula” Rodriguez (8-1, 5 KOs), of Puerto Rico four times en route a unanimous eight-round decision. Thompson, making his second start being trained by former champion James “Buddy” McGirt, triumphed by the scores of 78-70 (twice) and 78-71.
Thompson, an upcoming 6-foot-1, 24-year-old, decked Rodriguez twice in the fourth round and two more times in the eighth.
“I’m happy with the win but I know I can do better,’’ he said. “I still need to jab more. I should be able to dominate with the jab. But he was a good fighter. I definitely felt I had him out in the final round, but once he started to hold I knew the fight was going the distance. My speed and defense were the keys to my win tonight.’’
Southpaw Rodriguez was making his first start in eight months.