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SHOBOX Friday Night Thoughts

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By Tom Donelson

Michael Oliveria opened up the Friday night SHOBOX Next Generation bouts against Xavier Toliver, who had failed when he attempted to move up in quality before. Toliver began the fight with aggressive attack as he unleashed punches as he nailed Oliveria with combinations with a left hook sending Oliveria reeling to the ropes. Toliver, who took the fight on short noticed, shot his wad with his initial onslaught before he slowed the action. Oliveria countered over the second minute of the round with body shots while both fighters neutralized each other with jabs over the last minute in an action pack round.

Oliveria began the second round with three straight right hands and took control of the round with jabs followed by right hands as Toliver moved back to the rope. The Third round resembled the second round as Oliveria pounded the body as Toliver tried to counter but with the exception of a right hand in the opening thirty seconds, he was ineffectual.

Toliver proved more competitive in the fourth round against Oliveria in the opening minutes with slick combinations but by the end of the round, Oliveria power took hold as he forced Toliver to retreat and both fighters stood toe to toe for a concluding twenty seconds of the round. To make matter worse for Toliver, he lost a point for a clash of head in the fifth round as the referee viewed the last head clash as intentional.

With three rounds left, Toliver needed a knockout as he looked for the right punch, which proved to be his right hand as he nailed Oliveria with a few right hands but these punches had little effect on Oliveria and in the seventh round, Oliveria hurt Toliver with a series of right hands as Toliver looked exhausted. In between rounds, Toliver’s corner debated if he should continue and while he was allowed to go out, his corner warn him that if he gets nailed with any serious shots, they would end it. Toliver boxed for the opening minutes but when Toliver hit Oliveria on the break, causing the referee stopped the fight on a disqualification. Toliver’s corner protested since there were no warnings but he already lost a point for an intentional head butt. Toliver’s face was swollen and his lips bleeding so the stoppage may have controversial since there was a case for a warning first but there was no doubt who was going to win. Considering that Toliver’s corner were ready to end the fight, the referee simply followed through on Toliver’s own corner desire and Toliver’s face showed who was winning but Oliveria’s nose swelled up as the result of Toliver’s right hand. It was a dominating performance for Oliveria, swollen nose notwithstanding.

In the opening moments, Austin Trout landed a right hand that sent Frank “the Italian Stallion” Lo Porto and from that point, it was Trout who threw punches with reckless abandonment. In between, Lo Porto corner essentially told their fighter; quit blocking punches with your head. He continued in the second round to block punches with his head and Trout expended energy by exploding punches upon Lo Porto’s head and body while Lo Porto’s corner had to be asking, how is their fighter surviving? Trout used combination of punches including uppercuts that sent Lo Porto head spinning 180 degrees. Lo Porto turned this fight into entertaining fight as he kept coming forward and right into the direction of Trout’s faster hands. In between the third and fourth round, Lo Porto’s corner asked their fighter, “Do you want us to stop the fight?” as they instructed their fighter to keep his hands up. In between the fifth and sixth round, Trout’s corner told their fighter that keep pouring it on as they believed it was only a matter of time before the fight would be called. Lo Porto showed to have a chin of granite as he took every combination from Trout. Trout’s corner turned into prophets as Trout ended the fight with a combination at the end of the sixth round, forcing the referee to step in and stop the fight. Lo Porto proved a game fighter but hardly a skilled fighter. Trout showed skills and talent to be an elite junior Middleweights.


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