Juan Carrillo Gets Up From Canvas and Rallies Late To Earn Majority Decision Over Richard Vansiclen; Clay Waterman Out-Points Kenmon Evans in Night of Undefeated Light Heavyweights Fights
on Hall Of Fame Weekend in Verona, N.Y., on SHOWTIME®
June 9, 2023 – Top five-ranked light heavyweight prospect Ali Izmailov remained undefeated in winning the biggest test of his young career, a close unanimous decision over fellow unbeaten Charles Foster in a main event showdown on SHOBOX: The New Generation on Hall of Fame Weekend from Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y.
Izmailov (11-0, 7 KOs), fighting out of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and SHOBOX® alum Foster(22-1, 12 KOs) of New Haven, Conn., mixed it up for 10 rounds in a fight that many thought could have gone either way. In the end, the three judges agreed that Izmailov’s body work and a knockdown in the closing seconds of the fifth round were enough to earn him the hard-fought win by scores of 95-94 and 96-93 twice.
“I didn’t even listen to the scores,” said Izmailov, trained by John David Jackson. “I knew it wasn’t close. I knew I won. I wasn’t even thinking it was even close.”
In a night that featured six fighters with unbeaten records, Foster became the third fighter on the night to lose his perfect record and became the 228th fighter in the series’ 22-year history to lose his “0” on SHOBOX.
Izmailov dropped Foster with a powerful right-hand jab at the end of the fifth round. Seconds after the knockdown, Foster returned to his corner and told trainer Luis Rosa, Sr., he injured his right shoulder at the start of the fifth round.
“I know I’m a big strong light heavyweight,” said Foster, whose only other SHOBOX appearance was a victory five years ago in Philadelphia. “After the knockdown I made an adjustment and took the fight to him, and he didn’t know what to do. He couldn’t handle it. They build these guys up to be big monsters, but he doesn’t hit as hard as they say. He hits hard, but nothing special. Once I went to his body, everything changed.”
Izmailov said he was “very frustrated by [Foster’s] holding,” adding: “He didn’t want to fight. That’s why he held so much. He knew what would happen if he fought me.”
The fight was so close stats wise, that both Izmailov and Foster landed the same amount of punches overall with Izmailov 113 for 385 (29%) to Foster’s 113 of 532 (21%). The difference proved to be the power punching of Izmailov as he held a 94 to 72 advantage and the fifth-round knockdown.
In the co-feature, Colombian Olympian Juan Carrillo consistently landed the bigger punches in a close, exciting 10-round light heavyweight bout as Carrillo out-pointed University of Washington college graduate Richard Vansiclen on two of the three judges’ scorecards in a majority decision win. The scores were 95-93 twice and 94-94.
In the battle between a pair of southpaws, Carrillo (11-0, 8 KOs), now training in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., used accurate power punches to overcome a game Vansiclen (13-1-1, 6 KOs) currently living and training in San Diego, Calif., by way of Seattle, Wash.
“I believe I won clear enough,” Carrillo said. “It was close.”
Both fighters were dropped for the first time in their careers during the all-action fight. At 2:34 of the third round, Carrillo connected on a pair of right hooks to drop Vansiclen to one knee. Just one round later, it was the former high school football star Vansiclen who changed the momentum of the fight into his favor sending Carrillo to the canvas with an overhand left at 1:06 of the fourth round.
“I felt the knockdown shot, but I recovered right away,” Carrillo said. “It was definitely a rabbit punch. My game plan was to go for the knockout. Unfortunately, I tried too hard and gave him enough time to fight back. That was the toughest guy I ever fought. I hit him with so many good shots and he kept coming back.”
In total punches Carrillo was 207 of 500 for 41% compared to 122 of 498 (25%) for Vansiclen. Carrillo was 122 of 273 for an incredible 45% in power punches.
“I don’t really have any words about the scoring,” said Vansiclen, who in 2015 won the National Collegiate Boxing Association 174-pound title, the same year he competed at the Olympic Trials. “It was a close fight, but I thought I won. It happens. I thought I was more dominant in terms of what I was doing. I dropped him. He couldn’t take me out. I felt like I was imposing my will and ahead by a little bit.
“He dropped me with a flash little hook. I was hurt there, and he hit me with a couple of other good shots, but nothing I was too amazed by.”
In the telecast opener, Australia’s Clay Waterman (11-0, 8 KOs) overcame a slow first-round start in his United States debut, effectively using his body punches in a unanimous decision victory over Kenmon Evans (10-1-1, 3 KOs). The scores were 77-75 and 78-74 twice all in favor of Waterman in the eight-round light heavyweight affair.
Evans used his size and reach advantage to connect on numerous jabs in that first round all scored to him, but it was all Waterman from then on as the International Boxing Hall of Famer Christy Martin-promoted Evans of New Smyrna Beach, Fla., couldn’t match the fitness and all-around ring generalship of Waterman.
“It was my first time fighting in the U.S., so I was a little nervous, but I felt awesome,” Waterman said. “I loved the atmosphere. It was everything I hoped it would be and I loved it.”
Neither fighter had been past six rounds in their careers, and it was Waterman who got stronger as the bout went on while Evans tired as the fight progressed. An eight-time Golden Gloves Champion and 13-time state champion, Waterman landed 108 of 306 punches (35%) compared to 80 of 344 (23%) for Evans.
“Taller fighters always keep their left hands low, that didn’t surprise me,” Waterman said. “I was more surprised by how much holding he did when I tried to attack. I went in to use my jab and work everything off my jab and I did that, but I could have done a lot more. I’m looking forward to going back to work in the gym and getting better. I can’t wait to fight here again.”
Luminaries in attendance included 2023 Hall of Fame inductees and former world champions Timothy Bradley, Jr., Rafael Marquez, Carl Froch, renowned trainer Joe Goossen and former legendary SHOWTIME analyst Tim Ryan. Other Hall of Famers in attendance included Michael Spinks and Roberto Duran,
During the telecast, SHOWTIME announced two exciting back-to-back July fights. On Saturday, July 8, undefeated rising star Jaron “Boots” Ennis will defend his Interim IBF Welterweight Title in the toughest test of his career to date as he takes on all-action contender Roiman Villa headlining action live on SHOWTIME at 9:30 p.m. ET/6:30 p.m. PT and also featuring SHOBOX alums Joseph Adorno and Edwin De Los Santos in the co-main event. The following week, July 15, undefeated top contender Frank “The Ghost” Martin will take on undefeated Olympic Bronze Medalist Artem Harutyunyan in a WBC Lightweight Title Eliminator topping action live on SHOWTIME® at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT from The Chelsea inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas headlining another Premier Boxing Champions event. In the co-main event, Nonito Donaire squares off against Alejandro Santiago in a 12-round bout for the vacant WBC Bantamweight World Title.
Tonight’s SHOBOX tripleheader will re-air on Monday, June 12 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME EXTREME®.
Friday night’s card was promoted by Dmitriy Salita and his Salita Promotions company.
International Boxing Hall of Famer Barry Tompkins called the blow-by-blow action for SHOBOX with fellow Hall of Famer Steve Farhood joining the team remotely as the unofficial scorer. Former world champion Raul Marquez and veteran combat sports reporter and MORNING KOMBAT co-host Brian Campbell served as ringside expert analysts. They were accompanied by Hall of Famer and SHOWTIME Boxing® analyst Al Bernstein, as well as by Hall of Famer Jimmy Lennon, Jr., who handled ring announcing duties. The executive producer of SHOBOX: The New Generation is Gordon Hall with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.